High School Sports

Arroyo Grande establishes itself as the PAC 7 girls basketball favorite

The Arroyo Grande High girls basketball came into this season in an ideal situation.

The Eagles just had to make the best out of it. And so far, they have.

With St. Joseph struggling to recapture last season’s state championship glory — let alone league championship glory — without injured Stanford-bound center Aly Beebe, Arroyo Grande has taken the front seat of the PAC 7 race.

After Wednesday’s dominating 61-32 win over San Luis Obispo, the Eagles (12-5 overall) are the lone undefeated league team at 4-0 going into tonight’s home matchup against Paso Robles (8-8, 1-2).

Even with the scoring prowess of St. Joseph transfer Heather Madrigal (16.1 points), North Dakota signee and center Emma Weinreich (12.3 points) and veteran varsity forward Lindsey Wolf (12.9 points), Arroyo Grande coach Dwight MacDonald insists all 12 of his Eagles are contributors.

“They’re all important players,” he said. “Some obviously play more minutes than others, but any given time someone will have to go into the game and they’ll be competent (enough) to give us good minutes.”

One of the Eagles’ goals is, of course, capturing a PAC 7 title — something they haven’t done since 2010, which marked the end of a three-run at the top.

St. Joseph, with a dominating force in Beebe, won it last season before going on to win the state title in the CIF Division 3.

MacDonald said it won’t be easy to win the league title, with so many other competitive teams.

“I’m not trying to be clichéd or anything,” he said, “but on any given night, anything can happen.”

One example came on Monday night, when the San Luis Obispo Tigers topped Paso Robles 48-38 for their first league win in two years. So far, Arroyo Grande has remained perfect in the league standings, beating three teams by at least 10 points and edging Atascadero 46-37.

“Every time we messed up, we haven’t played as a unit,” Weinreich said. “Every time we play as a unit, we come out on top.”

The Eagles have been benefiting from a deep bench, MacDonald said. But having scorers such as Madrigal, Weinreich and Wolf doesn’t hurt either. Senior guard Brianna Flood is the team’s No. 4 scorer at 9.4 points per game.

Scoring isn’t the only reason why the Eagles are ahead of the other PAC 7 teams.

“We try to focus on the intangible parts of the game,” MacDonald said. “There’s more to the game than scoring. It’s about teamwork. It’s about defense, team offense, team defense, making the most out of our possessions. We hope to maintain that focus.”