Time to add another Los Padres League title to an already long list of league championships for Cabrillo girls water polo, as the Conquistadores clinched their 15th straight LPL crown with their 14-5 victory over Santa Ynez on Thursday.
The nine-goal victory over the Pirates not only continued Cabrillo’s league reign that started in the 2002-03 season, but awarded the Conqs their 20th girls water polo league championship in school history.
And as CHS head coach Scot Larson described, this league championship tilt between the Conqs and Pirates at CHS was competitive early, as has been the case when the two LPL powers collide in the pool.
“Santa Ynez really came out strong and were ready to play,” Larson said. “It was a battle throughout the entire game.”
But once Cabrillo’s pressure defense came alive in the water, it eventually swallowed any momentum on the Pirates’ side.
“Our defensive schemes worked well and limited them, but it was a very competitive game to the end,” Larson said. “Coach John Connolly really had them fired up and ready to go. The Cabrillo team was up to the challenge and really stepped up their game to match the Pirates.”
Larson cited the strong play of Gretchen Von Protz and Jillian Larson for spearheading the defensive attack, as the duo “both had several fine defensive plays that disrupted the Pirates offense.” Goalie Rylan Scott finished the game with 10 blocks and three steals.
Offensively, Maddison Stangl and Mary Rhodes got the scoring started for CHS with five goals between them in the first quarter. Then, the trio of Ellery Wilkie, Callie Scott and Jaquelyn Garcia added to the Cabrillo scoring outburst by scoring one goal each in the second quarter.
Stangl led CHS with four goals. Wilkie and Rhodes each completed the hat trick of netting three goals. Von Protz, Scott, Delaney Scott and Garcia each scored once.
Cabrillo will host Righetti, the No. 2 team out of the PAC 8 League, on Wednesday in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. The location and time of that match had yet to be determined at press time. Santa Ynez is the top seed in Division 7 and hosts La Puente Tuesday in that first round.
Cabrillo boys basketball
The Conqs don’t want to be second and done
Now that the Conquistadores wrapped up the Los Padres League title with a flawless 14-0 league mark, Cabrillo has made it verbally clear – they don’t want to go home after the second round this time.
Last year’s Conqs fell 55-53 to Palm Springs one year ago in the CIF Southern Section Division 3A postseason. The previous year saw CHS fall to Hemet Tahquitz 85-62.
And top scorer LeAndrew Knight got together with his teammates immediately following Cabrillo’s 82-47 rout of Templeton on Thursday and they all preached not getting stung by the second round bug this time.
“It’s been talked about since we got back inside this gym,” Knight said. “All of the returners still have that memory of last year’s loss and now we’re back. It’s time to go farther.”
At 23-3 overall, Cabrillo has the most victories out of all of the Southern Section Division 3A teams according to Max Preps. The fewest losses, though, belong to Twentynine Palms (22-2) and Adelanto (20-2). CIF boys basketball playoff pairings were announced on Sunday, which was past the Record’s deadline.
First-year head coach C.J. Simmons is no stranger to witnessing playoff runs from the Conqs before as both a former player and assistant. This time, he’s leading CHS into the battle for a section title/state bid as a first-year head coach. He immediately got his players to forget about wrapping up the league title and got them dialed in on the upcoming postseason chase during practice on Friday.
“It’s time to turn our focus to the ultimate goal, which is to compete to the best of our ability in the CIF SS Division 3A…and we’re going to start preparing right now,” Simmons said.