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Cabrillo High boys golf survived the eight-team Los Padres League showdown at the Santa Maria Country Club on Monday afternoon, in the first LPL regular season meet to ever take place at the private course next to Waller Park after being held at Marshallia Ranch and Rancho Maria for nearly 40 years.

Led by Justin Buenaventura’s 76 points, the Conquistadores collected 430 team points for the lowest point total on the day — securing the win against the rest of the LPL competition that arrived to the course with their clubs and putters.

The country club is no stranger to hosting high school sanctioned events, as league title contests have been held there especially during a time St. Joseph was a member of the LPL, said Santa Maria High golf coach Jay Cheney. Monday's event, though, was a first trip to the SMCC for many golf teams now representing the LPL. 

Buenaventura surprisingly said he felt this outing wasn’t his best performance, as he claimed he misfired on a few strokes and shots.

“I think I could’ve done better in a few areas,” Buenaventura said. “I did hit a few chips in some areas. It didn’t really go how I wanted. Overall, I thought I played pretty mediocre.”

Buenaventura cited the No. 5 hole as his kryptonite, which is set up for golfers to try to power the ball over the pond.

“At No. 5 over the water, it was a long par four (for me). I didn’t do so hot and my ball floated to the right,” Buenaventura said. “But, you know, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes and keep playing.”

Buenaventura never blamed his mistakes on the course set-up since he’s never competed on the SMCC greens. Instead, he chose to be his own worst critic.

“It’s definitely how I swung,” Buenaventura said. “I didn’t have so many good drives, but you know you’ve got to learn from it. I’m sort of happy, but I always want to strive to be better than that.”

Buenaventura, who is one of the more experienced golfers for CHS head coach Craig Knowles, was part of the 1A group that consisted of the top golfers in the meet. He linked up with teammate Austin Kranz, Nipomo’s Bryan Tran and Santa Ynez’s Cooper Candy to comprise the first group.    

Kranz finished with the second-lowest individual score at 82. Both Buenaventura and Kranz executed a nice, soft putt at the No. 4 hole that saw the ball float in the air for three seconds, then smoothly fall on the putting greens.

Kyle Stiller of the Conqs followed with his 83 score. Morro Bay’s Mac Daugherty (86) and Templeton’s Charlie Raine (89) were the only other individual golfers to swing their way inside the 80-point range.

Santa Ynez followed behind Cabrillo with its 479 total. Candy shot a 93 while both Hayden Smith and P.J. Callaghan ended at 95 apiece.

Placing third in the league meeting was Templeton at 495 points. Nipomo took fourth at the event with its 497 score, as the Titans were led by Tran’s 91 point outing. Lucas Reaves (94) and Felipe Zepeda (97) also posted below the 100-point range for NHS.

Morro Bay took fifth at 502 points. Orcutt Academy — with Logan Shea and Robbie Birch finishing with scores of 94 and 95, respectively — came in sixth with 510 points. Tournament host Santa Maria came in next at seventh place by netting 528 points, while Lompoc ended the day with the highest team score at 593. Joe Powers led the Braves with 101 points. 

The Saints were led by Joseph Balderama, who posted the lowest output for SMHS at 92. Balderama said he had issues in the fairway.

“I think I did OK. I could’ve been a lot better. I could’ve kept the ball in the fairway more,” Balderama said. “I did a lot of pushing and pulling, so I was always in the rough. I usually keep it pretty straight, but I wasn’t able to do that today.”

Overall, he was glad he had the opportunity to return to the SMCC, which he played on twice during his younger years but his first as a prep athlete.

“It was great. I was really glad to have the opportunity to play at this course and it was good for my team,” Balderama said.

BOYS BASEBALL

St. Joseph 2, Pioneer Valley 0

St. Joseph and Pioneer Valley moved up their scheduled Tuesday game to Monday to avoid the possibility of a rainout.

Isaac Baez pitched a complete-game two-hitter for the St. Joseph win while Pioneer Valley’s Matt Garcia also went the distance to take the loss.

St. Joseph scored single runs in the fifth and seventh innings while playing error free ball on defense.

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Jamison Stahl went 3-for-3 in the win.

BOYS TENNIS

Arroyo Grande 16, Paso Robles 2

Arroyo Grande improved its PAC 8 League record to 4-0 (8-1 overall) with a home win against Paso Robles.

AG's doubles team swept all nine sets while their No. 1 and No. 2 singles players — Sam Ashbrook and Joey Kullman — dropped just three games between them in sweeping their three sets.

Arroyo Grande moved the match up to Monday to avoid Tuesday's predicted rain. The Eagles are on the road for their next match, Thursday at Pioneer Valley.

CIF POLLS

There's not much love for the local teams in this week's CIF Southern Section polls.

Only three teams cracked the Top Ten rankings, all in boys volleyball.

Arroyo Grande was voted into the No. 9 spot in Division 3 while in Division 5, Santa Maria is No. 5 and Pioneer Valley No. 6.

Arroyo Grande is the No. 11 team in Division 1 of boys tennis; Righetti is tied for No. 11 in Division 3 baseball; and Santa Ynez is tied for No. 11 in Division 7 softball.

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