East County Sports

Fast-start Sultans secure second place

Santana's NICK BERHALTER goes up for the jam during the second half on Tuesday. / photo by Tammy Ryan - TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY


Santana and Monte Vista in action on Tuesday night. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY


By Adam Paul




SANTEE (2-13-18) – Defense and momentum was the name of the game out in Santee as the Santana Sultans put on a clinic in their convincing 65-42 Grossmont Valley League win over Monte Vista on Tuesday night.

The Sultans would lead from the get-go and never look back as they led from start to finish.

The momentum started off with two straight baskets and would eventually lead to a 5-1 run to lead 9-3.

Every time the Monarchs would try and press and trap, the Sultans would break it pretty easily as they moved the ball up the court. When it was said and done behind the combined 13 points of Nick Berhalter and Brandon Simmons the Sultans had a double-digit lead at the end of the first quarter 22-11.

Monte Vista started out with a little run of 5-0 to pull within 22-16 and later on get even closer with two minutes remaining in the first half as they made it 27-22.

However, the Sultans stepped back and went back to business as they held the Monarchs scoreless the final couple minutes en route to an 8-0 run to lead 35-22 at the intermission.

Santana on the defensive end of the contest had held Deondre McHayle scoreless and Demarcus Mckan to only 8 points.

McHayle the last time the two teams met scored 18 points against the Sultans and came into the contest averaging 20+ points a game.

Both teams came out for the second half and it looked like the first half with the Sultans just having their way with the Monarchs and their defense.

Santana would start the third quarter on a 6-2 run to lead 41-24 and eventually outscore Monte Vista 13-9 to lead 48-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

Another small run for Santana to start the final frame put them up 52-31.

For Monte Vista, their top player McHayle would finally find the scorebook as he scored his first basket of the contest with just a little over five minutes remaining.

Another combined 13 points for the Sultans, this time by Andrew Hitchcock and Nick Berhalter really sealed the deal for the Sultans in the fourth quarter. Santana would outscore the Monarchs in every quarter.

For Monte Vista, McKan scored 11 points while McHayle tallied 8 points all in the fourth quarter.

On the other side for Santana, both Berhalter and Hitchcock which included 4 treys tallied 19 points on the night.

Another crucial factor in the convincing victory for the Sultans was the fact that they shot 52% from the field in the game including 7-15 for 47% from behind the arc.

Monte Vista with the loss drops to 17-10 (3-4 GVL) and into third place and now have dropped three in a row. They will finish the regular season on Friday night in Lakeside against the El Capitan Vaqueros at 7 pm.

Right now playoff-wise for Division IV the Monarchs sit in the third position and will know their fate Saturday morning.

Santana with the victory also moves to 17-10 (5-2 GVL) and clinches sole possession of second place and will finish Friday night at home against the league champions Mount Miguel Matadors at 7 pm.

For the playoffs, currently, the Sultans are slotted in the 11th position in Division III and will know their fate also on Saturday morning when seedings are announced.


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