Four Mountain League girls basketball teams will play for CIF Central Section championships Thursday.
Righetti, Nipomo, St. Joseph and Orcutt Academy are all one win away from claiming their first Central Section championships.
Here are the latest details:
No. 4 Bakersfield (8-0) at No. 2 Righetti (13-2)
- Thursday, 1 p.m. at Pioneer Valley High School
The Warriors will play an afternoon game against the Lady Drillers with hopes that they'll then attend their graduation ceremony as CIF champions.
The game will be played at Pioneer Valley and five Righetti seniors will then participate in graduation ceremonies Thursday night at 7.
The Righetti seniors are Malia Cabigon, Paityn Persson, Abigail Salazar, Alex Paquet and Nathalie Deras.
Righetti demolished Hanford 77-50 in the semifinals on Tuesday at home.
Bakersfield upset top-seeded Clovis Buchanan 69-56 on the road Tuesday in the semifinals. The Drillers only played six regular-season games due to the pandemic. Bakersfield beat Arroyo Grande for the Division 1 title last year after Arroyo Grande edged Righetti in the semifinals a year ago.
Righetti coach Desiree Hitch said only six guests per player will be allowed to attend the game at Pioneer Valley's gym.
Anaya Sanders, a 5-foot-10 senior, leads Bakersfield in scoring at 10.1 points per game. She adds 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Kayla Wandick, a 5-foot-5 junior, averages 10.1 points and 4.9 assists, adding 4.1 steals per game.
Faith Curry, a 6-foot freshman, adds 6.5 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Lady Drillers. The team averages about 23 steals per game. Alexis Killebrew, a 5-foot-9 junior, is averaging 9.3 points and 2.6 steals per game. Sophomore Radisson Banks adds 8.9 points and 5.5 assists per game.
Cabigon, a 6-foot senior, is Righetti's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Paquet is averaging 10.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
Persson, a 5-foot-10 senior, adds 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and nearly two steals a game. Junior Madisyn Cutliff provides play on the wing and in the post. Cutliff is averaging 9.0 rebounds and 9.7 points per game.
Salazar is an experienced point guard who can handle the ball against tight defense. Salazar adds 6.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Martha Durazo is a key freshman. She is averaging 5.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
No. 5 Nipomo (8-7) at No. 3 Paso Robles (13-2)
- Thursday, 6 p.m. at Paso Robles High School
The Titans have made quite a run in the D2 playoffs, upsetting No. 4 Porterville Monache 57-27 in the first round before knocking off top seed Bakersfield Ridgeview 50-48 in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Now the Titans will play Paso Robles, the Ocean League champ, with a CIF title on the line.
Kacie Slover has led the Titans in scoring just about every game this season. She scored 20 points in the win over Ridgeview after scoring 21 of the Titans' 57 points in the win over Monache.
As the fifth seed, Nipomo has played both those playoff games on the road.
Slover is averaging 16.3 points per game, adding 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Senior Kat Anderson adds 7.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Sophomore Honnalee Kennedy adds 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Kayden Sanders scored nine points in the win over Ridgeview and Leah Miller added seven.
Xena Stanko leads Paso Robles in scoring with 11 points per game. Janiel Stanko averages 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. She adds 2.6 steals per game. Xena Stanko leads the Bearcats with 3.8 steals per game. Meadow Ingle (9.4 ppg), Madison Hollbrook (8.3) and Hailie Abel (7.9) provide some scoring punch for the Bearcats. The top five scorers on the Bearcats are all seniors.
The teams have one common opponent. The Titans beat Santa Ynez 73-48 in a non-league game and the Bearcats beat Santa Ynez 42-17 in another non-league game.
The game at Paso Robles is not open to the general public.
No. 2 St. Joseph (18-6) at No. 1 Fresno Roosevelt (18-1)
- Thursday, 6 p.m. at Roosevelt High School
No surprises in Division 3 as the top seeds have made their way to the title game with little drama.
The Knights rely on a pair of freshmen and three sophomores for much of their production.
Freshman wing Avary Cain has averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.9 steals per game. Kai Oani, a point guard, adds 13.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
Candace Kpetikou and Gifti Tefera, both sophomores, are the Knights' leaders in the frontcourt. Kpetikou, at 6-foot-3, averages 12.0 points and 14.6 rebounds per game. She also adds 2.5 blocks.
