It wasn’t a good start to the season for the Mission Prep and San Luis Obispo High girls basketball teams Thursday night at the Ruth Doser Tournament at Atascadero.
Both teams lost on Day 1 of the three-day tournament.
Mission Prep was the second team to take the court Thursday night and fell to Dos Pueblos, 44-33. Chargers guards Camila Casanueva and Holly Barrera gave the Mission Prep defense fits all night and finished the game with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
“We played some great guards from Dos Pueblos,” said Mission Prep first-year head coach Andrew Richardson. “They are very well-coached and I think they will be the two best guards that we will face all season.”
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The pair combined to score 12 points in the second quarter to help Dos Pueblos to a 29-18 halftime lead.
“I told them this loss is on me,” Richardson said after the game, adding that he had only had a week to practice with the complete varsity team. “We haven’t practiced enough shooting and we have been working on new plays, but it was a good learning experience for us.”
Mission Prep senior forward Noelle Larid led the Royals with 14 points, and sister Jennifer “Boo” Laird added six. Senior point guard Jacqueline San Jule, who averaged 6 points per game last season, finished with three points.
“Jacqueline is really going to lead the way for us and Boo, as you saw, is really going to be our big slasher and give us a lot of mismatches,” Richardson said. “But when it comes down to it, it’s our trapping defense that is going to win us games.”
Defense was a problem for San Luis Obispo in the next game of the night, against Aquinas. San Luis Obispo held a 10-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Aquinas turned it on and the Tigers offense went cold in the final three quarters.
Aquinas, who made it to the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs last season, outscored San Luis Obispo 29-13 in the second half and won by a final score of 46-25.
“I thought we played with good energy in the first half,” San Luis Obispo coach Dan Monroe said. “Second half, we ran out of gas.”
The Tigers got into foul trouble in the second quarter, reaching the double bonus with more than six minutes to go. The slowed pace got the Tigers out of the up-tempo style that the team hopes to run this season.
Tigers junior guard Whitney Burns, who averaged 5 points per game last season, led the way with nine points. Stephanie Brenner and Lily Svetich added four points each.
“We did get some good looks,” Monroe said, “But we probably shot about as bad as I’ve seen us shoot.”
Monroe hopes his team’s performance tonight was a result of first-game jitters.
“We want to compete and win,” Monroe said. “We are a few years removed from a CIF (Southern Section) semifinals and quarterfinals. This a talented group. Our biggest enemy is ourselves.”
“We’ve got a little pressure on us, we don’t want to start 0-2.”
The Ruth Doser Tournament continues Friday and Saturday with all eight teams — including Paso Robles, Morro Bay and Atascadero — playing both days.
Camarillo 40, Nipomo 33
The Nipomo High girls basketball team got off to a slow start in a loss to Camarillo at the Buena Tournament in Ventura.
The Titans (0-2) scored 11 points in the first half and trailed 29-11.
Abbey Gutierrez led Nipomo with 11 points.
The Titans continue play at the tournament Friday at 6 p.m. against Oxnard.