East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Highlanders, Matadors advance

Steele Canyon's GAGE SANDERS drives against Serra on Wednesday night in Tierrasanta. / photo by Ramon Scott




By Bill Dickens



LA MESA – The Helix Highlanders weren’t overly pleased with the temperament of the visiting Ramona Bulldogs in Wednesday’s (Feb. 22) San Diego CIF Division II playoff contest.

Helix had its own ideas about the final score.

MILES NORRIS paced Helix with 21 points, including nine field goals 11 rebounds and four assists as the Highlanders smothered the Bulldogs, 90-62.

“The turning point is always on the defensive end,” said Helix coach JOHN SINGER. “When we play hard-nosed defense, we sparkle on offense.”

JAYLEN ARNOLD and DYLAN LEE popped in 16 points apiece for Helix.

CARSON BAKER added 10 markers for the Highlanders, who was one of the main prongs of the Helix defense.

“He’s the glue guy for us – solid,” said Singer of the Highlanders’ quarterback.

Helix will host Serra for the playoff quarterfinals on Saturday (Feb. 25) for a contest at 7 p.m.

Helix:  Miles Norris 21, Jaylen Arnold 16, Dylan Lee 16, Carson Baker 10, Jaylen Hinson 8, Isaiah Wooden 7, Amari Green 7, Bradley Dunn 2, Maurice Holmes 2, Javon Davis 1.


Mount Miguel prior to the start of the game on Wednesday night.

MOUNT MIGUEL 49, UNIVERSITY CITY 41 – The Mount Miguel Matadors kept their playoff hopes burning brightly as DARIAN NORWOOD poured in a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, eliminating University City and keeping the Matadors’ fires burning in the San Diego CIF Division III action.

“Our guys played hard and they are going to have to keep doing it as we survived to advance in the playoffs,” said Matadors coach JAY ROWLETT.

MARQUISE EDWARDS snared 10 rebounds off the glass.

RICKY HARVEY and Norwood teamed on a fast break basket, while MARQUIS NEAL canned a three-pointer as the Matadors kept the pressure on the Centurions the entire way.

The Matadors will travel to No. 1 seed Coronado for the playoff quarterfinals on Saturday (Feb. 25) for a 7 p.m. contest.

Mount Miguel:  Darian Norwood 23 (11 reb, 2 ast, 4 stl), Ricky Harvey 9, James Allen (4 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl), Marquis Neal 5 (1 reb, 1 stl), Marquise Edwards 4 (10 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl), Mikeece Dunbar 4 (1 ast, 2 stl).

CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC 66, GROSSMONT 62 – In a season-ending shootout between Cathedral Catholic and Grossmont High School, the Foothillers lost the San Diego CIF Division I match by a narrow margin.

Grossmont’s HUNTER GAINES looks for room on Wednesday night.

“We led the whole way until 1:20 remained,” said Foothillers coach FRANK FOGGIANO. “They went up 62-60 with 17 seconds left. We took an open 3-point shot and missed. We fouled them with 2 seconds left and they made both shots.”

“We played very well, probably the best game of the year for us.”

HUNTER GAINES paced the Foothillers with 20 points and 6 rebounds, while HUNTER MULDER pitched in 16 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and made 6 steals.

Gaines needled his way through traffic, inlcuding the big presence of McCoy for a scooping layup in the third quarter as Grossmont continued to hold the lead.

The Foothillers led 39-34 at halftime and had a 51-48 lead with 7:40 to go in the game, but in the end it was too much Brandon McCoy for Cathedral. The star center put home 41 points.

AUSTIN ODOM hit a three in the final minutes to break a 57-all tie.

Grossmont finished with a 13-6, 4-5 record in the Grossmont Hills League and were eliminated from the playoffs.

Grossmont:  Hunter Gaines 20 (6 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl), Hunter Mulder 16 (8 reb, 2 ast, 6 stl), Jamie Odom 9 (5 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl), Austin Odom 8 (3 reb, 3 ast, 4 stl), Morgan Stidum 7 (2 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl), Desain Crawford 2 (1 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl).


West Hills defends San Marcos Wednesday night.

SAN MARCOS 70, WEST HILLS 51 – It was an ugly finish to the season for West Hills as the Wolf Pack ran into a rabid bunch of Knights in Wednesday’s (Feb. 22) San Diego CIF Division I contest.

San Marcos jumped in front 15-5 and never looked back against the stone cold Pack, which was led by CAM BARRY’s 19 points and NATHAN BALL’s 15 markers and 7 rebounds.

The Knights led by 18 at the half and by 24 early in the third quarter.

West Hills shot just 32 percent for the game.

The Wolf Pack closed the lead back to 11 with 5:42 to play.

Barry had 14 points in the second half.

West Hills bowed out of the playoffs with a 11-12, 5-3 Grossmont Hills League record.

