East County Sports

Vaqueros work to beat Monarchs


EastCountySports.com staff report

SPRING VALLEY – The visiting El Capitan Vaqueros defeated the Monte Vista Monarchs, 57-49, on Tuesday evening in a matchup of local clubs.

El Capitan improved to 6-4 but not without warning from the visitors.

The Monarchs’ behind senior SARA TAHA was a formidable challenger. The Monte Vista star was hot from the field.

“We all knew coming into the game that (Taha) was a shooter,” El Capitan freshman TIFFANY BICKFORD said. “We didn’t expect that she would make that many so we had to adjust a little bit so we could keep the lead the whole game.

Guarding (Taha) was a little challenging because all she does is cut the whole time and then run up to the ball. She does a crossover and can land one in your face.”

Taha continued to get open looks in the second half, but El Capitan’s lead seemed to slow the Monarchs’ energy for a chance at a comeback.

“KYLIE MEAD had a great game, especially on defense,” said El Capitan sophomore MACKENZIE CURTIS of her teammate. “Not an impressive night for us. 

“We had some great moments in the game but overall still much to do and improve.”

El Capitan overcame a sub-par night offensively, according to Bickford.

” I think tonight was an off night for the shooters but our next game we will all be ready to knock them down,” said the freshman guard. “No matter what we still got the job done and I appreciate my team like no other.”

The Monarchs have made big strides as one of the county’s most improved teams. El Cap beat Monte Vista last season, 56-14.

Although we did lose it has been a such an improvement from last year’s game as well as the year before (EC won 53-37,” Taha said. “I am very proud of my team that we still fought and played our toughest defense.

“We did slow down offensively and I personally thought it was because of the lead they had taken. I thought I should take charge because our team needs a leader to keep the energy and motivation up.”

Taha is a veteran of the varsity so she has a good take on new Monarchs’ coach SABRINA JIMENEZ.

“I think she is incredible,” Taha said. “She is just very determined and she believes in all of us even when we have our downfalls.”

Monte Vista fell to 4-3.

MOUNT MIGUEL 72, LA COSTA CANYON 49 – The fourth-ranked Matadors got 27 points from SYLENA PETERSON to defeat the 11th-ranked Mavericks.

La Costa Canyon was facing a top-six opponent for the second-straight night.

Senior TIAJA BENNETT added 13 points and senior LALLI GURROLA contributed 12 points for the Matadors, who improved to 9-1.

 “I thought we played a really good game,” Mount Miguel coach ROBBIE SANDOVAL said. “I just thought our ball movement was really good tonight. The usual cast played well.”

Mount Miguel led 27-13 after one quarter and 47-26 at the half.

The Matadors eventually led by 30 points.

GROSSMONT 57, MONTGOMERY 52 – Grossmont senior guard MARISSA GILES scored 26 points to lead the Foothillers.

Senior guard ATHENA SOTELO had 14 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals for Grossmont.

“Athena Sotelo makes everyone around her better,” Grossmont head coach GRACE CAMPBELL said. “What a difference Sotelo makes.”

Giles also had seven rebounds and two steals.

“Marissa is a pure scorer,” Campbell said. “With Athena back, everyone is getting chances to score. Those two together with the role players make a great squad.”

Grossmont sophomore DANECA PEREZ contributed four points, six steals and five rebounds in an all-around effort.

The Foothillers led 27-18 at halftime but the Aztecs outscored Grossmont 18-6 in the third quarter to take the lead.

Grossmont closed out the Aztecs with a 24-16 scoring edge in the fourth quarter.

“Another great win for us,” Grossmont head coach GRACE CAMPBELL said. “We have to continue to grow and get better. We have high expectations this year.

“My seniors are stepping up and becoming great leaders, which is great to see but what’s better is that we have role players that can come in and score for us or get great defensive stops.”

Grossmont travels to face Hilltop on Thursday.

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