East County Sports

Lady Vaqueros edge Lady Foothillers

Grossmont puts up a shot against El Capitan. / photo by Tammy Ryan - TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY



By Dave Dickens 


LAKESIDE (1-16-2018) – After watching both the El Capitan Vaqueros and Grossmont Foothillers and analyzing statistics after tournament play and looking for tendencies that match both teams, Tuesday night’s game was set to be a thriller, and possibly a high-scoring game.

Usually, the team that possesses the most juniors and seniors should typically win, especially if you have done your homework as a coach, player, parent, or yes, even a sports reporter.

Grossmont and West Hills in action on Tuesday night. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Forget all the typical scenarios, especially with one of the youngest girls’ basketball squads in both the Grossmont Valley and Hills Leagues.

The El Capitan Lady Vaqueros varsity team consists of 7 freshman, 4 sophomores, and 1 junior, so a glorified JV team, just a youthful, energetic, scrappy, well-coached team, and let us not leave out the most important adjective, talented, and this includes the bench.

Let us not discount the Grossmont Lady Foothillers either.

The Lady Hillers do possess 5 Seniors, not every one of them are starters, but a transfer from Christian High School, MARISSA GILES, that just started 3 games so far this season, and a very talented, but injured, ATHENA SOTELO, honestly gives the Foothillers a very talented squad all across the board.

El Cap has had to play a pretty tough schedule, and was in almost all of their games within a few points, as they won their first league game last week versus West Hills on their home court by a similarly low score, 35-29, and defeating Grossmont

The scrappy vaqueros have also been on now a 5-game winning streak.

On the other hand, Grossmont has been on an unfortunate 3-game losing skid, and hope to regain success against West Hills on Friday evening, before they play an always tough Mount Miguel team the following week.

In very similar fashion as last week’s league opener for the Lady Vaqueros, their opponent was unsuccessful within the first minute and a half of the first quarter putting points on the board. However, against West Hills, the Vaqueros were up 12-11 at the half, not down 15-11.

The Lady Vaqueros came out of the locker room ready to win, as they shut down the Hiller offense with a fantastic job on leading the defense by VIRGINIA MARTIN.

The Lady Vaqueros put up 10 of their own points to take the lead in the 3rd quarter, 21-17.

As they fought through the fourth quarter of play , both Grossmont and El Cap fought through adversity as the Lady Hillers put up 13 points and the Lady Vaqueros 14 to finish the defeat of the Hillers, 35-30, for their 5th win in a row, and Grossmont continues to plummet with their 3rd loss in a row, leaving their record at 7-7 and the Lady Vaqueros at 8-11.

“El Capitan is always a great battle,” Grossmont coach GRACE CAMPBELL said. “They took us out of our game in the first half, as we had trouble scoring.”

Said El Cap coach DARIN CURTIS:  “When your team is young, every game is a learning experience, and it is also nice to come away with the win and learn our lesson.”

“I’m proud of our team defense led by Virginia Martin,” Curtis continued.

“DEVON BULLOCK came off the bench to run our offense most of the game without a single turnover,” said Curtis.

“Individually, I really worked on getting my teammates open using my dribble and I think that helped us pull through with the win,” Bullock said. “As a team, we were persistent and did not give up what our goal was even when we were down at the half.

“If we continue to work as a team and focus, we will be able to pull another win in our next game.”

“We missed over 15 free throws tonight, and the crazy thing is that all we do in practice is shoot free throws, it is all mental mistakes,” said Grossmont’s coach Campbell. “We have to go back to the drawing board and figure this out.

“I know with having Athena Sotelo out it hurts us, but we still have the talent to win these games, we just need to figure out what is missing. We have West Hills on Friday, and they are very similar. ”

“Personally, I could have shot more threes tonight when the shoe was open off our plays but on my other side, my back doors and cutting in general was strong today,” said Grossmont’s CANDACE HENDERSON. “I believe that my defense was solid and I was able to get into the other team’s head for sure in that first half and some of the second half.”

“I think as a team we should shoot the ball more often, especially when a wide-open shot presents itself,” said Grossmont’s JAZMINE LEE. “Also taking our time on offense to actually move the defense and work the floor. The loss tonight was due to not slowing down on the offensive side to work the defense to get the easy points and turning the ball over was a big impact as well. ”

“I think in order to beat West Hills, we have to come out as a team with intensity and come ready to play a physical game,” Lee said.

The leading scorer on the evening for Grossmont was SARAH HENRY, and Henderson was held to 8 points, as on average she puts up a minimum of 20 points per game.

The leading scorer for the Lady Vaqueros was MACKENZIE CURTIS with 18 total points, and 6-for-8 for free throws.

The Lady Vaqueros will face the (7-5) Steele Canyon Lady Cougars at Steele Canyon on Friday the 19th at 5:30 p.m.

The Grossmont Lady Foothillers will face the West Hills Wolf Pack (6-10, 1-0) at Grossmont on Friday the 19th at 5:30 p.m.

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