Righetti ruptures Chargers’ CIF run

Jasmine Mata drives the lane in the fourth quarter on Saturday night during the Chargers' huge second-half comeback.

Dos Pueblos’ senior-laden girls basketball team entered the CIF Division 2-A playoff looking for a deep playoff run as the fourth-seeded team.

Instead, the Chargers were abruptly stopped 48-46 in Saturday’s first round by visiting Righetti.

Kristen Gowdy scored 15 of her team-high 17 points in a furious second-half rally by Dos Pueblos.

“I think it’s so tough because everyone kind of feels like we shouldn’t have lost. Not this early, not with this group,” said Chargers head coach Jelani Hicks. “But at the same time, playoffs, you gotta be ready to go.”

Ready at the start the Chargers weren’t, and Righetti took advantage by building a 36-19 lead at halftime. Mariah Cooks scored 14 of her game-high 21 points in the first half for the Warriors.

“I don’t know what it was but they didn’t come ready to play,” Hicks said about his team. “If we would have played like we did in the second half both halves, we would have won.”

Dos Pueblos started the third quarter looking like a completely different team. The Charger defense gave up a single point in the third period and Chiara DiMarco’s coast-to-coast basket at the end of the quarter trimmed Righetti’s lead to 37-32.

Kristen Gowdy’s 3-pointer caught the Warriors at 39-39 in the fourth quarter. Dos Pueblos took a lead at 45-43 and almost went up by four on its next possession but a basket by DiMarco was waived off because of a charging foul.

Justine Roland scored Righetti’s last three points to give the Warriors a 48-45 lead with under 90 seconds remaining. A free throw from DiMarco cut the lead to two with 1:07 on the clock.

The Chargers could not score again, including on their final chance inbounding the ball with 3.9 seconds remaining.

“It should have never gotten that close,” Cooks said. “We should have held them. We scored one point in the third quarter. I mean, that’s something we need to work on.”

Righetti finished in third in the Pac-7 League and holds a 15-11 overall record. The Warriors have won three in a row and face North Torrance in the second round.

Saturday’s result was a big turnaround from the Warriors’ first game of the season when they lost to Dos Pueblos 73-41.

“That was embarassing,” Cooks said. “For us to come back and get a win against a team that blew us out by 40, that’s huge.”

Gowdy’s 17 points was a team-high for Dos Pueblos, which also got 16 from DiMarco. Twentyfive of their combined 32 came during the second-half rally.

“I think we just realized that we’re all seniors,” Gowdy said. “We’ve been playing together since the fifth grade and this could be our last time playing together. We just realized that and came out harder.”

Dos Pueblos finishes its season with a 18-11 record.


Righetti – Ornelas 5, Chavez 2, Cooks 21, Lugue 7, Roland 7, Gainer 6.
Dos Pueblos – DiMarco 16, Hilton 2, Mata 5, Velarde 2, Ouellette 2, Gowdy 17, Draper 2.
RIGHETTI 17 19 1 11 – 48
DOS PUEBLOS 10 9 13 14 – 45

Chiara DiMarco races upcourt to beat the clock with a basket at the end of the third quarter.