Basketball season came to an end this weekend for us here – but what a run for Hancock men’s basketball and Cabrillo girls basketball.
The Bulldogs became one of the last eight teams left in the state before last Friday. Their season ended against an athletic and tall City College of San Francisco team. Cabrillo saw its historic CIF girls basketball state playoff run end in overtime on Saturday, but will soon see a new banner inside the gym commemorating the Conquistadores’ outstanding run.
And both teams headline this week’s Zo’s Gold Mines.
Here’s the part I admire the most about both basketball teams, especially since I’ve been labeled the designated recruiting guru at the Santa Maria Times’ sports desk: These teams were led by players who aren’t even considered household names in the recruiting spectrum.
Hancock’s best players aren’t getting courted by the No. 1 seeds in this week’s NCAA March Madness tournament, or anyone else who’s highly seeded in that tourney. The Bulldogs’ top scorer and facilitator Shane Carney – who is also a walking miracle after surviving a car accident in 2016 and then bypass surgery following that ordeal – is getting looks from NCAA Division II programs.
Cabrillo’s top scorer, defender and floor leader Erin Jenkins was also courted by NCAA Division II programs and will head to Northwest Nazarene University next basketball season. I also have to give praise to the coach who recruited her Elpidia Allen, who would always ask me how she and the Conqs were doing throughout the year (Allen is a great Twitter follow, by the way, as she’ll make you laugh and think on many occasions).
Both teams now have an even higher ceiling for next season. But, local turnout and recruiting for AHC should rise after the success of this season. I’m sure more young girls giving basketball a try in the North Lompoc Valley have become more intrigued about playing Conqs basketball in the future. Oh, Cabrillo’s future is still bright with Jesse Jenkins and Alexa McCune now leading the way.
Now, on to the rest of this week’s gold mines:
Lompoc High track and field: Huge day up in Atascadero for the Braves – as Shemar Savage, Juan DeLuna, Kylie Ynez and Casidy Cunningham earned first place marks. Same with the Brave boys’ 4X100 relay team.
Sarah Perkins, Santa Ynez track and field: The Female Athlete of the Week winner at the Round Table had a strong outing in the shot put and discus throws, winning both events in Atascadero. She is also proudly wearing UCSD colors – as she plans to sign a National Letter of Intent with the University of California San Diego soon.
Joseph Domingues, St. Joseph track and field: Already one of the most celebrated and decorated long distance runners of all-time at SJHS. Domingues had a dominant day in the Moorpark Tri-County Invitational by winning and breaking records in the 800 and 1600 meter races.
Daniel Curiel, Hancock baseball: Curiel blasted two home runs in the Friday win over Oxnard.
Skylar Johnson, St. Joseph softball: Facing a perennial playoff contender in Lompoc at LHS, the pitcher limited the Braves on the hitting and scoring end – helping her team prevail 3-2 on Thursday.
Denise Dominguez, Righetti girls swimming: Dominguez won the 50 meter freestyle at the Thursday duel against Arroyo Grande with a personal best of 25.48 – which was the only consideration time in an open event for the CIF Southern Section Division 2 preliminaries.
Cabrillo baseball: It was a strong week for CHS – beating defending CIF-SS champion Santa Maria 9-7 in nine innings and then following that up with a 24-4 rout of Orcutt Academy last week. Oh, former CHS baseball great Danny Duffy offered his support to CHS girls basketball via his Twitter feed.