East County Sports

Monarchs fight to finish in loss at Bonita Vista



By Ramon Scott
© EastCountySports.com

CHULA VISTA — Monte Vista seniors SHAI STEVENSON, TRE OWENS, BOHANON RANKINS and TERRY BONE ended their Monarch careers with a hard-fought effort in a 63-55 loss at Bonita Vista Tuesday night (Feb. 23) in the first round of the San Diego CIF Division III playoffs.

The four stars never left the floor in the Monarchs’ final game of the season.

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Shai Stevenson, of Monte Vista, starts a play on Tuesday night against Bonita Vista. / photo by EastCountySports.com

“In the fourth quarter our guys were gassed,” said Monte Vista coach MIKE TULLY. “Bonita Vista played 11 players; our guys played the whole game.”

The Grossmont Valley League co-champion Monarchs (13-16) never led, but cut the deficit to just a two possession game at a couple of key moments in the second half. The Barons (17-12) seemingly always had a way to regain the momentum just moments later.

Trailing 44-41 with six minutes left the Monarchs watched Bonita Vista crank out a 10-0 run on a pair of treys and an impressive breakaway bucket to extend the advantage.

Monte Vista brought the deficit to within 56-50 in the final four minutes, but Bonita Vista’s Taylor Nelson hit a three-pointer to shift the tide once again. The Barons would extend to a 61-50 game with 2:22 left.

Bonita Vista guard Sage Crawford was a hard handle for the Monarchs. The 6-foot-3 junior hit a big three with 6:04 left to make it 52-41 Barons. Earlier in the period, he had another three to stop a Monte Vista surge, then capped a block and transition play that resulted in a rim-rattling jam to make it 49-41.

Owens hit a three-pointer to make it 47-36 with 1:22 left in the third quarter.

Monte Vista trailed just 42-38 entering the fourth quarter, as they rallied from a 42-31 deficit. The Monarchs had a series of chances to swing the game in their favor, but couldn’t convert on a series of Bonita Vista turnovers.

Monte Vista trailed 34-26 with 5:43 left in the third, then the teams traded baskets for a 38-30 margin.

Earlier, Monte Vista cut a Bonita Vista edge to 27-26, but Nelson kept Monte Vista at bay with a three-pointer to make it 31-26. Crawford had yet another three that made it 27-20.

DEONDRE McHAYLE, a sophomore, had 10 points and four rebounds in the first half, as the Monarchs had to overcome a quick 7-1 deficit, which forced the visitors into a timeout. Monte Vista appeared to have some early game jitters, as well, as a series of turnovers included four traveling violations.

McHayle led the early Monarchs’ surge with a three-pointer to help bring it to 22-18 before the Barons took a 24-20 edge. Monte Vista trailed 18-13 midway through the second after falling behind 12-5 at the end of one.

Stevenson had an offensive rebound and putback to make it 27-22.

“You could see that our kids were tight at the beginning,” Tully said. “Our kids had some jitters, were nervous because they wanted so badly to do well. Scoring only 5 points in the first quarter set us back emotionally, but they fought back and I’m proud of the way they played at the end of the season. Obviously I was disappointed with the last game, but overall it was a good year for us.”


Monte Vista:  Tre Owens 17 (8 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl), Shai Stevenson 15 (14 reb, 3 ast), Deondre McHayle 13 (7 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk), Bo Rankins 8 (4 reb, 2 ast, 3 blk), Terry Bone 2 (4 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl).


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