With all-everything senior Danita Estorga doing what she does — that is scoring, rebounding and everything else — the Righetti girls basketball team was cruising toward the 2017 PAC 8 League championship.
Then the 6-foot-1 Estorga went down in the second half of the team's third league game of the season, at home against San Luis Obispo on Jan. 9, and suffered an injury to her left leg that likely ended her season.
With Estorga cheering her team on from the bench, the Warriors ran the table anyway, finishing 14-0 in the PAC 8 and winning the outright league championship under second-year coach Desiree Domingues.
For her work in guiding her team to an outright title Domingues, a Righetti alum, repeats as the Lee Central Coast Newspapers Girls All-Area Basketball Team Coach of the Year.
Righetti and Arroyo Grande shared the league championship in 2016.
The Warriors were the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section's Division 2A before Estorga got hurt, and they have remained so since she has been out.
Estorga was averaging 16-plus points and seven-plus rebounds a game before she got hurt. Since she has been sidelined, "We have a lot of players who have taken up the scoring that Danita left," Domingues said.
Since Estorga has been out Righetti has been challenged just once, in a 57-54 win at Arroyo Grande as it started the second half of league play.
Before the season started, Domingues moved 5-foot-10 junior Zane Sheckherd from a power forward spot to the wing. She has flourished since, consistently scoring in double figures since Estorga got hurt and becoming one of Righetti's better ball-handlers.
Sheckherd has led the team in scoring since Estorga went out. Sheckherd and sophomore Alijah Paquet are strong 3-point shooters, and several other Warriors have shown they can hit the '3'.
Senior point guard Maya Armenta has responded since Estorga has been out. With Estorga gone, Armenta has taken it upon herself to drive deep into the lane more often, and to mix up her passes to open teammates.
Domingues was a three-time league Defensive Player of the Year at Righetti before she went on to play for Cal State Los Angeles. Domingues constantly stresses defense to her players, and the Warriors have been adept at mixing up zone and man-to-man defenses.
"With the girls we have, I'm very confident we can make a big playoff run," Domingues said after Righetti defeated Arroyo Grande for the second time.
"Our goal is to make the state tournament. We have a great point guard. We have all the pieces necessary."