East County Sports

Sultans earn split on Classic’s final day

Santana Sultans at the Santana New Year's Classic


By Adam Paul



The Sultans, who earlier in the day dropped a contest to Central Union, looked to bounce back in the Fourth Place contest of the Santana New Year’s Classic and that they did.

Starting out the game sluggishly as both teams couldn’t buy a basket in scoring eight points apiece in the first quarter the Sultans took a little control in the second quarter behind Nick Berhalter’s 6 points and was able to procure a 18-14 lead at the break.

In the second half things started to shake out more the way of the Sultans as they were able to push their lead to 24-17 on a three pointer with 3:45 remaining in the third period. They were able to start controlling things as they outscored Southridge 15-11 behind Berhalter’s six points which included the big three ball to put the Sultans up by seven points.

With the Sultans leading 33-24 heading into the final period, Southridge made a small push but it would be Santana who would push their lead to 11 points at 44-33 with 2:20 remaining in the contest. Eventually the lead would be extended to 46-33 with the largest lead going from 48-33 to 51-33.

Santana for the final two minutes of the contest behind defense and rebounding was able to keep Southridge scoreless and another factor in the victory was the fact that Santana shot 14 of 28 from the field in the second half.

Scoring wise it was a balanced day for the Sultans as eight players contributed scoring wise with Berhalter rolling a double-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and also had 4 thefts on the day.

Other scoring damage Santana was done by TC Simmons and also Andrew Hitchcock each scoring 8 points on the day.

With the win the Sultans claimed fourth place in the tournament and garnered their 10th victory on the season.



By Adam Paul



SANTEE – Things started off rocky for the Santana Sultans against the Central Union Spartans in a Santana New Year’s Classic contest on Saturday, as the Spartans jumped on the Sultans early, streaking to an 8-0 run to lead 10-2 and would eventually lead 19-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Things would get worse for the Sultans as they committed too many turnovers which led to the Spartans making another run to push their lead to 28-11.

Central would push their lead even further to 32-15 and then 32-15 with about 2:25 remaining in the first half.

It was looking like the Spartans would pull away even more but the Sultans came to life a little to make a small 7-0 run in the last couple of minutes to pull within 35-20 at intermission.

Starting the second half the Sultans continued where they left off as they scored the first four points of the quarter to make it 35-24.

The Sultans were able to wiggle their way back into the contest as the Spartans all of a sudden went cold as they hadn’t scored a basket in over five minutes since the second quarter.

Central would eventually score their first basket in over five minutes at the 4:20 mark if the third quarter to lead 38-26.

However, the Sultans wouldn’t go away as they would outscore Central 8-4 in the final four minutes to make it a contest at 42-34 at the end of three periods of play.

Both TC Simmons and Nick Berhalter had a big part in that as they both kept the Sultans in the contest with 13 points apiece.

The damage done by the Sultans would continue in the fourth as they pushed their run to 16-4 to pull within 46-40.

Defensively, the Sultans were keeping the Spartans scoreless as they couldn’t buy a basket which allowed Santana to make it a game at 46-43 with 3:30 remaining in the game.

Unfortunately for the Sultans, the cold shooting by the Spartans wouldn’t last as they figured things out to make a 7-0 run to lead 53-43 with 1:30 to go in the game.

In the end, the Spartans would outscore the Sultans 13-6 in the final two minutes of the contest.

With the win, the Spartans due to overall point differential will play in the third-place game while the Sultans will play in the fourth-place game.

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