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Orcutt Academy played itself back into contention late in the first half. Then, in the space of 1:38, Santa Ynez put the Spartans out of contention.

Malia Loos hit a 3-point shot at the 1:38 mark of the second quarter, starting a 12-1 run that boosted what had been a three-point lead for the Pirates to 41-27 at halftime.

Santa Ynez finished with a 65-43 win over Orcutt Academy in this Los Padres League girls basketball game at Lakeview Junior High School Tuesday night. The Pirates moved to 3-7, 1-2 with their first league win. The Spartans are 8-3, 1-2.

"We went to a halfcourt trap (on defense) and that helped us," said Santa Ynez coach Mike Alexander. "It gave us some turnovers and helped us get our running game going."

The Spartans turned the ball over their last three possessions of the first half. The Pirates got points off of all of those, including a basket in the lane by Ashley Quiroga, a basket by Loos and another bucket by Quiroga in the lane as time was running out in the first half.   

"We're pretty good, but we're pretty young," said Orcutt Academy coach Tom Robb. "Our inexperience gave us some trouble, I think, against an experienced team like that. One time, I had three freshmen and two sophomores on the floor."

One of those sophomores, point guard Vanessa Salazar, has averaged a team-leading 15 points a game for the Spartans. After a slow start Tuesday night, she finished with a team high 16.

The Spartans didn't score nearly consistently enough, though, against the Pirates. Loos, a sophomore, finished with a game high 19 points. Five of her six baskets came on 3-pointers.

Quiroga struggled with her shot most of the first half, but she warmed up and finished with 15 points.

Lita Wright had 12 points for the Pirates. Daenaejah Malicdem scored 10 points for the Spartans, and Izzy Wasserman had nine.

The Pirates were turnover-prone at times. When they ran their set offense effectively, often after getting downcourt in transition, the possession often ended up in points.

The Spartans ran a 3-2 zone most of the way, and Loos shot the ball effectively over the zone.

"We have experienced players in our starting five who are good at running the set offense," said Loos, a sophomore who played on the Santa Ynez varsity last year.

"Our substitutes are good too. I think we have a good rotation system."

Alexander said, "Our starters are very good at running the system, and the starters are trying to get the players who are coming off the bench to get it. Our subs are starting to understand the system."

Santa Ynez's coach wants his team to put up a lot of shots, and he was happy that the Pirates put up 69 Tuesday night. Twenty six went in.

"If you put up enough shots, (some) are bound to go in," Alexander said.  

The Santa Ynez defense never did let the Orcutt Academy offense get into a steady rhythm. Sarah Perkins made a lot of steals in the lane for the Pirates. Meanwhile, Wright quarterbacked the Santa Ynez offense effectively.

The Pirates knew they needed a win to start themselves on the way to getting in the thick of the playoff race.

"Getting that first league win was nice," said Loos.

Satan Ynez will play at home against Santa Maria at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night and them play at Morro Bay in the Pirates' third Los Padres League game this week. Orcutt Academy will host defending league champion Cabrillo at Lakeview at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night.

Nipomo defeated Morro Bay 39-34 in other LPL action. The Titans moved to 3-0 in the LPL with the win.

Boys basketball

Santa Maria 76, Templeton 47

Coming off a 44-point game in a 20-point loss at Lompoc last Thursday night, the Saints (9-4, 2-1) had five players in double figures in a Los Padres League win over Templeton at Santa Maria's Wilson Gym.

Clark Kringel led balanced Santa Maria scoring with 16 points. Blake Truhitte and Carlos Ochoa both scored 12 points, and Joey Nevarez and Kobe Medina both had 11.

"It was a good team effort on both sides of the floor," said Santa Maria coach Dave Yamate.

The Eagles are 4-11, 1-2.

Santa Ynez 71, Orcutt Academy 36

The Pirates (4-3, 2-1) out-scored the Spartans in every quarter as they rolled to a Los Padres League win at home.

Ryan Rennick, with 18 points, led three Pirates in double figures. Zack Hewitt added 16 points for Santa Ynez and Nate Rogers had 14. Merek Mercado scored eight points.

Marc Pyle scored 13 points for the Spartans, who dropped to 4-8, 0-3.                  

Girls wrestling

Santa Paula Duals

Jackelyn Ramirez was the MVP, and her Santa Maria team took the team championship at this recent meet.

Ramirez won the 121-pound title. Teammates Sandra Villapando (160 pounds) and Vivian Garcia (235) also won weight class championships.

Santa Maria's Isela Velasquez finished third at 111 pounds, and Esmeralda Castro placed third at 180.

Three Santa Maria wrestlers placed in the top seven in their respective weight classes at the San Dimas Lady Saints Tournament. Jennifer Ballesteros finished third at 116 pounds, Araceli Sierra was sixth at 101 and Erika Rodriguez finished seventh at 111.   


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