You didn't think we would stop with football, did you? We continue highlighting the greatest athletes in the history of the Central Coast with our Player of the Decade series, but this time we focus on girls basketball!
We will have 12 athletes for you to learn more about with profiles for each player available soon and then the voting begins.
Weekly match-ups will eventually lead to a head to head vote between the top player from Santa Barbara County and the top player from San Luis Obispo County.
Share the profiles, and the polls on your social media pages and let's continue the great participation we had for football.
(10) updates to this series since Updated
Cooks blossomed into a standout early in her Righetti High career and turned that into a long and accomplished spell at Washington State, where she played four years of basketball with the Cougars.
She won three CIF-SS titles and one state championship. That's four more titles than the total league games she lost during her career. (Madrigal went 48-0 in league in high school).
You see, Estorga's game was so refined, that even though she played only 14 games her senior year, it was clear she was still the area's top offensive threat. After all, Estorga was voted the All-Area MVP, as chosen by the sports staff at the Times, the year before, as a junior in the 2015-16 season.
Though Dunlap had a reputation as an all-time great on defense, she may have been equally as good on offense. In her three seasons at St. Joseph, Dunlap scored over 1,300 points. During her senior season with the Knights, the 5-foot-8 guard averaged 23.7 points, 3.0 assists, 9.2 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game as the Knights went 19-9.
Swain was dominant at VCA, using her rare combination of size and skill to power the Lions to Coast Valley League titles and a career-defining CIF Southern Section championship in 2014.
Just look at the résumé: She earned All-Los Padres League honors all four years she played on varsity, being named to the Honorable Mention team as a freshman before landing on the First Team in her final three years, including the LPL Defensive MVP award in 2018 when she was a senior.
Herlihy is the third nominee for the Times' Player of the Decade award. She joins former Cabrillo standout Erin Jenkins, a two-time All-Area MVP, and Righetti graduate Molly Schlemer, who earned All-Big West honors with Cal Poly after starring at Righetti.
Schlemer is the second nominee for the Santa Maria Times' Player of the Decade award for girls basketball, joining the first, Erin Jenkins of Cabrillo High. The list of nominees is compiled by the sports staff at the Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News, which is polling current and former coaches and researching individual and team accolades. Players in graduating classes from 2010-2020 are eligible.
Jenkins was named the Times' All-Area MVP in 2017 and 2018, after her junior and senior years at Cabrillo High. Aly Beebe (2010 and '11) and Meghan Gnekow (2001 and '02) are the only other two players to do that this century. Both Beebe and Gnekow went on to sign with Pac-12 schools, Beebe joining Stanford and Gnekow playing for USC.
That winner is Nick Kimball. The former Nipomo High standout has been voted the Player of the Decade.