The Arroyo Grande girls water polo team hadn’t faced a challenge for a league title like it saw against Righetti on Thursday night in more than 10 years, according to Eagles head coach Steven Allen.
But in the end, the Arroyo Grande dynasty prevailed with a 6-4 win in the PAC 6 tournament championship game to capture its 14th consecutive league title and push its league winning streak to 137 games.
“It was awesome,” Allen said. “We are trying to win as many games as we can in league and someday somebody is going to catch us.”
Righetti hung with the Eagles all game and were tied 3-3 until Arroyo Grande senior Isabella Solis put her team up 4-3 in the final seconds of the third quarter.
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“It was pretty competitive,” Solis said. “It’s fun to get one of those ties for a little bit.”
Solis scored her third and final goal in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up 5-3, and Sarah Parson scored the final goal, her third of the game.
“It was really important to win because you don’t want to be the team that loses the streak,” Solis said.
Arroyo Grande will now begin its preparations for another postseason run, but attempting to win its fifth CIF-Southern Section championship since 2008 will be tougher this season. After competing in Division 3, the Eagles moved up to Division 2 with the new competitive equity model.
But Solis is ready for the challenge.
“It is going to be tough, but it’s nothing we haven’t practiced for,” Solis said. “We go down to L.A. and play big games all the time, so I think we are going to be well prepared.”
Also in the tournament, Paso Robles rallied from a 3-0 halftime deficit to defeat Atascadero 6-3 in the third-place game to earn an automatic CIF playoff spot.
The Bearcats (15-10 overall, 6-3 PAC 6) are ranked No. 6 in Division 6 and find out their playoff draw at 11 a.m. Saturday.
And SLO High wrapped up its season with a 7-2 victory over Pioneer Valley in the fifth-place game of the PAC 6 championships.
Caroline Petithomme led the way with three goals, while Rachel Lovato recorded four saves.
The Tigers finished the season 2-6 in league play (11-13 overall).
Arroyo Grande 1, Atascadero 0 (OT)
In her final regular season home game, Arroyo Grande senior Zoe Doucette scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime period to give the Eagles the win.
The win was Arroyo Grande’s second overtime triumph in as many days after the Eagles beat SLO High in overtime Wednesday.
Arroyo Grande’s sophomore goalkeeper Gracie Weidler withstood a relentless Greyhounds attack with 17 saves in the game.
“What a great find for a sophomore,” Arroyo Grande coach John Clarke said. “She is just some composed. She has really stepped up to a new level this season.”
Arroyo Grande (11-2-1) finished the season in second place in the PAC 8, and Atascadero (8-6-0) finishes in fourth place. Both teams qualify for the postseason and will await the release of the playoff brackets on Monday at 10 a.m.
SLO High 3, St. Joseph 0
San Luis Obispo wrapped up a spectacular regular season to go along with its already clinched PAC 8 championship Thursday night with a home win over St. Joseph.
It was the 16th shut out for the Tiger’s defense this season.
Senior Kristina Smelser opened the scoring on senior night by netting a penalty kick in the second half. Senior Grace Park followed it up with a goal of her own off the assist from sophomore Olivia Ortiz. The final goal, off another assist from Ortiz, came from classmate Joella Holmes.
SLO High, which was ranked No. 3 in the CIF-Southern Section heading into Thursday, should expect a high seed when playoff groupings are released Monday.
San Luis Obispo 2, St. Joseph 0
The Tigers wrapped up their PAC 8 championship season with a shutout on senior night.
Grayson Stewart scored a first-half goal off a loose ball from a corner kick, and Vaughn Pavolich unassisted from 18 yards out early in the second half.
Senior goalkeeper Benji Alonso recorded the shutout.
San Luis Obispo (17-3-2 overall, 12-1-1 PAC 8) now awaits their CIF draw, which will be announced 9 a.m. Monday.
Arroyo Grande 2, Atascadero 1
Arroyo Grande rallied to score two first-half goals in its final regular season game against Atascadero.
Atascadero took the early 1-0 lead on a Destin Ybarra goal before Arroyo Grande senior Matthew Bautisa answered with back-to-back goals to make it 2-1 going into halftime.
Arroyo Grande (11-3) finishes the season in second place in the PAC 8 and awaits its playoff fate.
Mission Prep 69, Paso Robles 30
Mission Prep clinched the PAC 8 championship on the strength of Carter Gran’s game-high 25 points in the teams’ regular-season finale.
Kyle Colvin added 12 points, and Jake Jensen had 10 as the visiting Royals (20-9 overall, 12-2 PAC 8) jumped out to a 44-18 halftime lead.
Mission Prep came into the game with a one-game lead over second-place St. Joseph, which wraps up its season having now clinched the No. 2 spot at San Luis Obispo on Friday.
“We just wanted to make sure we finished the deal,” said Mission Prep head coach Terrance Harris, whose team lost to St. Joseph on Tuesday to split the season series between the two teams. “We knew we had to win tonight to be an outright league champions, and the guys were focused and ready and urgent and able to play as a team and accomplish our goal.”
Mission Prep will learn its draw for the CIF playoffs Sunday.
Mason Wiesner led the way with seven points for the Bearcats (6-17, 1-13), whose season comes to an end.
Morro Bay 68, Orcutt Academy 42
Spencer Cecil scored a game-high 22 points, and Kalvin Hilliard added 16 in Morro Bay’s season finale victory.
Morro Bay (18-9 overall, 9-5 Los Padres League) finishes third in the league standings and will advance to the CIF playoffs.
Nipomo 57, Santa Maria 28
Sidney Aguilera had a game-high 15 points, and Kylie Mendez added 10 points, eight steals and five assists to lead the Titans to victory in their regular season finale.
Kiesa Romero and Abbey Gutierrez chipped in nine points apiece.
With the win, Nipomo (15-11 overall, 9-5 Los Padres League) wrapped up the third-place spot in the standings.