East County Sports

Lady Vaqueros go ballin’ in Las Vegas

El Capitan terror twins MACKENZIE CURTIS and JORDAN GRANDY.





By Dave Dickens



Las Vegas (7-9-2018) – What would a group of young female athletes be doing in Las Vegas?

The local ladies from Lakeside were on a mission to improve their game, which was already plentiful, talent-wise.

As a young group of mostly freshman basketball players, the Lady Vaqueros of El Capitan, along with the savvy coaching of head coach Darin Curtis, turned in a fantastic regular season performance with a record of 17-13 overall and a perfect 8-0 in the Grossmont Valley League, and number five in the SDSCIF Division 3 rankings.

El Capitan players at a tournament in Las Vegas.

The Lady Vaqueros came on strong at the end of their 2017-18 campaign, winning 8 of their last 9 games, including one SDSCIF Div. 3 playoff victory over Tri-City Christian, 52-24, ending their win streak with a tough loss on the road to a very speedy and somewhat older and disciplined squad, 57-27.

That loss will definitely assist in developing an even better more disciplined Lady Vaquero basketball team. That is definitely not the only tool to assist in a return of an even more experienced, and time efficient team.

As a soon to be sophomore, MACKENZIE CURTIS summed up Las Vegas in one word, “crazy.”

The showcase was held in the south wing of the Las Vegas convention center. There were 35 basketball courts being utilized and another 30 that were set up for play, but not used.

“It reminded me of AIU, but much bigger, we played college rules and all the courts were college size as well,” said Mackenzie Curtis.

Truly competitive teams came to this event to assist in improving their game.

“We defeated the first team from Arizona by 20, which was the biggest point differential in the entire tournament,” said Curtis.

“Vegas was definitely a blast, I definitely learned a lot throughout the entire tournament,” said junior JORDAN GRANDY. “The basketball portion of the trip was definitely the most exciting, being able to play players from different parts of the United States, and Vegas in general was very fun.

“We, as a team, had a lot of time to really get to know each other even more than we already do, the only downfall of this trip was the really hot weather of course.”

“We definitely worked on on time management this weekend as many games were very close, one mistake could cost you the game,” said Curtis.

El Capitan players in action in Las Vegas.

One of the key players not on hand with the Lady Vaqueros was soon to be junior point guard DEVON BULLOCK.

Once again, Lady Vaqueros head coach Darin Curtis had to shift around his players to different positions they don’t typically play, however this group adapts very well, and this time in a different environment as well.

The kicker of this whole trip to Las Vegas, it was Lady Vaqueros coach Darin Curtis’ birthday weekend.

According to the team, head coach Curtis was just very impressed with the hard work his girls put in and it showed on the floor.

“Dad was just glad to be in the gym on his birthday,” said Mackenzie Curtis.

Jordan Grandy and Mackenzie Curtis are definitely still the “TERROR TWINS.”

“We still look for each other on the floor always,” added Mackenzie.

As a team, coach Curtis was thrilled to see that his squad was playing great defense, in particular, his soon to be sophomore captain Mackenzie Curtis.

“Mackenzie and I definitely learned a lot more about each other during the tournament,” stated Grandy. “I personally learned that no matter what situation you are in, you have to just get used to it and show up to play, it does not matter how much fun you have off the court or the the night before, once you step on the court, it’s game time.”

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