Five words Cabrillo High girls basketball players can now say: It’s on to the semifinals.
The Conquistadores, after losing three times in the CIF Southern Section quarterfinal round of the playoffs in the last three seasons, finally got over the third-round hump by eliminating San Clemente 63-40 on Wednesday night in the Division 3AA battle.
Cabrillo took an early eight-point lead via the long-range shooting of Erin Jenkins, who scored 10 first-quarter points. That lead, though, inflated to 24 points by halftime as the likes of Alexa McCune, Alyssa Stewart and Jesse Jenkins added to the Conqs’ score totals.
After the final inbounds pass from the Tritons, the gym floor was cluttered with an excited group of black and gold clad players who just solidified history for the girls basketball program. Never has any CHS girls basketball team advanced to the semifinals round – until now.
“It’s definitely on your mind (the quarterfinal losses) when you haven’t gotten past it. But I think we’re really maintaining a strong level of play,” CHS head coach Jared McCune said by phone after the game.
McCune, who is also experiencing the semifinals for the first time in his CHS girls basketball head coaching career, said the persistent shooting from the Conqs helped break the Tritons’ morale early in the game.
“They (San Clemente) came out and competed very hard, but we pressured them on defense and we pushed out some 3’s – so I think that broke their spirits,” McCune said.
Jenkins led the night with 28 points and seven steals. Jessie Jenkins added 11 points. Stewart finished with nine. Jenkins also led the way in rebounds with 12 for the double-double.
Cabrillo will travel to Fullerton on Saturday to take on Sunny Hills High for a 7 p.m. semifinals game.
Indian Springs 2, Lompoc 1 (OT)
Lompoc not only fell on the road at San Bernardino in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs, but lost to the defending state Division IV champs on Wednesday afternoon.
J.D Montelongo scored first for the Braves. But, the Coyotes countered with a goal during the second half and then the final one during the second overtime period.
Head coach Marco Vargas praised the effort of his team throughout the entire season.
“This group of young men are some of the hardest working men I’ve ever met,” Vargas said by phone after the game.
And Vargas said he felt there may be some early jitters and lapses from this bunch, but the Braves eliminated those traits immediately and made their LPL title run.
“I was worried starting up in preseason that we would struggle, but they overcame the adversity as a group and progress each game,” Vargas said. “The heart in each one of these boys got us through those tough games. My expectations were to be better than last year’s team and winning league in our final year of the Los Padres League was just the cherry on top.”
Like the rest of the Brave sports teams, Lompoc boys soccer will move into the Channel League starting in 2018-19. That league saw Santa Barbara run off with the boys soccer league title at 7-1 in CL games.
Lompoc finished the season at 15-6-4 overall and 12-1-1 in the LPL.