East County Sports

Hillers gain experience in win; Helix falls in overtime



By James McHugh
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (2-24-16) — Grossmont got the job done Tuesday night (Feb. 23), downing No. 16 seeded San Ysidro 49-31 in the first round of the Division IV San Diego CIF playoffs.


The score may look close for a 1 vs. 16 matchup, but this game was anything but close. Coach GRACE CAMPBELL started rotating a slew of Junior Varsity call-ups into the lineup as early as the first quarter, giving the young Foothillers some time on the court with future teammates like ATHENA SOTELO and TAISHA SILAS who will both return next season.


Silas led all scorers on the night with 19-points, most of that coming by way of five long balls. The Foothillers did not shoot the ball particularly well as a team though, connecting on just 19-81 shots (23 percent) from the field.


“I want them to shoot the ball. If we are going to win CIF we will have to shoot the ball very well. What I’d like is when they’re not shooting well and they see that they’re shot isn’t falling, for them to penetrate to the basket,” Campbell said of the team’s shot selection.


Sotelo had 14 points on the night as well, once again showing a bright future for the Foothillers as the freshman guard connected on five of her 10 shots from the field.


EMILY BARNES grabbed 10 rebounds for Grossmont in the lopsided victory as did CANDACE HENDERSON. San Ysidro had small stretches of solid play, but no offensive answer for Silas and Sotelo in their repertoire. Giselle Flores was the lone Cougar in double figures, finishing the night with 12 points.


Asked about her decision to play a number of younger players throughout the night and how that could disrupt the team’s rhythm, coach Campbell saw the benefits, “A win is a win, when we’re up 20 points what’s the point of keeping all the starters out there? I want to create something these younger girls want to come back to next year. Give them an experience they will remember and have fun when everybody gets to play. Moving forward that probably won’t get to happen, so why not now?”


Grossmont will host High Tech High of North County this Friday (Feb. 26) at 7:00 pm.  High Tech advanced after defeating San Pasquale Academy in the first round.


Grossmont:  Taisha Silas 19 (8 reb, 4 blk, 2 ast, 1 stl), Athena Sotelo 14 (3 stl, 3 reb, 1 ast), Candace Henderon 5 (10 reb), Ragina Turner 3 (3 reb), Symone Griffith 2 (7 reb, 5 stl, 3 ast), Emily Barnes 2 (10 reb, 1 ast), Lydia Halcott 2 (6 reb, 5 blk), Jazmine Lee 1 (7 reb), Lina McDuffie 1 (4 reb, 1 blk, 1 stl), Jonelle Russaw (5 reb), Jackie Hernandez (2 reb, 1 ast).


MT. CARMEL 48, HELIX 46 (OT) – The Helix Highlanders girls basketball team took a bus ride to Rancho Penasquitos  then took the second-seeded host Mt. Carmel Sundevils to overtime before falling, 48-46, in the first round of the San Diego CIF Division I playoffs Tuesday night (Feb. 23).

CAM OWENS had a career best 26 points for Helix, including a buzzer-beating three earlier in the game.

Helix trailed 7-4 early, then a Mt. Carmel three made it 10-4. The Scots trailed just 10-7 at the end of the first period, but a big second period put the Highlanders up 28-23 at halftime.

Helix still held a 36-35 edge at the end of three quarters, then a tight fourth saw the teams deadlocked at 42-42 with :31 left in regulation. That would be the score as the game would head into overtime.

DANIELLE SIMMONS recorded a career high 20 rebounds to go with 6 points, an assist, two steals and two blocks for Helix.

TALIAH HOOKER pitched in 10 points for the Highlanders.

“It was a battle – back-and-forth the whole game,” noted Helix coach PATRICK TABOR. “It was a great game. To be a good winner you have to learn how to lose.”

Helix:  Cam Owens 26 (6 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl), Taliah Hooker 10 (3 reb, 1 blk), Danielle Simmons 6 (20 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk), Taylor Garrett 4 (5 reb, 2 ast), Kaliah King (3 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl), Olivia Missouria (1 reb).

– Bill Dickens, © East County Sports.com

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