Rio Mesa holds back Santa Barbara, 64-50

Girl is throwing a ball.
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© Joseph A. Garcia/VC Star
Rio Mesa High School's Brenna Abraham (center) goes for a basket against Santa Barbara High School's Gabrielle Gallegos (left) and Sylvia Hoover Purter (right) during their first-round CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA basketball game at Rio Mesa High on Thursday night. © Joseph A. Garcia/VC Star
Ashley Ontiveros admits she was worried.

What had once been a seemingly insurmountable lead for the Rio Mesa High girls basketball team quickly began to dwindle, as Santa Barbara made shot after shot to start the second half.

The Dons cut a 28-point, first-half deficit to just eight before Ontiveros restored order for the Spartans.

The senior guard hit some clutch baskets down the stretch as fourth-seeded Rio Mesa pulled away once again to defeat Santa Barbara 64-50 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA playoffs on Thursday night at Rio Mesa High.

Rio Mesa (22-5) plays at Westlake in the second round on Saturday night at 7.

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