Monday’s Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table winners were top scorers from two separate basketball tournaments last week.
Thomas Segel from Santa Maria High took the Male Athlete of the Week honor at Giavanni’s Pizzeria in Orcutt. The senior guard averaged 19.5 points per game and 4 three-pointers during Morro Bay’s Holiday Invitational Tournament (HIT). Segel has had to shoulder the scoring and leadership role for a much younger Saints boys basketball team this season.
“My role has changed. Our team was senior dominated and I was a role player. But now I have larger role,” Segel said. “I’m one of three seniors who has been here for awhile and I’m showing the younger guys the ropes now.”
The Female Athlete of the Week is a multiple-time winner of the Round Table: Danielle Morgan. This time, though, Morgan won this week’s award as a member of Hancock College women’s basketball after averaging 18 points and nine rebounds during the Cuesta Tournament; where the Bulldogs won the consolation bracket of the tournament and improved to 4-2 overall.
Morgan won the top female honor last year after topping 1,000 career points with the Lompoc Braves. She’s now adjusting to the speed of the college game.
“Now that I’m in college, I’m playing with a lot of girls who are just as talented as you are, just as aggressive plus hard-working. It brings out the best out of you,” Morgan said. “I’m really glad that I’m playing with a team that’s as sealed as the one we have.”
Other highlights from the luncheon:
Athletic director Jeff Monteiro first shared updates on the girls soccer and boys basketball team before turning the microphone over to his athletes on both sides.
Janessa Estrada, Alivia Valdez and Naomi Lopez represented the Panther girls soccer team. Elijah Bloodworth, Marc Cabeliza and Daniel Codamos spoke for the Panther boys basketball team.
Chad McKenzie did the highlighting duties for two of the Spartan winter sports teams: Girls soccer and boys basketball.
The A.D McKenzie helped introduce Aidan Carroll and Connor Adams from Spartans basketball. Marianna Chavez and Hope Smith were there representing the current unbeaten Spartans (5-0-2 overall).
Claudia Terrones began by sharing updates on Braves girls water polo, as athletes Alyssa Nava and Kaiana Martinson were in attendance.
Dick Barrett then took control of the speaking duties for LHS athletics from there – both praising area athletic directors for their work during one of the tougher times of the school year, the winter sports season, and introducing two athletes from boys basketball Ryan Morgan and Andrew Villa.
Girls soccer players Selena Garcia and Katie Guzman were additionally at the LHS table.
Valley Christian Academy
Chris Maples kept the theme at boys basketball – currently 2-2 overall on the season.
Maples brought out two of his juniors Jared Moore and Jamin Magness.
Michelle Kee took the stage first to speak about the Pirates’ girls water polo team.
Kee explained the struggles the team has had with going with just a varsity team this winter plus dealing with early cancellations due to rainouts. But, shared how her team remains optimistic about the rest of the season. Annie Ackert and Kylie Luke were her athletes in attendance.
From there, girls soccer coach Rob Cantrell got to the stage to give details on a tough preseason slate that awaits the newest Channel League member – including a future road tournament contest this month against San Clemente, a CIF Southern Section Division I team that went 16-4-4 last season.
Captains Monica Pizano and Katelyn Rennie were introduced by Cantrell. Boys basketball players Merek Mercado and Ryan Rennick concluded things for Santa Ynez by dishing out updates on their season while playing for new head coach Ray Vazquez.
Girls soccer head coach Al Garcia raved about the play of his team so far in the winter season; standing a 2-1 overall with a mix of senior and rising underclassmen talent.
Three of his senior leaders were on hand: Corby Burress, Karina “K.P” Plata and Braidyn Cossa.
Athletic director Tom Mott came next to discuss the Knights’ boys basketball season, who got two wins over two Bay Area opponents to start the year: San Francisco O’Connell and San Mateo. Kainoa Keuma and Steven Vasquez stood up for Knights boys basketball.
Boys basketball head coach Dave Yamate and three of his older players helped fill the designated Saints’ table at Giavanni’s.
Yamate introduced his seniors Segel, Genaro Morales and Sylvester Espinoza. Athletic director Brian Wallace was also in attendance.
Athletic director Dan Troup had a girls soccer and boys basketball contingent at the luncheon.
The girls soccer team added a game against Pioneer Valley at the last minute on Dec. 1 – edging the Panthers 1-0. Two of the players who played a key role in that win were at the luncheon: Ally Dickson and Antoinette Terrones.
On the boys basketball side, Troup spoke about how the Conquistadores are currently 4-6 overall after taking part in two Ventura County tournaments to start the year: The Coach Classic at Santa Clara High and the 76th Annual Nordhoff Invitational.
The CHS players on hand were senior Eddy Little and sophomore Hayden Jory.
Cary Nerelli wrapped up the Round Table by not only introducing one of his prized freshman recruits Morgan, but talking about the fight his team showed at the Cuesta Tournament – which ended with AHC winning the consolation trophy after opening the tournament with a last-second loss to West L.A.
Athletic director Kim Ensing also sat in on the weekly luncheon.
Righetti was the only school not present at the Round Table.