With college coaches in the stands — including Cal Poly’s Joe Callero — Arroyo Grande High’s Michael Escobedo delivered when it mattered.
The senior guard scored a game-high 32 points to lead the Eagles boys basketball team to an 81-74 win over Righetti in a matchup of the PAC 7’s two remaining unbeatens on Friday in Santa Maria.
“Escobedo was as good as advertised,” Righetti assistant coach Greg DeNike said. “When he wasn’t scoring he was dishing it out to others who were.”
Escobedo was matched by Righetti (15-4, 5-1) center Nick Sauer’s 25 points. Sauer showed his range, hitting two 3-point baskets to bring Righetti to within four points in the final minute.
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“Sauer hit three 3-pointers all year,” DeNike said. “He’s the reason we were in the game late. He was our all-everywhere guy.”
Matt McAustin had 16 points for the Eagles (17-3, 6-0), and Derick Beasley added 14.
Van Holloway had 19 for Righetti while JD Salutan and Hunter Walker added 11 each.
“We’re disappointed with the outcome, but we’re not disappointed with the effort we put into this,” DeNike said. “We want to get through and get back to Arroyo Grande unscathed.
“(The high level of competition) is great and that’s the way we want it to be. If you could just walk through your league it wouldn’t mean very much.”
Paso Robles 69, Nipomo 63
The Bearcats (11-7, 3-2 PAC 7) got a game-high 34 points from Lonnie Watson while Brandon Todd and Cheyne Hayes added 12 apiece.
Jonathan Fisher had 23, and Jeff McNeil had 21 for the Titans.
Atascadero 55, Pioneer Valley 42
Troy Norris led Atascadero (13-6, 3-3 PAC 7) with 16 points, and Sam McMillan added 14.
Atascadero put the game away with a 14-4 edge in the fourth quarter.
“We played a good fourth quarter, made good passes and finished our plays nicely,” Atascadero coach Jerry Tamelier said.
San Luis Obispo 52, Mission Prep 45, OT
Steve Sainsbury and Sean Mullen led San Luis Obispo (6-13, 1-5) with 10 points apiece.
Michael Cardwell led Mission Prep with 11 points.
San Luis Obispo outscored Mission Prep 10-3 in overtime to pick up the win.
Morro Bay 44, Coast Union 39
Edward Griley led Morro Bay (8-12, 2-4 Los Padres League) with 17 points and had 15 rebounds in the road win.Case Bruton added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Morro Bay.
Andy Gordon led Coast Union (8-9) with 10 points and 19 rebounds.
Templeton 64, Santa Ynez 58
Eric Fragione had 16 points for Templeton (8-9, 3-3 LPL).
“Fragione stepped up for us and hit some big shots. It was good to see,” Templeton coach Fred Price said.
Dakota Oropeza and Jordan Hattar also scored 16 apiece for the Eagles, and Daniel Wheeler had 12 assists.
“We did a nice job sharing the ball and got an early lead, and Santa Ynez hit a lot of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to make it a closer game,” Price said.
North County Christian 72, Maricopa 61
Josh Feld once again led the Crusaders (11-8, 5-0 CVL), this time with 36 points and 15 rebounds in their victory over Maricopa.
Joe Honeycutt scored 11 points and had 11 assists for North County Christian.
San Luis Obispo 53, Mission Prep 51
San Luis Obispo’s Hannah Kenny had a game-high 15 points as the Tigers (10-10) outscored Mission Prep 21-13 in the fourth quarter.
The Royals (7-10) led by three in the final minute before Kelsey O’Hagan tied the score on a 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go.
“Ally Kersthold had a hand in her face and (O’Hagan) just drained a rainbow 3-pointer,” Mission Prep coach John Krossa said. “Here we have 30 seconds left in the game, and I’m clapping for the other team because it was such a beautiful shot.”
San Luis Obispo’s Olivia Kilgore stole the inbound pass and made a layup off the steal to give the win to the Tigers.
Atascadero 63, Pioneer Valley 51
Alyssa Palma led Atascadero (13-3, 5-1 PAC 7) with 16 points in the Greyhounds’ home win.
“We outrebounded them and dominated the boards overall it was a good team effort,” Atascadero coach Jim Stecher said.
Paso Robles 51, Nipomo 34
Kati Sheldon led Paso Robles with 16 points, while Domenique Terry added 14.
The Bearcats (7-10, 1-4 PAC 7) outscored Nipomo 26-6 in the fourth quarter.
Cami Castillo had 16 points for Nipomo.
Santa Ynez 34, Templeton 32
Katie Hunter led Templeton (5-11, 1-4 LPL) with 10 points.
Templeton had only 14 points entering the fourth quarter.
“We can’t overcome our slow starts and it’s a hard deficit to battle and we turned over the ball too many times, Templeton coach Shawn Koehler said.
North County Christian 62, Maricopa 12
Christy Scarson led the Crusaders (9-5, 3-0 CVL) with 16 points, and teammate Brianna Feld added 10 points.
Anna Foster grabbed 15 rebounds for North County Christian, and Laura Tapanes had 13 rebounds.
Righetti 2, Arroyo Grande 1
Despite outshooting Righetti 10-3, Arroyo Grande fell in Santa Maria.
Brandon Macias scored Arroyo Grande’s lone goal on an assist from Morgan Wack.
Pioneer Valley 4, Atascadero 3
Atascadero got two goals from Joe Camarillo, and Alex Aguiar added a third.
Pioneer Valley scored with seconds remaining in overtime to keep the Greyhounds (6-8-4, 0-4-1) winless in PAC 7 play.
Santa Ynez 2, Templeton 1
Santa Ynez scored early in the seventh minute to get a quick lead over Templeton.
David Gomez came back to score a goal in the 15th minute for Templeton to tie it at 1 by halftime.
Santa Ynez came back to score the winning goal in the 50th minute.
“We played our best game of the season, and Santa Ynez is a fast team but we did a very good job keeping up with them,” Templeton coach Nelson Yamagata said.
Arroyo Grande 2, Righetti 1
The Eagles (15-3, 5-1 PAC 7) remained in the hunt for a league title by beating Righetti (12-5, 4-2 PAC 7) in Santa Maria.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Arroyo Grande evened the score early in the second half on a goal by Selene Diaz.
The Eagles took the lead in the 75th minute on a free kick that Jenna Harshbarger redirected in the box.
Arroyo Grande has scored 35 goals in six leagues games.
Kaitlynn Penner, a reigning all-PAC 7 first-team girls soccer selection for Nipomo, has verbally committed to continue her college career at South Carolina State, Titans track and field coach Russ Edwards said. The 5-foot-6 midfielder is also a distance runner for Nipomo’s track squad.
The Bulldogs, a Division I program in Orangeburg, S.C., went 10-7-3 this past season.