Righetti started its playoff run with a dominant performance Saturday, cruising past Torrance 61-36 in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2A playoffs at home.
The Warriors will play at Rialto Carter Wednesday night in the quarterfinals. The Warriors led 18-6 after the first quarter and were up 36-20 at the break Saturday. They then outscored the Tartars 25-16 in the second half the put the game away for good.
Righetti had a sizable size advantage and junior Ashley Reynoso exploited that. Reynoso, a 6-foot-1 forward, scored 21 points to lead the Warriors. Reynoso went 11-for-15 from the free throw line.
"We knew that we would have a strong post presence," Righetti coach Desiree Domingues said. "So we wanted to look inside, but we didn't want to force it. Fortunately, Ashley has really good positioning. She knows how to get open."
The Tartars, lacking in size, attempted to front Reynoso in the post and time after time Righetti, with either point guard Maya Armenta or Mariah Vargas or even Dominique Garcia, continued to feed Reynoso with looping entry passes, putting Reynoso right under the basket with no defender in between her.
That positioning and precision passing resulted in Reynoso converting a close basket or getting fouled. Or sometimes both. Three times Reynoso drew a foul and made her shot and she converted two of those three-point plays.
But it wasn't all about Reynoso. Zane Sheckherd, another Righetti junior, was also stellar. Sheckherd was held scoreless in the first quarter, but scored nine points in the second quarter. She added five points in the third quarter, including a long 3-pointer, and finished with 15 points.
Sheckherd hasn't been playing basketball that long, but has developed into one of the top players on the Central Coast.
"I'm not surprised," Domingues said of Sheckherd's rapid ascent. "She's a great athlete, she has great body control. She brings a great intensity to the team on offense and defense. And she's just one of those people that is always looking to attack. She just brings an energy that is contagious with the other girls and it's such a pleasure to have her. I feel really lucky."
A senior was also critical in the win for Righetti. Dasia Ramirez chipped in 12 points, scoring six in the first quarter to spark the Warriors.
Domingues was happy with how her team started the postseason, but knows her team can turn it up as the competition gets tougher and the playoffs progress.
"I think we can definitely play better than what we did tonight," Domingues said. "When we played in the (Santa Barbara) Tournament of Champions, we saw the best of the best. So I think we're prepared, but we can definitely play a little bit better."
Righetti is the top seed in the division. The Warriors are now 23-3 on the season and went 14-0 in the PAC 8 League to claim the league championship with ease. Carter improved to 16-10 on the season with a 53-50 win over Downey Warren on Saturday night.
Lompoc 49, La Habra 46, OT
The Braves got past La Habra on Saturday night and will host Marlborough on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Division 2A playoffs. The Braves are the fourth seed in the division.
Cheyenne Marmolejo had 10 points, four assists, a pair of blocks and five steals to lead the Braves. Chavon Garrett added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Lompoc. Cyenna Garrett chipped in nine points and rebounds and Danielle Morgan pitched in with five points and three blocks. Shy Kendrick had six points.
"Kayla Taylor and Alyssa Grossi came up big for us as Danielle and Cheyenne were in foul trouble," Lompoc coach Claudia Terrones said in a message to the Times.
The Braves and the Highlanders were tied at 12 after the first quarter. The Braves then outscored them 16-10 in the second to take a 28-22 lead at the break. But La Habra won the third quarter 12-7 and outscored Lompoc 6-5 to force overtime at 40-all. The Braves then outscored the Highlanders 9-6 in overtime.
Nipomo 51, St. Bonaventure 49
The Titans were in control in the first half before the Seraphs surged aheasd to take 42-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Nipomo then outscored St. Bonnie 18-7 in the fourth to win and advance to the quarterfinals in the Division 4AA playoffs. Nipomo will host Sun Valley Village Christian, the top seed in Division 4AA, on Wednesday.
Abbey Gutierrez led the Titans with 15 points. She also grabbed six rebounds. Sidney Aguilera added 10 points while Kylie Mendez had six points, nine rebounds, nine assists and five steals. Kiesa Romero added 11 points and Maddie Witcher had four points and five rebounds. Shantille Simonson added five points for the Titans.
Aguilera and Romero each hit three 3-pointers.
In boys basketball, Cabrillo went to Lancaster and beat Paraclete 71-56 and will host St. Paul on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.