East County Sports

Sultans stun Wolf Pack at after party



EastCountySports.com staff report

SANTEE – Just days away from the start of Grossmont Valley League play, the Santana Sultans are playing their best basketball of the season.

On Saturday, the Sultans parlayed a 15-2 first quarter into a 52-44 upset win over visiting West Hills to conclude the Santana New Year’s Classic.

Santana’s BRANDON SIMMONS and BEN HART combined for 27 points and 24 rebounds in the victory, which was the Sultans’ fourth in-a-row.

Simmons was named to the all-tournament team.

Before the game, the Sultans invited fans and families, including those of the neighborhood rivals, to a tailgate party in the parking lot before the game.

But from the opening tip, the hosts were far less hospitable to their friends from the west side of town, scoring the first six points of the game.

Hart knocked down a three-ball, which extended the lead to 11-2 in the first.

Wolf Pack senior MICHAEL TOTAH had a three-pointer in the second to close the Sultans’ first-half lead to 20-8, but Santana (6-10) would eventually lead 29-9 at halftime.

West Hills (9-6) woke up at halftime, scoring the first eight points out of the break, including three-pointers from KYLE DOBYNS and JAYDEN MORENO, but the Pack still trailed 37-20 heading into the final eight minutes.

West Hills put up a flurry of points in the fourth, including 10 points from ASHTON AVESTRO in the period, but the early handicap was too much to overcome.

Dobyns was also named to the all-tournament team.

Santana starts league play on Tuesday with an intriguing opener at El Cajon Valley (7-8).

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