Girls basketball: Travis Jenkins takes over at Cabrillo as Conqs return six seniors

Girls basketball: Travis Jenkins takes over at Cabrillo as Conqs return six seniors

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The head coach may be brand new for Cabrillo girls basketball this winter, but Travis Jenkins is no stranger to witnessing past success with the Conquistadores.

That CHS girls basketball team that closed out its tenure in the Los Padres League with 31 straight league wins under previous head coach Jared McCune? Jenkins was on the staff.

The Conquistador teams that won between 19 to 27 games in each of the last four seasons? Jenkins helped coach those teams.

And the CHS girls basketball team that made school history during the program’s first CIF state playoff appearance two seasons ago? Jenkins was a part of that run too.

This won’t be Jenkins’ first rodeo as the coaching leader of a team.

All-Area: Jared McCune balances his profession with coaching to lead CIF and state run

“I was a head coach over in Idaho. Then we moved here, I was the head coach of the junior varsity team for a year before I started working with Jared McCune the last six years,” Jenkins said.

Now, Jenkins is aiming to not only reignite the success inside the CHS gym but improve from last season’s 9-18 showing in year one of being a Channel League member.

“For the last six years, we’ve had a lot of success. Jared has done a great job and hopefully we can carry on with what we’ve established there,” Jenkins said.

McCune is stepping away to watch his youngest son play on the JV team at Cbarillo, Jenkins said, adding “He was very supportive of his girls and he has a son who is a sophomore who he hasn’t seen play very much. He wanted to support him and give him the time he gave to his girls.”

Cabrillo was defensive oriented and fundamentally sound on the floor during the McCune era. Jenkins wants to continue that but is aiming to get CHS to play at a faster pace this season.

“About 90% of what we’re doing is pretty new,” Jenkins said. “Last few years we’ve had girls who can run a system, read an offense and we’re really inexperienced here. So, we’re putting in a new system where it takes a lot of the decisions (on offense) out. Hopefully, we can be in a position to score rather than catching and make a decision on where to go. We’re making it a little easier for them.”

Jenkins has a six-person senior class to work with in his first go-round as head coach.

Forward Morgan McIntyre is back for her senior season. So is Thea Reagan. Jenkins’ daughter Jesse also helps comprise the six-senior lineup for Cabrillo.

Regarding McIntyre and Jenkins, the head coach said: “They’ve seen it all, they’ve battled with the best, they played together for a lot of years. Their work ethic and their example in practice shows the other girls what they need to do.”

For Jesse Jenkins, there’s new energy with her dad running practices now.

“I’m super excited for him to be the head coach. Coach McCune was great. Things will be similar but a little bit different,” Jesse Jenkins said. “We still went at a quick pace, but with coach Jenkins, we want to go with more of a faster-paced tempo.”

McIntyre is one of the taller Conqs at 5-foot-11. Her father is also an assistant on this year’s varsity team after coaching the JV girls for the past few years. McIntyre is also no stranger to Jenkins and his coaching style.

“He’s coached me since I’ve been on varsity in my freshman year,” McIntyre said. “I’m already used to him. He’s come up with some new plays and we’re kind of getting into the rhythm of the whole thing. We’re playing a really fast-paced game. Our teams are already known for its speed because we’re not the tallest team but we’re speed orientated.”

Cabrillo was 2-3 heading into the Tuesday's away game at Mission Prep.

During the Bryan Ayer Tournament at Lompoc High last week, the Conqs went 1-2, losing to Piedmont 43-26 and Orcutt Academy 37-36 before beating Pioneer Valley 46-32. 

Cabrillo opened the year with a 55-53 loss to Nipomo, which is 10-0, before bouncing back with their 54-34 victory over Pioneer Valley on Tuesday night.

Cabrillo is scheduled to play at San Luis Obispo on Dec. 12 before hosting Sanger at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. 

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