Atascadero secured a CIF Southern Section playoff spot after a comfortable 62-47 Friday night win over San Luis Obispo in Atascadero.
Four Greyhounds scored in double figures as Atascadero (16-7, 8-4 PAC 8) was able to consistently break the trapping defense of San Luis Obispo (15-11, 6-6 PAC 8) to sweep the season series.
What the Howell?
After the first quarter, the score was tied at 12. Then junior Trevor Howell took over. Howell scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second quarter and Atascadero opened up a 10-point halftime lead.
“We were just playing as a team well and I just started feeling it,” Howell said. “Everyone else was feeling it to so I was like ‘I’m going to take this shot.’”
Atascadero outscored San Luis Obispo 24-8 in the quater and never looked back.
The 6-foot, who usually comes off the bench, beat his previous season high by four points.
“I think we all come in with energy,” Howell said of the second unit. “I like coming in off the bench.”
“I just feel more ready.”
Howell has averaged just over 7 points per game this season.
Beat the Press
During one 30 second span, Howell put in two quick transition baskets. It was a trend all night.
“He brings energy. He’s fearless,” Atascadero coach Fred Price said. “We want to run the ball so he helps us with that.”
San Luis Obispo pressured full court after almost every made basket, but the ball handling of point guard Marco Rojas and point-forward Elijah Cooks was able to navigate the black jerseys, resulting in easy layups on the other end.
In one perfectly designed play, Cooks — who played some quarterback for Atascadero this season — thew a bomb from out of bounds over the top of the pressure defense into the sprinting hands of Will Scott who made a spinning reverse layup and got fouled. It was easily the play of the night.
Rojas added 10 points, Scott had 15 points and Gabe Perry had 12 points to go along with Howell’s 19 for Atascadero. Four different Greyhounds have led the team in scoring in the last five games.
“We are getting better,” Price said. “We are defending so much better, the ball movement is better, I think you could see it. We are getting great balance.”
Heading into the game, Rojas led the way in scoring with 9.1 points per game, with Perry (9 ppg), Cooks (8.4 ppg), Howell (7.2 ppg) and Kyler Warren (7.2) close behind.
Alex Chai (10 points) and Seth Moore (15 points) were the only players in double figures for San Luis Obispo.
In the final week of the regular season, Atascadero will go against Arroyo Grande and Pioneer Valley. San Luis Obispo has the unenviable task of going up against the two best teams in the PAC 8 in its final two games; St. Joseph and Mission Prep, respectively.
Mission Prep 63, Paso Robles 49
The Mission Prep boys basketball team beat Paso Robles 63-49 on Friday night. Max Basile had 24 points — 17 in the first quarter — to propel the Royals.
“Max came out on fire,” coach Terrance Harris said. “He was aggressive and he got to the basket.”
Kyle Stewart added 12 points and Matt Blaney recorded 11 for Mission Prep (16-8, 11-1 PAC 8).
“We executed on offense,” Harris said. “(Paso Robles) came out really prepared for us.”
Ty Jones had the high for Paso Robles (4-19, 0-12 PAC 8) with 16 points.
With the win Mission Prep keeps pace with St. Joseph for first place in the PAC 8 standings. The Royals play at Righetti on Wednesday.
Paso Robles takes on Pioneer Valley on Wednesday.
Arroyo Grande 55, Pioneer Valley 49
Patrick Angle had 25 points, including five 3-pointers and Bradley Mickey added 15 points for the Eagles (14-11, 6-6 PAC 8). Angle had seven steals and Mickey registered three more. AJ Panetta chipped in eight points.
Coast Union 54, Maricopa 19
Sam Mackinnon had a game-high 21 points and Jez Lawson added 15 more for the Broncos. Roberto Cuevo recorded eight points for Coast Union.