East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Safarta shoots Pats past Sultans at Pack event

Christian's Daniel Welch and Santana's Brandon Simmons. / photo by Ramon Scott



By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com


EL CAJON (1-7-17) — DOMANIC SAFARTA drilled in 22 points including hitting 6 of 10 threes to lead Christian to a 60-49 victory over Santana in Friday’s (Jan. 6) Silver Bracket of the Wolf Pack Shootout.

NASHOM CARTER pitched in 11 points, while JACKSON LARSEN tossed in a dozen for the Patriots.

Christian’s JACKSON LARSEN pulls down a rebound while teammate ZACH LEGGETT elevates Friday night against Santana. / photo by Ramon Scott

Safarta found himself open for his long-range shot several times, as the Sultans seemed to focus much of their attention trying to slow Carter. Safarta scored 14 points in the first half.

“Safarta came alive tonight,” said Patriots coach TIM BROWN. “His hot shooting helped us survive Santana. Jackson Larsen made some big plays in the second half.”

Larsen took a shot to the nose and played much of the second half with a giant gauze sticking out of his nose.

It didn’t bother him one bit and his inside play, along with front-court partner DANIEL WELCH, overcame the strong first half of the Santana big men.

For Santana, NICK BERHALTER knocked down 18 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished 5 assists and had one block. He had 11 of those points by halftime.

ANDREW HITCHCOCK pitched in 12 points, while JOHN BOBOF drilled in 10 points, hauled down 3 rebounds, dished one assist and made one block.

Christian’s JAVIER JIMENEZ hit a buzzer-beater field goal with his toe just across the three-point line at the end of the third period to close Santana’s lead to 39-36.

Christian’s DOMANIC SAFARTA sets up against Santana Friday night in a Wolf Pack Shootout game at Granite Hills High. / photo by Ramon Scott

But Safarta hit another three-point field goal and the Patriots surged at the start of the fourth to turn the lead in their favor, 49-43, just three-plus minutes into the fourth.

Christian will next play at 1:30 Saturday (Jan. 7) at Santana. Their opponent will be the winner of the Maranatha/EC-Southwest game Friday.


Christian:  Domanic Safarta 22 (3 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl), Jackson Larsen 12 (3 reb, 4 ast, 5 stl), Nashom Carter 11 (5 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl), Daniel Welch 2 (6 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk), Javier Jimenez 2 (4 reb, 2 stl), Patrick Roberts 2 (2 reb, 2 blk), Noah Meek 2, Jack Mason 2, Jake Scarbrough (2 ast).


Santana:  Nick Berhalter 18 (7 reb, 5 ast, 1 blk), Andrew Hitchcock 12 (1 reb), John Bobof 10 (3 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk), Brandon Simmons 4 (5 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl), Cole Kincade 4 (1 ast), Simone Maritano (3 reb, 1 ast), Zach Leggitt (1 reb).


GRANITE HILLS 70, OLYMPIAN 63 – Granite Hills overpowered Olympian Friday night (Jan. 6) in the Wolf Pack Shootout Gold Bracket semifinal.

The Eagles used the strong arm of RYAN KELLY who scored 17 points including hitting 11 of 13 free throws, made 13 rebounds and dished 6 assists to lead Granite Hills.

Granite Hills was laden with double-digit players including AUSTIN BALLO, who scored a career-high 16 points, grabbed 3 rebounds and had one block.

JORDEN ROGERS scored 15 points including 2 triples, snared 3 rebounds, dished 3 assists and made one steal.

CAMERON SPITZER pitched in 14 points, including 2 treys, grabbed 3 rebounds and made 1 assist.

DAVID COFFEY had a double-digit statistic with his 10 rebounds to go with 4 points.

The Eagles made 14 of 16 free throws.

“It was a good, close game,” said Granite Hills coach RANDY ANDERSON. “They actually took the lead in the fourth quarter. We kept our composure and finished the game strong.”

“We were without (identical twins) MOSES SMITH and XSAVIOR SMITH (both were ill),” Anderson added. “Ballo and DAVID COFFEY did a great job filling in for them.”

Granite Hills will face Steele Canyon at West Hills on Saturday (Jan. 7) in the championship game of the Wolf Pack Shootout Gold Bracket. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.

Granite Hills:  Ryan Kelly 17 (13 reb, 6 ast, 1 stl), Austin Ballo 16 (3 reb, 1 blk), Jorden Rogers 15 (3 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl), Cameron Spitzer 14 (3 reb, 1 ast), David Coffey 4 (10 reb), Aaron Cobb 4 (1 reb), Cody Cox 2 (2 blk).


STEELE CANYON 74, PALO VERDE 36 – Steele Canyon used a 22-0 first quarter run and never looked back against Palo Verde in Friday’s (Jan. 6) Wolf Pack Shootout Gold Bracket.

GAGE SANDERS paced the Cougars with 16 points, JALEN SAYLES pitched in 13 and KOBE SANDERS added 13.

C. GAMBOA contributed 13 points and DARRIN SPENCE collected 10 rebounds.

The Cougars figure to carry that momentum into Saturday’s (Jan. 7) Gold Bracket championship game against Granite Hills at West Hills at 7:30 p.m.
Steele Canyon:  Gage Sanders 16, Jalen Sayles 13, Kobe Sanders 13, C. Gamboa 13, Tyler Smith 7, Darrin Spence 5 (10 reb), De’Angelo Lewis 4, Kyree Woods 4, Landon Schirer 2.


El Cajon Valley’s Jeremiah Davis (11) goes up for a block Friday night.

CHULA VISTA 52, EL CAJON VALLEY 30 – Chula Vista jumped on the Braves in the first quarter 13-6 but the Braves out-mustered the Spartans 9-2 in the second quarter of Friday’s (Jan. 6) non-league encounter.

Chula Vista owned the second half however and came away with the victory without much trouble.

GREG JONES was the only Brave to score in double-digits with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

DEON DAVIS hauled down 7 rebounds to go with 2 points and 2 blocks.

“We played probably the worst game of the year,” said Braves coach SCOTTY JAMES somberly. “We just didn’t do anything right. We had more turnovers than we did points.”

El Cajon Valley:  Greg Jones 10 (4 reb, 2 stl, 2 blk), Isaac Blake 5 (3 reb, 1 blk), Jordan Bradley 5 (2 reb), Hasan Al-Hasan 4, Rami Abdullah 2, Deon Davis 2 (7 reb, 2 blk), Jeremiah Davis 2 (4 reb, 2 blk), Dmir Witherspoon (2 reb), Bilind Al-Issa (1 reb).

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