Arroyo Grande — Six of the schools that make up the PAC 8 league converged under grey gloomy cloud cover at Arroyo Grande High School Tuesday for the first round games of the league tournament.
The Bearcats entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed overall and the second-ranked team in pool A which contained Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo. Arroyo Grande is the reigning league champions and boasts an incredible 130+ game winning streak in the PAC 8. The Bearcats biggest rival, Atascadero is the no. 2 seed in the tournament and sits atop pool B which also contains Pioneer Valley and San Luis Obispo (SLO).
Paso opened up the tournament with their game against SLO, a nice warm up before facing AG. The Bearcats cruised to victory winning 14-3 and retreated to the grass area of the AG pool to watch and rest as they waited for their second game.
A win against AG would have pushed the Bearcats into the PAC 8 championship against the winner of the Atascadero vs Righetti. Paso entered the pool as the thermostat started creeping downwards and the steam from the pool started to waft off the water. Even though AG was playing at their home pool, there was still more crimson surrounding the pool than blue or yellow.
Paso battled in the first quarter, but AG’s defense was too much and their offensive efficiency was overwhelming. The Eagles scored on two 2-meter penalty shots in the first quarter and converted nearly every chance when drawing an advantage.
Halle Nash scored two of the Bearcats three goals, the first coming with 3:55 to go in the first quarter and the second coming on a fast break just before the halftime buzzer.
“They drew 5-meters and kick outs left and right and they exposed a certain spot of ours that we kind of came in knowing,” Head Coach Grant East said. “There is a lot of things that they exposed that we clearly need to work on and if we are going to learn them from anyone it is good to do it today in this game.”
AG went on to win the game 17-3 and because the Hounds lost to Righetti, Paso and Atascadero will play in the third-place game. The Bearcats and coach East are confident that the Bearcats will end up going to CIF no matter the outcome of Thursday night’s match due to their overall record and hovering in the top 15 in the division all season long.