The first week of playoff action in SLO County was filled with dramatic finishes, triumph and heart break.
There was a big upset by the Mission Prep boys basketball team, a thrilling comeback by the SLO High girls soccer team and history in defeat for the Atascadero girls water polo team.
But after all was said and done, just two teams remain alive as the CIF-Southern Section playoffs for basketball, girls water polo and soccer and they share the same campus.
SLO High stays alive
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SLO High boys basketball and SLO High girls soccer are the only SLO County teams left in the playoffs and they took very different paths.
Mac McConnell scored 22 and Carson Leedom had 21 as the SLO High boys basketball beat San Marino 60-43 on Friday in the second round of the CIF Southern Section D 4AA playoffs. It was the second comfortable win of the week for the co-PAC 8 champs after freshman sensation Assani Berkeley scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half to help SLO High beat Alhambra 73-52 on Wednesday.
SLO will play again at home Tues. against Silverado at 7 p.m in the quarterfinals for a shot at the final four.
The SLO High (20-1) girls soccer team was down 3-1 in the second half but scored three goals in the final 25 minutes to beat Agoura in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs. SLO High junior and Cal Poly commit Olivia Ortiz scored the game-winner.
SLO High will travel to Downey to take on Warren (21-2) on Tuesday.
- Mission Prep (17-10) had the biggest upset for SLO County this playoffs with Mission Prep coach Terrance Harris had a dream Monday night that Ander Villacana would hit the game-winning shot. He told his team about it Tuesday. On Wednesday that dream came true against the No. 1 seed. Villacana hit a corner 3 pointer to put Mission up with 11 seconds left and the defense did the rest.
Mission Prep went on to beat top-seeded St. Bernard in the first round of the CIF Southern Section D 2A playoffs, 54-50. Kyle Colvin finished with 23 points. Mission couldn’t replicate the magic against Valencia on the road on Friday. In the second round, the team’s comeback came up short as Mission Prep lost, 68-64.
“I will always remember this group for their resilience, camaraderie, and sacrifice,” Harris tweeted after the game. “We didn’t have our best stuff today, but we had 1 heck of a journey.”
- The Arroyo Grande boys basketball team’s season ended Friday night with a 65-51 loss to Notre Dame (Riverside) in the second round of the CIF Southern Section D 3A playoffs. Gage Gomez and Caleb Whalen each had 9 points in the loss. In the first round, Arroyo Grande’s Bryan Smith scored the game-winner with two seconds left to get the 47-46 upset win over Cabrillo. Arroyo Grande finished the season with a 17-11 record.
- After a first round bye, Shandon (13-6, 8-2, Coast Valley) lost in the first round of the Division 5A playoffs to St. Monica Academy on Friday, 56-44. It was still an historic season. The team won its first boys basketball league championship in 18 years, after sharing the Coast Valley title with Valley Christian Academy.
- The Arroyo Grande boys soccer team celebrated as sophomore Gopala Sauer scored the equalizer (1-1) in stoppage time to force overtime against Thousand Oaks in the first round of the D3 playoffs Friday.
But in the penalty shootout, two saves from Arroyo Grande junior goalkeeper Colton Theaker weren’t enough as Thousand Oaks won 3-2 in PKs to advance to the second round.
- Paso Robles boys soccer lost to Newbury Park 5-0 in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs.
- Atascadero (18-5-1, 11-3 PAC 8), runner-ups in the PAC 8, lost on penalty kicks (3-2) to La Serna in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs Thursday.
- Paso Robles (15-7-3, 9-4-1 PAC 8) beat Windward in the wild card game 3-0 Tuesday then lost 2-0 to Ventura in the first round of the Division 4 playoffs Thursday.
- Templeton (13-8-2, 7-6-1 Los Padres) beat de Toledo 3-0 in a wild card game Tuesday then lost 2-1 to Palmdale Aerospace Academy Thursday in the first round of the Division 6 playoffs.
- Arroyo Grande (9-8-4, 8-6-0 PAC 8) lost to Redlands 1-0 in wild card game Tuesday in the Division 3 playoffs.
- The Mission Prep girls basketball team also had a big comeback in the first round, storming back from 17 points down to beat Garden Grove in the Division 3 A playoffs. On Saturday night they ran into a star by the name of Julia Macabuhay. The senior and UC San Diego commit scored a career high 48 points with 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 6 steals to beat Mission Prep, 74-65. Mission Prep’s own rising star, freshman Olivia Missler, scored 18 and junior Mia Gonzales had 16.
- Arroyo Grande lost to Colony 49-39 in second round Saturday after beating Notre Dame 65-31 in the first round of the Division 3 AA playoffs Thursday.
- SLO High junior Lily Svetich had 15 points in a 42-39 loss to Claremont in the second round of the 3 A playoffs Friday. The Tigers had a win over Godinez, 47-35, in the first round.
- Templeton beat La Mirada 53-22 in the first round of the Division 4 A playoffs but fell in the second round to La Quinta, 55-44.
- After a bye in the first round following an undefeated Coast Valley league title, Coast Union lost to Santa Clara 44-37 in the second round of the 5 AAA playoffs Saturday.
- Nipomo lost to Foothill Technology in the first round of the Division 4AA playoffs Thursday.
Girls Water Polo
- Arroyo Grande, the PAC 8 champions for the 15th season in a row, won its first round game 9-4 over Santa Monica but lost 19-7 to Santa Monica in the second round of the Division 2 playoffs.
- Atascadero beat Santa Ynez 8-2 in the first round of the Division 5 playoffs to make history Tuesday, becoming the first Atascadero water polo team to make it past the first round. Led by a core group of seniors and a goal-scoring goalie, they became the first team in 15 years to get second place in league. They finished 19-9 after a 9-6 loss to Temescal Canyon in the second round.
- Nipomo lost 14-3 to Burroughs (Burbank)
Results from this weekend’s wrestling action will be published later this week.