With energy levels running high inside the Cabrillo High gymnasium for the latest boys basketball installment of Lompoc versus Cabrillo, something rare arrived around 7:30 p.m. that slowed down the tempo of the game: A power outage.
The lights went out for 25 minutes with CHS nursing a 23-point lead. But once the lights came back on the Conquistadores finished off the Braves 68-40 on Tuesday night.
Cabrillo head coach C.J. Simmons said afterwards that he’s never experienced being in a power outage during a game.
“That’s a first,” Simmons said. “But in that 20-minute span, I just tried to keep my boys loose. They were doing layups and stretching in the dark. They responded kind of sluggish but for the most part, they finished the game.”
During the time the gym was darkened, CHS and LHS players tried to do practice shots and stretches to prevent any rust. Both student sections also tried to keep the spirit inside the gym alive with their chants.
And once the electricity resurfaced, LeAndrew Knight helped take over the contest from there for the Conqs.
Knight, playing in his final regular season home contest against the Braves, flew right past one Brave defender and swished a second-chance layup that put the Conquistadores up 53-21. The senior finished with a game-high 31 points.
Simmons said Knight couldn’t wait to get inside the CHS gym for one more home contest against his city rival.
“This is one game LeAndrew has been waiting for since it’s his last one on this floor,” Simmons said. “He said he couldn’t sleep. But he showed up tonight.”
Knight wasn’t the only one who couldn’t wait to experience another chapter of LHS against CHS. So was the new guy on the Conquistadores: Austin Olsen.
The transfer from Righetti High – who got used to seeing St. Joseph as his chief rival – started fast in the first quarter with his drive and layup that made it 10-0. Olsen then showed his athletic side with a steal and tip pass to Eddie Little, who proceeded to score and made it 17-4.
Olsen finished with eight points on the evening. He immediately became a fan favorite among the “Conq Crazies” student section by guarding Jordan Tyler – who was playing against his former team for the first time ever. The student section showed they were on Olsen’s side by chanting “Austin is better!” toward Tyler.
Olsen said he was immediately drawn to the atmosphere of a Lompoc-Cabrillo contest.
“This was really fun. The crowd and everything, this was a new experience,” Olsen said. “I feel like the Cabrillo crowd got a little bit more hyped and they even started chanting my name.”
Nico Marquez scored nine points for CHS, including two 3-pointers during the first quarter. Eddie Little finished with 11 points while Blake Beecher scored six for CHS.
On Lompoc’s side, no one reached double figures in scoring. Tyler led the way with nine points. Both Ryan Morgan and Ruben Cortez scored eight points apiece. Jeffrey Ray finished with seven.
The Braves’ loss ended Lompoc’s fast 2-0 start in LPL games and left LHS at 2-1 in league and 5-10 overall. Cabrillo not only improved to 6-5 overall, but has now won 34 straight LPL games.
Cabrillo returns home to face Orcutt Academy on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Lompoc will head back to Bryan Ayer Court to take on Morro Bay on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Nipomo 65, Morro Bay 64, OT
Nipomo freshman Daren Sosa scored 24 points while sinking five 3-pointers to lift Nipomo to its second Los Padres League win of the year.
Carmelo Hernandez had a double-double, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kenny Johnson added seven points and eight boards for the Titans.
Kevin Hitchen, Nipomo’s coach, says Sosa is averaging 20 points a game in league play.
“He’s just shooting the heck out of the ball,” Hitchen said, adding that Hernandez’s late play put the Titans in a good spot to win the gam.e
“The most notable play late would’ve been a backdoor lob that Carmelo got,” Hitchen said. “That put us in a good situation. Sosa hit a couple of late 3s and Branden Rios, another freshman, had a good play in overtime with a hesitation layup.”
The Titans are set to host Templeton Thursday night in their next LPL game.
Pioneer Valley 56, Paso Robles 44 (Monday)
The Panthers got a PAC 8 League win Monday as Jayden Jones led the way with 17 points. Grif Betancourt lead the Bearcats with 10 points.
The Panthers are 10-6 on the year and 1-2 in the PAC 8. They are set to host San Luis Obispo Wednesday at 7 p.m.