It was supposed to be a down year for the Arroyo Grande High School girls basketball team. With County Player of the Year Brynn Thoming, along with Kinsey McBryde and Meghan Smith all graduating last year, it looked like it would be a season or two before the next crop of Eagles would compete for a league title.
But the future is now.
With a 69-51 win over Atascadero on Friday night, Arroyo Grande has now won six games in a row without a senior on the roster.
Junior point guard Jayci Bayne has flourished in her new role. She leads the team in scoring averaging at more than 16 points per game and had 17 in the first half against Atascadero. She’s backed up by a pair of freshmen — Kathleen Hutchens and Kaiya Ellison — who are averaging more than 10 points and 13 points per game, respectively.
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The Eagles’ only league loss this season came to Righetti, a PAC 8 powerhouse that has won 16 games in a row and has its sights set on another deep playoff run and an undefeated league season. The two teams will meet again Tuesday in Santa Maria.
PAC 8 boys basketball is wild, unpredictable
Coming into the PAC 8 season, it appeared to be a season in which any team could win on any given night. That’s proving to be an understatement, and Friday night was the perfect example.
St. Joseph knocked off first-place SLO High to end the Tigers’ nine-gaming winning streak with a fourth-quarter comeback. Atascadero beat Arroyo Grande in an upset. And Paso Robles beat second-place Mission Prep (11-7, 5-2 PAC 8) two days after the Mission Prep beat St. Joseph on a game-winner by Paso Robles senior Jaedon Lyon — the biggest shocker of the night.
SLO High (17-4, 6-1 PAC 8), which had an overtime win over Arroyo Grande last week, remains in first place. But the Tigers have two road games this week against two of the top scorers in the PAC 8 — first Tuesday against Atascadero (7-12, 3-4 PAC 8) and senior Kyler Warren (19 ppg) and then Friday against Paso Robles (5-9, 3-4 PAC 8) and senior Sebastian Galsim (16 ppg).
A.G. boys, SLO High girls lead PAC 8 soccer standings
There has been plenty of parity in boys and girls soccer this season, too. In boys soccer, SLO High (13-2-0, 5-2-0 PAC 8) and Paso Robles (11-2-6, 5-1-1 PAC 8) each had their shot at the top spot in the PAC 8. But this week it was Arroyo Grande’s turn to take over.
After a shaky start to the season, Arroyo Grande (8-6-4, 6-0-2 PAC 8) hasn’t lost in its last eight matches. The Eagles beat SLO High 2-1 on Tuesday and followed that up with a 2-0 win over Atascadero. Meanwhile, Paso Robles was upset by Righetti on Tuesday, setting up the game of the week on Friday between SLO High and Paso Robles at War Memorial Stadium.
Righetti, which has won four straight and is tied for third place with SLO High, will play Arroyo Grande on Tuesday.
SLO High girls soccer is back on track after a 5-0 win over Arroyo Grande on Tuesday behind a two-goal performance by senior Isabelle Mendoza.
After a loss to second-place Paso Robles, the Tigers (12-1-0, 6-1-0 PAC 8) have won five straight and sit atop the league standings. But Paso Robles, Atascadero and Arroyo Grande are right behind as the teams enter the final three weeks of the season. Paso Robles and SLO High will face off Friday at SLO High in a rematch of a game that the Bearcats won 2-0 two weeks ago.
Morro Bay wrestling surging
The Morro Bay wrestling team is off to a 17-1 start this season and is in first place in the Los Padres League standings. Last week, the Pirates had a convincing win over Lompoc and beat Nipomo the week before.
After hosting the Sam Boyd C.I.T. Tournament this weekend, Morro Bay has two more league matches before traveling to Nipomo for the league finals Feb. 7.
A.G. water polo continues incredible streak
That’s how many league games the Arroyo Grande girls water polo team has won in a row. It’s an incredible streak that doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. The Eagles got a scare last week when a scrappy Paso Robles (13-8, 2-2 PAC 8) team scored five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter, but Arroyo Grande (9-4, 3-0 PAC 8) held on for the 8-7 win. Arroyo Grande will play SLO High on Tuesday, but it’s a match Jan. 30 against an Atascadero (15-6, 3-0 PAC 8) team in the middle of its best season in years that could threaten to end the streak that started in 2003.
Mission Prep, SLO High football game not happening
The highly anticipated football game between crosstown rivals SLO High and Mission Prep won’t happen next season.
Mission Prep initially announced the two teams would play for the first time in more than 20 years last week, but after some back-and-forth between the two schools, a new schedule released by Mission Prep on Friday doesn’t include a contest between the two teams.
SLO High had already booked 10 games for the 2018 season when Mission Prep announced its 2018 schedule and was unaware of any official agreement between the two teams, multiple people with the SLO High athletic department told The Tribune.
After playing last season as an eight-man team led by first-year coach David Schuster, Mission Prep will play its first three games of the 2018 season as an 11-man team and the remaining seven games as an eight-man team.
Mission Prep opens the 2018 season with a road game against Morro Bay.