On day three of the Moriarty Enterprises Holiday Classic at Morro Bay High, the basketball tournament’s elite have revealed themselves.
To no one’s surprise, the two girls basketball teams left standing are the Eagles of Arroyo Grande and the St. Joseph Knights.
With a 54-18 victory over Cabrillo, AG sets up a de facto championship match with St. Joseph this afternoon.
“They’re an outstanding team,” Arroyo Grande coach Dwight MacDonald said of the Knights. “I expect it to be an exciting game.”
Friday’s match-up with Cabrillo paved the way for the two teams, both 3-0 in the tournament, to meet today.
Led by Rachel Ventura’s 14 points, every Eagle who was suited up to play scored in the match, as Cabrillo was clearly overmatched from the game’s tip-off.
“We were clearly outclassed today,” Cabrillo head coach Mark Tasch said. “But, interestingly enough, I was more pleased with what I saw today that yesterday — people laying bodies on people on the boards.
“This is a positive step forward for us and I saw a lot of positive things like boxing out.”
The Conqs spread the ball for the majority of the match, as no single player had the majority of the points for the team.
Senior guard Paige Hurlbut and sophomore Steffie Miyamoto both had four points to lead the Conqs in scoring. Freshman Tati Dunlap added three points to the Conqs’ cause.
With the game already out of reach in the waning seconds, Cabrillo freshman Cayden Edman sank a mid range jumper just as time expired, amid the cheers of the Conq bench.
With the interior presence of Rachel Ventura in the paint, the Conqs found it hard to match up with the height and experience of the senior forward.
The Eagles went up big early, jumping out to a 15-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
By swinging the ball around the three-point arc, crisp passes allowed the team to find open players who consistently knocked down medium-ranged jumper.
“We played a solid game today,” MacDonald said, adding, “I have complete confidence in the girls we put out on the floor.
“We moved the ball extremely well today and the girls did everything that we asked, including sophomore Lindsey Wolf who pitched in seven and Maddie Carr who had eight.”
In the other games at the Holiday Classic, Nipomo (2-1) defeated Mission Prep (1-2) 37-30, St. Joe (3-0) topped Frontier 76-49, Paso Robles beat Elk Grove 38-30, and Santa Maria fell to Bakersfield 55-24. The Conquistadores finish out their tournament run today at 10:30 a.m. at San Luis Obispo High, where they face co-host San Luis Obispo.