Right after Jared McCune received a special autographed basketball, the Cabrillo girls basketball head coach immediately rushed over to the Conquistadores’ victory bell next to the gym entrance and rang it – signifying his 100th career win.
McCune and the Conqs celebrated the 57-20 rout of Nipomo on Friday – which also got the CHS head coach to hit the century mark for victories.
McCune, who has served as the girls basketball coach for the last five seasons, was all smiles when gazing at the autographed ball featuring signatures from his own players and coaches. McCune admitted he wasn’t aware he was one victory away from career win No. 100.
“I had no idea, honestly,” McCune said. “But it feels great. I’m just so proud of the girls. Things are coming together at the right time. I also have to credit my coaching staff – all four us. I love those guys and we work so well together.”
Cabrillo (20-2 overall, 12-0 in the Los Padres League) didn’t start fast at first. The Conqs missed their first four attempts before Alyssa Stewart scored on a screen play for the game’s first points.
And the Titans (11-13, 6-6 in the LPL) were held scoreless in the first quarter – as Cabrillo flustered the visiting team with turnovers and double teams. Nipomo, though, began to start a run in the second quarter by cutting the lead to 12-6.
A familiar scoring and defensive presence for Cabrillo would go on and break the early 6-0 Titans run: Erin Jenkins. The senior scored on a second chance two-pointer to build the lead 14-6 – and the rout was on from there.
Valerie Monzon would score in back-to-back sequences on a second chance layup and a two-pointer inside the key. Then, Stewart banked her second 3-pointer to extend the lead to 21-9.
The defensive pressure continued to swarm the Titans, as Jenkins became a stealing force and transition attacker in the third quarter. Jenkins would score five straight points in the early third quarter to make it 35-11. Then, reserve Denisse Martinez helped close the quarter with her four consecutive points.
As Jenkins and the starters sat on the bench with the game officially out of reach, the 3-point offense started to gain steam. Stewart and Amani Childres both swished 3’s, while Alyssa McCune buried two long range points. Cabrillo wound up with 12 points off of 3-pointers in the final quarter.
McCune jokingly asked his team why it took a little long to get the long game going.
“What we were saying was ‘Why can’t we start out that way?’ We were wishing those shots were falling in the first. But it’s fun to see them get loose and the girls shot well in the end. It was good.” McCune said.
Now, McCune will look to find a spot for his new souvenir ball.
“I don’t know, probably somewhere at home,” McCune said smiling. “We have a few other balls at our house but this one will be pretty special.”
Jenkins led with 16 points. Stewart added 12. Alyssa McCune finished with eight points while Monzon added seven.
Cabrillo now needs two more wins to secure outright LPL title. The Conqs take on Orcutt Academy in the final regular season home game of the season on Tuesday. After that is the road trip to Templeton on Thursday which could decide who wins the LPL title outright.
Lompoc 55, Orcutt Academy 23
The Braves swept the regular season series against the Spartans at Bryan Ayer Court.
Danielle Morgan once again finished with the double-double as she scored 19 points and collected 10 rebounds. Mya Mendoza scored eight points and snatched eight steals. Ketera Mangino finished with eight points. Kayla Taylor also saw the number eight twice on the stat sheet: Eight points scored and eight rebounds.
Cabrillo 74, Nipomo 53
The Conquistadores didn’t play their starters much on Friday at NHS. It turned out they earned the rest – as CHS celebrated its seventh straight LPL title.
Eddy Little finished with 11 points. Ryan Aguilar recorded his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Head coach C.J. Simmons said it was the first time this season that all 13 players on the CHS roster scored a point.
For Simmons, it’s the second LPL title as head coach of the Conqs. Cabrillo improved to 15-5 overall and 12-0 in the LPL. The CHS victory also officially clinches a playoff spot for the Santa Maria Saints.
Lompoc 64, Orcutt Academy 42
The Braves redeemed themselves from their Wednesday night loss to rival Cabrillo with the 22-point road win of the Spartans.
Jeffrey Ray finished with 14 points. Ryan Morgan added 13 and A.J. Arias chipped in 10 points for the now 11-14 Braves, who also improved to 8-4 in the LPL.