Before I unveil this week’s gold mines, I’ll start this column by saying four words: What a Super Bowl!

Truthfully, I wasn’t really into this Super Bowl matchup before the game because I had a gut feeling we would see a result we’ve seen too many times – New England coming out on top. But, I can summarize this Super Bowl like this: It’s like that movie that comes out in theaters that you don’t think looks appealing. But instead, you give it a chance and walk away realizing how great it was. That was Super Bowl LII.

The Philadelphia Eagles, however, didn’t have a single player earn any Zo’s Gold Mines recognition…because this is for the local athletes in our area. Especially the ones who helped lift their teams to an unprecedented 21-game winning streak or who helped pull the stunner against a ranked opponent on the college basketball floor.

Here are this week’s gold mines:

Zane Sheckherd, Righetti girls basketball: Not only did she average 16 points per game last week en route to her Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table recognition on Monday, but Sheckherd announced that she’ll be attending and playing for Sonoma State once her illustrious basketball career ends. Oh, she’s helped guide RHS through the aforementioned 21-game winning streak.

Blake Beecher and Ryan Aguilar, Cabrillo boys basketball: Both have emerged as late double-double contributors for the now seven-time LPL champs. Aguilar had his first double-double game with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the Friday victory over Nipomo that secured CHS’s seventh consecutive title.

Jeffrey Ray, Lompoc boys basketball: Ray, who endured an ankle injury during the month of January, led LHS with 14 points in the rout of Orcutt Academy – keeping the Braves in third place of the LPL standings.

Kayla Taylor and Mya Mendoza, Lompoc girls basketball: Both Brave players saw the number eight twice on the stat sheet in the win over Orcutt Academy on Friday: Eight points and eight rebounds for Taylor and eight points and eight steals for Mendoza.

Alyssa Stewart, Cabrillo girls basketball: The coachable Stewart helped ignite CHS’s 3-point game late and finished with 12 points in the rout of Nipomo on Friday, sealing victory No. 100 for her head coach Jared McCune.

Blake Truhitte, Santa Maria boys basketball: Truhitte went off for 24 first half points before finishing with 29 in the Thursday LPL home win over Morro Bay on senior night. The All-Area Most Valuable Player on the football field has now started to hear from some Junior College football programs in California in recent weeks.

Martin Melero, Lompoc boys soccer: Melero kicked the last two goals to lift the Braves past Orcutt Academy – and kept Lompoc in the race for the outright LPL title.

Hannah Montalban, Lompoc girls soccer: Montelban scored twice to help seal the win – and revenge – of Orcutt Academy on Friday, which previously stunned the Braves in January.

Spirit Ricks, Hancock men’s basketball: With top 20 opponent Ventura College visiting during the weekend, Ricks recorded the double-double by dropping 24 points and collecting 11 rebounds in the overtime stunner of the Pirates.

Zach Torra, Hancock baseball: On Jan. 28, Torra struck out 10 batters and surrendered three hits and one run in the Bulldogs’ 6-1 victory over Cabrillo College. 

Lorenzo J. Reyna covers sports, specifically Lompoc, for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at lreyna@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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Sports Reporter