Tefera, at 5-foot-10, averages 8.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Maggie Perez has seen her playing time and production go up as the season has moved along. Perez, another sophomore, averages 5.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Roosevelt senior Danyell Booker leads the team with 17.2 points per game. She also adds 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game. Jeniece Harmon, a 5-foot-5 senior, adds 13.1 points, 2.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game. The Rough Riders average 16.7 steals per game, according to their MaxPreps page.
No. 2 Bakersfield Christian (15-5) at No. 1 Orcutt Academy (9-5)
- Thursday, 6 p.m. at Lakeview Junior High
The Spartans and Eagles have both played to their seeds and now the Spartans get to host a CIF title game at their home gym.
Orcutt Academy uses its high-pressure defense to set the tone. In the Spartans' semifinal romp of Kerman Tuesday, they played a loose, confident brand of basketball in a 69-45 win over the Lions.
The Spartans average about 16 steals per game and are led by a versatile group of players.
Giselle Calderon, a junior point guard, leads the team with 14.1 points per game. She adds 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game.
Erynn Padhall is one of the team's best shooters. She's averaging 11.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
Chyanna Medina-Tell, a 5-foot-6 junior, adds 8.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2. 7 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Devyn Kendrick is a 5-foot-8 sophomore who leads the team with 3.6 steals per game. She adds 7.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Sophomore Diaminsol Malicdem adds 5.6 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Sophomore Khaelli Robertson leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 per game. She adds 5.2 points, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
The Eagles can score. Dami Sule leads the team with 20.6 points per game. She also averages 14.4 rebounds per game. Jordyn Toler, a sophomore, adds 15.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Addie Schaefer averages 10.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
Orcutt Academy athletic director Chad McKenzie said the school is still following "strict capacity guidelines" for Thursday's game. A maximum of three guests per player, coach and official will be allowed to attend the game at Lakeview.
Photos: St. Joseph, Righetti and Orcutt Academy advance to title games
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VOTE: Athlete of the Week nominees showed out in the playoffs
Haley Larsh, Lompoc softballUpdated
Larsh went 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs in the win over Faith Baptist on Saturday.
On Thursday, Larsh went 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs with two homers in the 10-2 win over St. Genevieve.
Erynn Padhal, Orcutt Academy basketballUpdated
Padhal scored 15 of her game high 20 points before halftime in the win over West Bakersfield in the quarterfinals last week.
Malia Cabigon, Righetti basketballUpdated
Cabigon finished with 21 points in the 81-34 CIF Central Section playoff win over Bakersfield Stockdale last Thursday.
Gifti Tefera, St. Joseph basketballUpdated
Tefera, a sophomore, had 10 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 to help St. Joseph fend off Lemoore in the quarterfinals as the Knights won 79-63.
Bella Aldridge, St. Joseph golfUpdated
Aldridge shot 85 over 18 holes at the Lemoore Golf Course to help St. Joseph win the CIF Central Section Division 2 title.
Lizbeth Velasquez, Santa Maria soccerUpdated
Velasquez has been one of the Saints' top defenders during their playoff run and helped the team keep a clean sheet in their shootout loss to St. Bonaventure in the semifinals of the SoCal Regional playoffs. The Saints shut out the Seraphs in that game and in the 3-0 win over Gardena last week.
VOTE FOR FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK (VOTE ON ALL THREE SITES)Updated
Daren Sosa, Nipomo basketballUpdated
Sosa scored 18 points and hit four 3-pointers in the Titans' 72-49 win over Garces in the playoffs.
Shane Tryon, Nipomo golfUpdated
Tryon shot a 79 at the Lemoore Golf Course to help Nipomo win the CIF Central Section Division 3 title.
Caleb Rodriguez, St. Joseph golfUpdated
Rodriguez scored a 79 to help St. Joseph finish as runner-up at the CIF Central Section Division 2 finals in Lemoore.
Sam Bazunga, St. Joseph basketballUpdated
Bazunga had 26 points and 11 rebounds in the Knights' wild 87-83 win over Clovis West in the semifinals of the CIF Central Section Open Division playoffs.
He also had the game-sealing steal and dunk. The Knights play at Fresno San Joaquin Memorial on Friday.
Sheldon Canley Jr., Lompoc trackUpdated
Canley has been nominated almost every week, but he's been too good in football and now track not to be nominated again.
He set another PR in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.71, qualifying second in the CIF-SS D3 finals. He also helped the Braves set a PR in the 4x100 relay and qualify third.