Neither Arroyo Grande High nor Atascadero won the PAC 7 boys basketball title, but they can claim something league champion Righetti can’t. Both are still alive in the CIF-Southern Section divisional playoffs.
On Friday, each advanced to the quarterfinals at 7 tonight, when Atascadero will host Inglewood in Division 4AA and Arroyo Grande will visit Foothill of Santa Ana in Division 3AA.
The 11th-seeded Greyhounds (19-8) moved on by rallying from a 41-31 deficit to stun fifth-seeded Cathedral of Los Angeles 56-53. Junior point guard Troy Norris had a game-high 27 points, and in the final minute-and-a-half, individually outscored the Phantoms 10-3. Atascadero was 8 of 17 from 3-point range and held 6-foot-9 Cathedral center Frankie Eteuati, a Cal State Northridge signee, six points below his season average.
Inglewood (19-8), the bracket’s No. 3 seed, has five players averaging between nine and 11.3 points per game.
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“They’re going to be very formidable and quick, and they’re not going to take us lightly after seeing we could beat a team of Cathedral’s caliber,” Greyhounds coach Jerry Tamelier said.
Arroyo Grande’s matchup looks perhaps even more daunting, as second-seeded Foothill (26-2) is ranked No. 25 in the state by MaxPreps.com and is led by 6-6 wing Mike Atwater, who is being recruited by Oregon State and Davidson, among others, according to Rivals.com.
In ousting North Torrance 72-64 on the road, the seventh-seeded Eagles (21-7) sank 11 shots from 3-point distance, including six by senior point guard Michael Escobedo, who finished with a game-high 24 points.
Tamelier said both teams were well prepared for playoff atmospheres competing in such a volatile league that often is regionally underrated.
“We play in a very tough conference,” Tamelier said of the PAC 7, which sent all but one of its members to the postseason. “You just can’t take a nap. There really isn’t an easy night.”
SOCCEROn the boys side, Arroyo Grande (18-7-2) will visit Paloma Valley at 3 p.m. in Southern Section Division 5 second-round play. In the Central Section Division 5 semifinals, Mission Prep (21-0) will host Riverdale at 6:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Mission Prep girls (11-11) will host Fowler at 4 p.m., also in a Central Section Division V semifinal.