In the closing minutes of the Cabrillo/Nipomo girls basketball game, Cabrillo head coach Mark Tasch was yelling, “Anybody but her! Anybody but her!” from his side of the gymnasium.
With the Lady Conquistadores trailing late, Tasch meant foul anyone but Nipomo forward Tessa Underwood who had been punishing the team in the paint and at the free throw line throughout the game.
By the end of the Titans’ 51-35 win on day two of the Moriarty Enterprises Holiday Classic at San Luis Obispo High School, Tasch and the Conqs had had enough of Underwood, whose season high 25 points and 15 rebounds paced her team to victory.
“She must have had 800 offensive rebounds,” Tasch said facetiously. “We knew coming in that Nipomo was very aggressive off the offensive boards and we did very little of anything about her (Underwood). It was a wonderful game for her.”
Most of Underwood’s points, to the dismay of Tasch, came from the offensive boards and effective low-post moves. She was also 7-for-8 from the line.
“Underwood is our scoring leader and she had a great game,” Nipomo head coach P.J. Deichler said. “I think that aggressiveness and offensive rebounds and really going after the ball are some of our strengths and it showed tonight.”
Early in the game both teams struggled offensively, as the Cabrillo defensive press forced Nipomo into making tough passes that were either intercepted or trickled out of bounds. While the defense was forcing turnovers, the Conqs returned the favor on offense, often giving the ball right back to the Titans.
“We caused a lot of turnovers, but we did nothing with them,” Tasch said. “In the first five minutes of the game we forced enough turnovers to be completely gone.”
The Titans’ defense limited the Conqs to just four field goals in the first half, but the Conqs were 10-for-11 from the free throw line through the first two quarters.
The Conqs were led by freshman Tani Dunlap’s 17 points and Kiley Aldridge’s six, as Cabrillo drops to 0-2 in the tournament where they will face Arroyo Grande tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Morro Bay High School.
The Titans (1-1 in the tournament) bounced back after dropping a game last week to the Conqs. Cami Castillo added 11 points and Missi Ramsey had five including the game’s only three-pointer.
“We definitely rebounded a lot better, which created a lot more shots, and we definitely played better this time,” Underwood said after the win.
After Underwood went out in the third quarter with four fouls, the Conqs drew within their smallest deficit since the early stages of the second quarter. An 8-0 run — all coming from Dunlap — had the Conqs trailing by only seven heading into the final eight-minutes.
Nipomo’s defense, however, clamped down in the fourth quarter and limited the Conqs to just six points the rest of the way.
The Titans continue tournament play today when they square off with Mission prep at 3:30 p.m.
Pioneer Valley 54, Santa Maria 24
The Panthers moved to 6-1 on the season and 1-1 at the Moriarty Enterprises Holiday Classic with a victory over the Saints at Morro Bay High School.
Ali Rodriguez and Hannah Miller scored 15 points apiece and Chelsea Coleman added 12 to lead the Panthers.
The Panthers continue tournament play on Saturday when they take on Bakersfield at 9:00 a.m. in Morro Bay.
St. Joseph 67, Atascadero 37
In a tournament game at Morro Bay, the Knights (2-0) rolled to anothe win.
Aly Beebe scored 16 points for St. Joseph. Analise Riezebos put in 14. The Knights play Frontier at 3:30 p.m. today at San Luis Obispo High School in the last day of the tournament.
Shannon Berwick and Raven Kaylor scored 12 and 11 points respectively for Atascadero.
Laguna Blanca Tournament
Amanda Schollenberg poured in 27 points to help Laguna Blanca beat Valley Christian Academy 66-39 at Laguna Blanca.
Una Hertzog scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Lions (0-3). VCA plays another tournament game against Villanova Prep at 6:30 p.m. at Laguna Blanca.
Nipomo 4, Santa Maria 0
On the soggy pitch at Ralph Baldiviez Stadium the Titans controlled the ball and scoreboard throughout the match, shutting out the Saints in a non-league meeting between the two teams.
Janay Poggi started the scoring with a goal at 15th minute mark to put the Titans up for good. Brianna Turk, Kaitlyne Fernandez and Cristina Ozzimo each had a goal in the win.
Nipomo is now 2-1-1 on the season and does not play until the end of December when they participate in the Santa Maria Tournament.
St. Joseph 11, Pioneer Valley 0
Led by Corina Posada’s three goals, four Knights scored multiple goals and St. Joseph rolled to victory over the Panthers at Jay Will Stadium.
At half-time the Knights (2-1-1) held an 8-0 advantage, with Taylor Will, Sara Epps and Mariah Cochiolo each scored twice. Mallory McNulty and Dani McKinsey both added a goal apiece in the win.
The Knights play again on Monday when they head to Paso Robles for a makeup game.