Righetti girls basketball coach Desiree Hitch said Saturday that her team got what it wanted out of the tournament it co-hosted.
Besides finally getting a lot of games in, "I thought the girls got a little better with every game," Hitch said after her team defeated smaller and over-matched Nipomo 67-27. Righetti beat Hanford Sierra Pacific 60-54 earlier in the day.
Righetti, which entered the St. Joseph/Righetti Holiday Tournament that Hitch and St. Joseph girls basketball coach Ed Torres put together last week 1-1, is 5-1 after winning all four of its games in the round robin tournament.
Part of the three-day tourney took place at Righetti, and part of the tournament took place at St. Joseph.
Nipomo was 3-5 before it played two tournament games Saturday. The Titans' result against Arroyo Grande was not known at press time.
The Warriors led the Titans from the time Kendall Bagby made a free throw in the first minute for the first point of the game.
Zane Sheckherd led balanced Righetti scoring with 15 points, and Ashley Reynoso and Dominique Garcia both had 12.
All of Garcia's points came on 3-point baskets. Madelyn Witcher led Nipomo with 12 points.
Ten Righetti players scored, and most of the fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
Things were much harder for the Warriors against Sierra Pacific (8-2) in a high intensity match-up between two teams that made it into the state tournament last year (The Warriors play in the CIF's Southern Section. The Golden Bears play in the Central Section).
"I wanted our team to have a game like that," said Hitch. "We were going to get games like that in the Gold Coast Tournament. We were going to play in the highest division."
The Warriors were to play their first four games in the Gold Tournament, which was scheduled to be played at Carpinteria High School, but the Thomas fire wiped out the entire tournament schedule.
The fire did the same thing to the Tournament of Champions, which was scheduled for Santa Barbara High and that Righetti and St. Joseph had been set to compete in. Hitch and Torres made some phone calls last week and put the St. Joseph/Righetti tourney together.
Nipomo point guard Kat Anderson was able to get past the Righetti press for most of the first quarter, but the Titans' turnovers against the Warriors' pressure mounted as the game went on.
Garcia was the only Righetti player to make any '3's in the first half, but she made three of them then and Righetti led 28-11 at halftime.
The Warriors' three-point shooters warmed up in Righetti's 24-point third quarter. Alijah Paquet made a '3', then Sheckherd sank two and Garcia made one.
Nipomo didn't score a basket until Witcher made a layup at the 7:24 mark of the second quarter. The Titans missed several rushed layups against the Warriors' harassing defense.
Righetti took big advantage of its height advantage. The Warriors had 21 second-chance points. The Titans had two.
Abbey Gutierrez scored six of her eight points for Nipomo in the second half.
Righetti 60, Sierra Pacific 54
The Warriors kept enough of a 32-18 halftime lead to beat the Golden Bears.
Mercedes Arredondo helped the Warriors stave off the Golden Bears by scoring 14 of her game high 21 points in the second half.
Righetti made it to the semifinals of the Division 3 Southern California Regional last year. Sierra Pacific made it to the Division 4 Southern California Regional final.
After their team struggled on offense in the first half, Sierra Pacific guards Celeste Lewis and Janae Tolbert kept breaking the Righetti press in the second.
Sierra Pacific's zone defense effectively walled off the lane for much of the second half, and the Warriors couldn't make much from outside.
What the Warriors did do was get to the foul line a lot. The Warriors made 15 of their 24 foul shots in the second half. The Golden Bears were six-for-eight from the line after the break.
"I told the girls that the outside shots weren't falling, and we needed to get to the rim," said Righetti coach Desiree Hitch.
"I was happy with the way we were able to draw fouls. Three of their girls fouled out (none of Righetti's players did). We shot 36 free throws," in the game.
The Warriors did make two timely 3-point shots in the fourth quarter. Alijah Paquet made one at the 6:25 mark to put Righetti ahead 49-40. Dominique Garcia made another to make it 54-46 at the 4:01 mark.
The Golden Bears kept coming at the Warriors in the second half, but they couldn't get any closer than four points.
Zane Sheckherd scored 14 of her 17 points for Righetti in the first half. Lewis led Sierra Pacific's scoring with 18 points for the game. Haley Bettencourt added 13 points for the Golden Bears.
Lompoc 57, Hanford 48
Danielle Morgan had a big tournament for Lompoc, and she had a huge game Saturday as the Braves (4-3) beat the Bullpups (6-8) in a tournament game at Righetti.
Morgan tossed in 26 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked two shots. Bella Robles had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Braves, and Kayla Taylor added seven points and 15 rebounds.
Sapphire Jones scored 17 points for Hanford, and Kate McClard added 12.
For the tournament, Morgan amassed 58 points, 32 rebounds and three blocked shots. Lompoc went 2-1 in the tourney.