The second clash between two of the top girls basketball programs in the area went Righetti’s way this time.
Led by Zane Sheckherd and her 19 points, the Warriors pulled out the 48-39 victory on Thursday over Cabrillo at the RHS gym in the Harold Olivera Tournament.
The last time the two teams met was at Vandenberg Village earlier this month — in a rare non-league game on Dec. 8 that was added due to the Thomas fire wiping away most of every regional teams’ non-league schedule. Both RHS and the Conquistadores were supposed to play in the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, but that tournament was cancelled due to the state’s largest wildfire.
That previous battle was won by the Conqs 43-35 by way of defense. This latest installment of Righetti/Cabrillo saw another defensive battle take place — but this time RHS was the aggressor on that side of the ball early on.
Righetti (7-1) attacked with the transition game as Sheckherd led the fast break charge. The Warriors leaped to an early 7-1 lead with constant pressure from the defensive end. Cabrillo would counter with Erin Jenkins getting on the scoring stat sheet through three first quarter points. Scheckherd, though, ended the first quarter with a two-point jump shot while being guarded in a man defense scheme, putting RHS up 13-8.
After missing her first three shot attempts in the second quarter, Scheckherd put RHS up 18-8 with back-to-back baskets — including one on another transition layup. Kendall Bagby and Ashley Reynoso added to the Warriors’ scoring efforts as RHS took the 26-18 lead at halftime.
For RHS head coach Desiree Hitch, there was no need to make any scheme adjustments in the second bout with Cabrillo, she said.
“I don’t think we did anything differently. Our team has just gotten better,” Hitch said after the game. “We’ve had more games under our belt and in these last two weeks, we’ve really come together. We’ve turned a little corner.”
Hitch points out that the recently added Righetti/St. Joseph winter tournament from last week and the Olivera Tourney has benefitted her team.
“It was huge. I was almost happy that we were able to host some games last week and not play in the top division of the Tournament of Champions. We needed some confidence boosters and needed some games where the girls needed to come together a little bit — just more easy games,” Hitch said. “We needed that because our girls were kind of unsure about themselves.”
Righetti got up to a 34-22 lead before the Conqs (6-2) ignited their offense with a familiar face: Erin Jenkins. The senior banked one 3-pointer and added a layup to help create a 9-0 for CHS, cutting the Warrior lead to 34-31. Reynoso would stop the run with her basket inside the 3-point line. Scheckherd followed with two points toward the end of the third.
Sheckherd was guarded most of the night by Jenkins, who went on to finish with 18 points. Scheckherd shared her respect for the Lee Central Coast Newspapers’ All-Area Most Valuable Player from last season after the game.
“She’s a really good player,” Scheckherd said. “She runs that offense really well and she really pushes the ball up the floor well. She does what she needs to do.”
Sheckherd, who drew interest from a number of NCAA Division II programs before the season, added that competing against the defending Los Padres League champions has helped prepare the Warriors for their upcoming PAC-8 slate.
“It’s definitely prepared us a lot. Even though it wasn’t our best game, it shows how much these games have helped,” Sheckherd said.
On the Conqs’ end, Cabrillo has had to adjust without top interior presence Brittney McCune — who left the Dec. 8 game against RHS on crutches. Head coach Jared McCune said that losing her has been a blow to CHS.
“Brittney is among the top three players on the coast along with Zane and Erin. To take a player out like that, it totally shifts things — especially when she’s our major presence inside,” McCune said.
McCune, though, believed that this RHS team didn’t do much differently to hand Cabrillo its second loss of the Olivera Tournament.
“I don’t know if they did a whole lot differently. They did press us pretty good. We didn’t handle that really well,” McCune said.
Outside of Sheckherd, Reynoso tacked on 10 points for the Warriors. Alyssa Stewart was Cabrillo’s second leading scorer with six points.
On Saturday, Righetti won the tournament title with a 58-58 victory over Clovis.
Clovis 38, Cabrillo 34
The Conquistadores' second half surge wasn't enough to get past the Cougars, who were the CIF Central Section Division I runner ups and a state playoff qualifier one year ago.
Erin Jenkins led with 17 points. Defensively, Cabrillo swatted six Clovis shots including three from Jesse Jenkins.
Righetti 74, Lompoc 49
Braves senior Danielle Morgan led the way with 25 points, but it was the defending PAC-8 champion Warriors prevailing in this contest.
Zane Sheckherd scored a game-high 33 points for RHS. Ketara Mangino hauled down 10 rebounds for LHS. Kayla Taylor led the way in blocks with five.
Lompoc 44, East Bakersfield 20
The Braves rebounded in the next day of the Harold Olivera Tournament, by trouncing East Bakersfield High by 24 points.
Lompoc turned a 9-6 first quarter lead into a 35-14 run the rest of the way.
Cabrillo 74, Atascadero 22
The Conquistadores responded to two tough losses in the Olivera Tournament with their 52-point thrashing of the Greyhounds at RHS.
Erin Jenkins scored a game-high 26 points. Alyssa Stewart also reached double figures with her 20 points.
Cabrillo's defense collected 36 total rebounds and 14 team steals against AHS.
Clovis 69, Lompoc 33
The Cougars routed the Braves in the 1 p.m. Friday contest at RHS in the Olivera Tournament. No stats were available.