East County Sports

Eagles, Cougars get first win of New Year

2017 EAST COUNTY PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

A couple of local teams were quickly back in action on just the second day of 2018.

With the newest computer rankings released, both of these squads were perfectly matched to improve their standing in their division.

 

GRANITE HILLS 27, HOLTVILLE 23 – The Eagles upended the Vikings at the Sweetwater New Year’s Classic.

The difference was the Eagles strong start, as they scored nearly half their points in a 13-7 first-quarter edge.

Senior forward KANI KUBARI took the reins in the second half and finished with 12 points for the Eagles.

Freshman center JACEY DANKS continues to shine, as she added eight crucial points for Granite.

The Eagles were deliberate and successful in moving the ball into their height advantage matchups down low to make for good scoring possession.

Five-foot-10 senior AYANG AGOTH, sophomore wing PAGE WELSH and freshman guard DANICA PEREZ also were instrumental in Granite Hills’ victory.

The Eagles will have to some work to do this season to move up into playoff contention in San Diego CIF Division 2, but defensive efforts like the one against Holtville on Tuesday night will help their standing because Holtville was rated quite above Granite Hills.

Granite Hills (4-7) plays Escondido (1-7) in a Sweetwater Classic game on Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m.

 

STEELE CANYON 45, BRAWLEY 28 – The Cougars played stingy defense after a week layoff to get the win and improve to 5-4.

Steele Canyon jumped out to a nine-point lead after one quarter and led 26-11 at halftime.

“I was really impressed with our defense,” Steele Canyon head coach PETER RUIZ said. “The whole first half we had only 3 fouls.

“Our starting 3 guards (senior ELIZABETH BOTT, sophomore KHYLAYA BRANDY and junior LALA WADLEY stepped up tonight, we had one back up.”

Brandy had 15 points and Bott had 12 on the night.

Steele Canyon may not be getting the respect it deserves as it came into the game ranked just one spot above the Wildcats in the latest computer rankings, but appeared to control the Matador Classic game at home.

“I gave my squad a week off to recover from any nagging injuries and just to rest up,” Ruiz said. “I know we are going to the meat of our schedule and league play. This was our first night back on the court, we played very well for being off for a week.”

The Cougars will have work to do the rest of the season in order to move up into the current playoff rankings in San Diego Section Division 3, but a league title would be sufficient enough to get the bid.

A weaker schedule has been the detriment so far, considering they are above .500. Still, they are the highest rated team in the league.

El Capitan, which has played a tougher schedule but has just a 3-10 record, is the likely challenger in the Grossmont Valley League.

“Still a work in progress but we are heading in the right direction,” Ruiz said. “The next two games, I see us working to get better and hopefully give us momentum heading into league play.

“League play is going to rough, I think the teams are fairly even and the league title is up for grabs. There is no clear front-runner for this season.”

Brawley fell to 4-9.

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