Danita Estorga had been characteristically productive before an injury to her left leg likely finished her season.

Even while she was on the bench, her Righetti teammates built their offense on what Estorga had given them.

"Thanks to what Danita had, we had a good idea of what kind of team we wanted to be," said Righetti coach Desiree Domingues.

The 6-foot-1 Estorga was averaging 15.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game when she went down with an injury in the second half of Righetti's third league game of the season.

 For what she contributed when she did play, and what she has contributed even when she has not, Estorga is the Lee Central Coast Newspapers All-Area Girls Basketball Team's Offensive Player of the Year, as voted on by the LCCN sports staff.

Righetti was the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section's Division 2A. The Warriors remained so after Estorga's injury. 

The Warriors ran the table in the PAC 8, finishing 14-0 in league play. Righetti finished the regular season 22-3 overall.

After Estorga's injury, the Warriors were pushed just once in league games, in a 57-54 win at Arroyo Grande when they started the second half of league play.

"That doesn't surprise me at all," said Estorga. "I know what they can do. I have total faith in my team. They're competitive at a high level. They're so well-rounded."

Besides steady leadership Estorga, a Biola signee, gave the Righetti offense a consistent inside and outside scoring threat when she was in there.

"I was taking more outside shots this year because of our bigs inside," said Estorga.

The senior helped give the Warriors a diversified offense, and Domingues said Righetti's offense remained a diversified one after Estorga went out.

Zane Sheckherd has led the Righetti scoring since Estorga went down. She is averaging 11.6 points a game. Alijah Paquet is at 10.3. Both have shown they can hit the outside shot with regularity.

As they had been when Estorga was in there, Righetti's inside players have been adept at getting open in the lane, and point guard Maya Armenta has been adept at getting the ball to them.

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Though Domingues said most of the character of Righetti's offense has not changed, it has been tweaked some.

"Since she didn't have Danita to look to anymore, Maya knew she had to start driving deeper more often," the coach said.

"She has done a very good job of attacking the basket. Maya gets at least two layups a game (on the drive now). She also hits a couple of outside shots a game."

Domingues said that since Estorga's been on the bench her observations about what has been going on the floor have been so keen, "She's almost like another assistant coach. She's very good at noticing what opponents are doing, who's getting tired."

Estorga has honed her basketball instincts with years of club ball. Observing the entire game from the bench has given her another perspective.

 "When you're on the bench, you definitely have a little different view of what's going on," she said. "You notice what another player is doing whereas you might not have a chance to if you're playing side by side with them."  

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