By Nick Wilson
Righetti High’s boys’ basketball leads the PAC 7 League with a 7-0 record, but two SLO County teams still have a crack at the title this year and the final stretch of the regular season over the next two weeks will determine if they can narrow the gap.
Atascadero sits in the third place position at 4-2, a half game behind St. Joseph (5-2). Arroyo Grande is in fourth at 4-3 with a big 60-48 win over St. Joseph on Wednesday.
The Greyhounds figure to win their next two games against lower tier teams in the league (San Luis Obispo and Pioneer Valley).
And then their season gets interesting with consecutive games against Arroyo Grande, St. Joseph, and Righetti (Feb. 1, Feb. 4, and Feb. 6).
The Greyhounds play Arroyo Grande away and St. Joe and Righetti at home in the final stretch of their season, giving them the home court advantage against the two teams that have beaten them this season.
At 6-6 and athletic, Cam Walker is a force as a sophomore center for Righetti and he’ll be a handful for nearly every team that doesn’t have a player that can match his size and spring.
The key may be to force other players on the floor for the Warriors to do more and to try to take the ball out of Walker’s hands. But easier said than done.
The Mission Prep had the answer, however, since the Royals beat the Warriors 61-60 on Jan. 12 at home – a very impressive win in a nonleague game.
The Royals’ sophomore guard Quinton Adlesh and senior Andy Rowley have been putting up big numbers for the Royals, who stand at 14-7 now.
In getting a win against St. Joe, Arroyo Grande avenged itself against the Knights, who won 58-52 at home against AG on Jan. 2 on a cold shooting night for the Eagles.
What was impressive about that loss, however, is that Eagles’ point guard Matt Willkomm was cold as ice in the first half but didn’t lose confidence and kept firing. Then he started hitting late in the game and nearly brought his team back for a win.
Willkomm had 24 points against St. Joe on Wednesday and the Eagles had a solid defensive effort to hold down key players for the Knights, including Case Bruton (11 points) and Curry Parham (9 points), two players who had big games against them last time around.
However you look at it, Righetti will need to have a collapse to drop out of first place and lose two or three of its final four games.
But it’s not out of the question considering Arroyo Grande, St. Joe, and Atascadero each are capable of beating the Warriors. Only time will tell.
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