West Hills:  Cameron Barry 19 (1 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl), Nathan Ball 15 (7 reb, 1 stl), Marquell Cool 8 (1 reb, 2 ast), Chris Moyer 7 (3 reb, 1 stl), Tyler Brower 2, Adam Dillon (2 reb, 2 blk), Scott Bettoney (1 reb, 1 stl), Brandon Peterson (1 reb).


Santana during introductions on Wednesday night.

CARLSBAD 65, SANTANA 41 – The season came to an end for the Santana Sultans Wednesday (Feb. 22) as they tumbled out of the San Diego CIF Division III playoffs with a loss to Carlsbad.

NICK BERHALTER led the scoring for Santana with 13 points, and TC SIMMONS chucked in 11.

Santana:  Nick Berhalter 13 (5 reb, 2 ast, 1 blk), TC Simmons 11 (6 reb, 2 ast), John Bobof 9 (1 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk), Brandon Simmons 6 (3 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl), Simone Maritano 2 (4 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl), Zach Leggitt (2 reb, 1 blk), Andrew Hitchcock (2 reb, 2 ast), Cole Kinkade (1 reb, 1 ast).


Christian in the sportsmanship line on Wednesday night.

SAGE CREEK 54, CHRISTIAN 40 – The Christian High Patriots had three players barge into double scoring digits in Wednesday’s (Feb. 22) first round of the San Diego CIF Division III playoffs.

The Patriots, led by NASHOM CARTER’s 17 points and JACKSON LARSEN’s 15 points and 8 rebounds, attempted to keep Christian’s post-season dreams alive, but it didn’t happen as the team came up short.

DOMANIC SAFARTA pitched in 10 points for the Patriots.

Carter had a drive to the basket to keep the Patriots within 12-9 with just under two minutes left in the first period, but the Bobcats scored eight-straight points to end the frame to take a 20-9 lead after one.

Safarta hit a three-pointer to close Sage Creek’s lead to 22-12 with 4:48 left in the second quarter.

Carter added another three-pointer to send Christian into the locker room down 28-17.

One minute into the fourth, JACKSON LARSEN floated a short jumper as the Patriots closed the Bobcats’ lead to 43-26,

Christian:  NaShom Carter 17 (1 reb, 1 ast, 3 stl), Jackson Larsen 15 (8 reb, 2 ast, 2 blk), Domanic Safarta 10 (1 reb), Jack Mason 2 (1 blk), Daniel Welch (3 reb, 1 ast), Javier Jimenez (2 reb, 1 blk),  Patrick Roberts (2 reb, 1 blk).


Valhalla following Wednesday’s defeat at La Jolla.

LA JOLLA 44, VALHALLA 41 (OT) – The Norsemen fell 44-41 in overtime to the La Jolla Vikings in the first round of the CIF Division II playoffs on Wednesday (Feb. 22).

The Norsemen were led by 15 points from senior KAI KOMAKI and 10 points (13 rebounds) from MALIQUE SHAW.

Juniors TY SCHIMKE and RAMZI SULTAN each had 8 points for the Norsemen, who finished the season 18-12, 1-7 in Grossmont Hills League, and were eliminated from the playoffs.


Valhalla:  Kai Komaki 15, Malique Shaw 10 (13 reb), Ty Schimke 8, Ramzi Sultan 8.


SERRA 60, STEELE CANYON 53 – There was plenty of fight left in the Steele Canyon Cougars after falling behind early by as many as 16 points to the host Conquistadors in the San Diego CIF Division 2 playoffs Wednesday night.

The 11th-seeded Cougars battled all the way back to close to within a bucket in the final minutes.
THOMAS FISHBURNE caught an offensive rebound on a missed three and quickly flipped it inside to TYLER SMITH to close the gap to 50-48.

Steele Canyon’s TYLER SMITH goes up with a shot against Serra on Wednesday night. / photo by Ramon Scott


But the sixth-seeded Conquistadors recorded a steal and layup to secure the lead over the final two minutes.

Serra (25-4) dominated the opening minutes, taking a 19-7 lead after one period.
After trailing 27-11 in the second, Steele Canyon (15-13) managed a decent rally over the final minutes of the quarter, trailing 34-24 at halftime.
Smith had 10 points in the first half for the Cougars, while Fishburne had nine at intermission.
GAGE SANDERS heated up in the third for Steele Canyon, knocking down back-to-back three-pointers, bringing the Cougars to within 44-41.
Sanders had four three-pointers in the second half and finished with 17 points.
Smith led the Cougars with 19 points, while Fishburne ended with 16 points.
Serra gets another East County opponent up next on Saturday, but it will be a notch up the ladder, as the Conquistadors will face the Helix Highlanders in La Mesa at 7 p.m.


Steele Canyon finished the season with a 15-13, 3-5 record in the Grossmont Hills League.

CALEXICO 66, EL CAPITAN 52 – No reports for this Division IV San Diego CIF round one playoff game. The Vaqueros finish the season 6-18, 4-6 in Grossmont Valley League and are eliminated from the playoffs.

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