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No, Righetti senior shooting guard Zane Sheckherd acknowledged, she didn't mean for her two crucial 3-point shots from wayyyyy beyond the arc in the fourth quarter to hit the backboard.

Hit the backboard they did, and both of them banked in. Sheckherd's two ultra long 3s helped the second overall seed finally pull away from Lompoc and win by an extremely misleading 64-43 count in the first round of the CIF Southen Section Division 2A Playoffs at Warrior Gym Thursday night.

"I was like,'just shoot it,' and they went in!," Sheckherd exclaimed afterward.

Righetti (24-1) won its 24th straight. The PAC 8 League champion will host Duarte at 7 p.m. Saturday night in the second round. Duarte defeated Newhall Hart 68-58 Thursday night.

Lompoc, the third-place team from the Los Padres League, finished 15-10. 

The Braves didn't exactly go away quietly after trailing 32-20 at halftime. In fact, they were within 40-34 when the fourth quarter started, and Danielle Morgan, coach Claudia Terrones' daughter, pulled the visitors within 42-38 when she made a layup with 6:50 left.

However, "When Zane hit those back-to-back-to-back 3's (Sheckherd nailed one to make it 45-38), we didn't have an answer," said Terrones.

"I told Desiree (Righetti coach Hitch) that we would give them the best game we could, and I thought we gave them the best game we could We were right there for three quarters. The final score was misleading."

Sheckherd finished with 20 points. She was the only Warrior in double figures, but nine of them scored.

Alijah Paquet gave a floundering Righetti offense a lift when she drove down the left baseline and scored to make it 40-32 with 18.3 seconds left in the third quarter for Righetti's first points in nearly three minutes. She finished with eight points.

Malia Cabigon gave Righetti some crucial inside scoring. She scored eight points, all in the second half.

Righetti's offense has been its brightest spot most of the year, but defense carried the night most of the way for the Warriors Thursday evening.

"We didn't have a good shooting night," said Hitch.

"We mixed up our defenses. We wanted to focus on Danielle, and I think the girls did a good job."

Still, Morgan scored 16 points. Mya Mendoza added 10. Other than that, the Braves couldn't score consistently enough though Isabella Robles helped them stay close for a time in the second half with two baskets in the lane.

Righetti prevailed against a Lompoc team that kept pounding at the Warriors.

"This was the most physical game I've been in this year by far," said Sheckherd. "Lompoc is very physical. They really came at us."

There was indeed a lot of hard contact. Righetti center Ashley Reynoso, though she didn't draw a foul, went down hard in the second half and was shaken up. She was able to return.

Several minutes after Reynoso came back in, she and Robles were hit with a double technical foul after they tussled for the ball on a rebound.

Righetti was in the bonus before the first quarter ended, got to the bonus again in the second half and, after a two-for-six start from the line, eventually capitalized. The Warriors finished 18-for-25 on foul shots to the Braves' four-for-10.

Cate 42, Valley Christian Academy 27

The Lions (9-10) had trouble scoring against the Carpinteria-based Rams (9-7), and Cate took a win at VCA in the first round of Division 5A.

Shy Kendrick put in 19 points for VCA. She also pulled down nine rebounds, blocked four shots and made four steals. 

Foothill Tech 63, Nipomo 35

The Titans were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs Thursday on the road in Ventura.

Abbey Gutierrez led Nipomo with 10 points, Emma Litvinchuk added nine points and Kat Anderson had five.

The Titans end their season with a 13-14 record.

"We had a great season with a really young team, with just one senior," Nipomo coach Dave Mendez said. "All we can do is get better and grow. The girls were really upbeat, but bummed a little right after the game. But they're excited on what’s ahead of them and a little anxious now. They're asking when the season is going to start. The whole team is going to be coming back and it'll be an exciting team next year."


Sports Reporter