Fresh off the football field with Lompoc High, new Braves boys basketball head coach and football assistant Paul Terrones saw his team get off to a tough start in his head coaching debut.

Arroyo Grande knocked down 10 3-pointers to roll past the Braves, beating Lompoc 68-29 on Tuesday night on the Bryan Ayer Court inside Paisola Pavilion. 

Terrones – a former Braves quarterback and ex-girls basketball assistant – went with an up-tempo offense as the first game philosophy and a feisty defense that forced some bad shot selections for the Eagles. However, Terrones said that the Braves had their most struggles against containing the second-chance points.

“I thought our defensive effort was great, but it’s just that we gave them too many second-chance opportunities,” Terrones said.

Terrones rotated 11 guys on the night. Two of his players who saw action on the evening were Xavier Nix and Ruben Cortez – both of whom just recently wrapped up their senior football seasons last Friday.

The Braves (0-1) got on the board at the 6:30 mark in the first quarter, which cut the Eagle lead to 10-2. Returning sophomore Ryan Morgan – who also finished out the football season last Friday – drained the first 3-pointer of the year for LHS at the 3:35 mark, cutting the AG lead to 14-5. Lompoc trailed 16-7 at the end of the first quarter.

However, the Eagles blew the game open in the second quarter by dialing up from long distance – knocking down multiple 3s to inflate the lead to 42-13 at halftime.

Gage Gomez was one of the hot hands on the AG side – nailing four 3-pointers and finishing with a team-high of 14 points. Robert Hutchens had the second most 3-pointers made on the night with three, giving him nine points for the Eagles. Charley Bayer finished with 12 points while Jacob Soriano added 10 for Arroyo Grande.

Eagles veteran head coach Ryan Glanville insisted that the goal wasn’t focusing on the 3-ball, but more so the schemes away from the ball.

“It’s really early in the season. We’re trying to focus on the defensive end,” said Glanville, who added that he believes the Braves do have a bright future under the new regime, saying “I think they are missing some guys. I think that will take them to another level (when they return). They’ve got some good pieces. They’re big and strong and I think they’ll be really tough down the road.”

Terrones concluded that he believes this team will soon have a growth spurt once every player gets acclimated to the court.

“Looking at the way we played tonight, we’ve grown so much. The scoreboard doesn’t show that. We were missing our basketball legs, so a lot of our shots weren’t falling.

“I’m real thankful those football guys made an effort tonight,” Terrones continued. “I didn’t expect them to. I was expecting them to rest up, but they felt like they needed to be there for their team. I commend them for that. I’m proud of them for stepping up and sacrificing for their team. We’re going to be fine once we get everyone on the same page.”

Lompoc travels to Righetti this Saturday at 6 p.m. 

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Sports Reporter