Templeton was held to just one basket during the fourth quarter in a closely-knitted girls basketball contest in Paisola Pavilion at Bryan Ayer Court.
But the Eagles scored 15 of their 17 fourth-quarter points from the free throw line, proving that was enough to get past the Lompoc Braves 52-50 on Wednesday night.
Templeton improved to 7-1 overall in Los Padres League games, but it’s the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Eagles won at LHS. Head coach Shawn Koehler breathed a sigh of relief after the back-and-forth contest that saw fouls, free throws and coaching strategies defining this league battle.
“It was a lot of fun. We haven’t won here in four years – so that’s a big win for us,” Koehler said. “That team is so well-coached. She has a really good basketball team. We had to get some transition baskets and we got lucky in the end. We hit some foul shouts finally.”
Vanessa Urciuoli was the last Eagle to score from the white stripe, going one-for-two with 3.5 seconds left. On the previous series, Leila Richardson of Lompoc had a fast break opportunity to place the Braves up for good – but missed her open layup chance. Mya Mendoza grabbed the loose ball and tried to get it inside the basket, but her attempts also misfired. The Braves wound up turning it over in the end with less than four seconds left.
Lompoc (10-8 overall, 5-3 in the LPL) started fast with a 10-4 lead in the first, as four different Braves got early baskets. Templeton, however, went on a late first quarter run to end the period trailing 11-10. The Eagles’ run continued with Urciouli and Julie Aurignac leading the scoring charge – helping lift THS to a 20-5 run to help close the second quarter.
Braves head coach Claudia Terrones then made her adjustments, as the Braves played with relentless aggression on the defensive side and got their transition game going. Mendoza, Ketara Mangino and Alyssa Grossi were largely responsible for generating the Braves’ scoring spark, going on a 17-2 run to lead 33-26.
Terrones, though, pointed out that inexperience played a factor in Thursday’s loss.
“In the third quarter, we dominated. But then in the fourth, it comes down to inexperienced and being in those type of situations,” Terrones said, who added that Lompoc spends time in practice trying to mimic those situations, saying “We try to do the best we can to emulate those types of situations: Being down by one or up by one, what do you do? We did stop the clock by fouling. But little constant turnovers in the end and inexperience hurt us.”
Terrones said after the game that she was content with the energy from her team despite falling late to the league’s second best team.
“I went in and said ‘I’m not mad at the game. I think we were prepared. I thought we executed well in the second half on what we were supposed to do. But we couldn’t finish,” Terrones said.
Koehler said he was pleased with those free baskets – and added his team has spent time practicing those types of shots.
“We’ve been working on that in practice. I told them regarding the foul shouts: You’ll either win games or lose games with them. And tonight it was the difference,” Koehler said.
He concluded that even though his team is off to a hot start in the LPL, escaping Lompoc with a win is a huge confidence booster for his team.
“This is a very good basketball team,” Koehler said of the Braves. “They’re extremely well-coached. We feel lucky to get in here and get a win. In the third quarter, she adjusted and they outscored us. We were reeling there in a little bit but we adjusted in the end.”
Mangino led LHS with 14 points. Mendoza and Grossi each had eight. Kayla Taylor finished with seven points. Danielle Morgan finished with five points including one basket on a fast break layup. Aurignac led THS with 23 points.
Cabrillo 63, Morro Bay 25
Erin Jenkins is now past the 1,500-point total in her career after finishing with 11 points in the rout of the Pirates at MBHS.
Her younger sister Jesse led CHS with 14 points. Amani Childres added 11 points while Valerie Monzon scored nine.
Cabrillo (16-2 overall, 8-0 in the LPL) had 17 team steals, including five from Erin Jenkins.
Lompoc 73, Templeton 45
The Braves improved to 5-3 in the LPL – outscoring the Eagles 19-7 in the final quarter to help seal the Wednesday road rout.
Andrew Villa scored 20 points. Jordan Tyler and Jeffrey Ray scored 12 points apiece.
Cabrillo 73, Morro Bay 37
The unbeaten league run continues for the Conquistadores after dismantling the Pirates in Vandenberg Village.
Austin Olsen finished with 20 points. LeAndrew Knight added 13 while Blake Beecher scored nine.
Cabrillo improved to 11-5 overall and 8-0 in LPL games.
Lompoc 2, Templeton 1
J.D. Montelongo got both goals for the Braves, as Lompoc moved to 8-0 in LPL games by edging the Eagles.
Lompoc 3, Templeton 0
The Braves scored twice in the second period to bounce back from their stunning loss to Orcutt Academy on Monday by beating the Eagles at Huyck Stadium.
Hannah Montalban scored on a free kick, while Bri Gaona and Lissette Calderon scored the next two goals for the Braves, now 7-4-1 overall and 6-2 in the LPL.