East County Sports

GIRLS: Surprises highlight openers


EastCountySports.com staff report

SANTEE – The Santana Sultans earned their biggest win of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Sultans opened up the Grossmont Valley League campaign by upsetting the El Cajon Valley Braves, 43-25, on Tuesday night.

Santana is tied atop the league standings with Valhalla at 1-0.

The Sultans were holding a comfortable lead when the Braves started to inch closer in the second quarter.

Senior AALIYAH STONE had 13 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots.

“We were super excited to win our first league game,” Stone said. “We had to make sure we played really hard in the second half to make sure we secured the win.”

Freshman BELLA TERRY had 10 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots for Santana (5-12).

“I’m very happy with how great we played tonight,” Terry said. “We really proved what we are made of. It felt so amazing to see our work pay off while we competed at a high level and executed against such a talented team.

“We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the help of Coach (JORDAN) FRANEY motivating and pushing us harder every time we step onto the court.”

Junior LAKAILA AQUININGOC-DAVID had nine points for the Sultans.

“We played solid and proved that we have been working hard every opportunity we can,” Aquiningoc-David said. “The only thing we can keep doing is keep getting better and continue to take it one game at a time.”

Santana will take its perfect league mark into a tough matchup at Steele Canyon on Friday, but the team has a renewed level of confidence.

“I have this overwhelming feeling of admiration and love for this team” Franey said. “We took our lumps early this year but never once let those losses deter us from our path of continuing to get better and grow. 

“I saw kids tonight shooting the ball with confidence, hitting our looks off of picks and rolls, and taking responsibility on the floor when things didn’t go our way. These kids make me want to keep coming back every day. 

“I challenged my senior, Aaliyah Stone, to step up and be more of a presence for us in the paint and she responded to it. It was a fun game to be a part of. Onward and upward for us.”

El Cajon Valley (11-4) will visit Monte Vista on Friday.

GROSSMONT 62, HELIX 33 – The Foothillers were deadly from downtown, nailing 10 three-pointers in route to routing the visiting Highlanders in the Grossmont Hills League opener.

Senior MARISSA GILES led Grossmont with 20 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a twisted ankle. The injury is considered minor and she is not expected to miss any time. She made four threes and had seven steals.

Foothiller senior ATHENA SOTELO added 10 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.

Junior SARAH HENRY added 10 points and six rebounds for Grossmont

Junior AMELIA ELLIOTT had a nice performance with eight points for the Hillers.

“Good way to start off league play,” Grossmont head coach GRACE CAMPBELL said. “We know our next two league games (against Mount Miguel and El Capitan) are going to be very very tough, therefore we have to keep getting better.

“Tonight our shooting was on.”

VALHALLA 53, MONTE VISTA 48 – Valhalla senior MIRANDA ALKATIB knocked down two three-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Lady Norsemen outscored the Monarchs 14-9 over the final eight minutes to open the Grossmont Valley League season with an upset win.

Valhalla led 16-12 after one quarter and held a 27-23 lead at halftime.

However, the Monarchs turned the table to tie the score, 39-all, after three periods.

Senior ANGIE ORANGE led Valhalla with 22 points, while senior teammate FRANKIE MCGUIRE added 11 points.

Valhalla sophomore guard MIRIAM MACHEAL scored all four of her points in the fourth quarter to help the cause.

Monte Vista senior SARA TAHA scored 22 points for the Monarchs.

Senior TORRI HONORE added nine points for Monte Vista (7-11, 0-1) while senior teammate ALYSSA MEDRANO contributed seven points.

“The girls played hard but playing hard doesn’t mean you are playing smart,” Monte Vista head coach SABRINA JIMENEZ said. “We broke down defensively and weren’t rotating well.

“We made some terrible defensive mistakes from the first quarter that we couldn’t recover from. (In the) fourth quarter, Valhalla hit some big shots and we couldn’t execute offensively.”

FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 61, ORANGE GLEN 22 – Junior ELLIE TURK poured home 37 points as the Knights cruised over the Patriots in the Ocean League opening game at Greenfield Middle School on Tuesday.

Turk also had six steals, five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

“I think it’s our determination to be great in the long run,” Turk said. “Even if this competition right now isn’t great, putting our best out right now is what will help us in our future. It will help our perseverance.”

Freshman NATALY BRAVO added 15 points, eight assists, five rebounds and a pair of steals for Foothills Christian.

“We started not playing so hard but at the end, so we knew we had to play harder,” Bravo said. “I felt that I did well this game trying to help my team on both defense and offense.”

Sophomore ARANTXA FONSECA had seven points, 10 rebounds and four assists for FCHS (13-5, 1-0).

Knights senior EMYROSE ANCHO had a great night with 10 rebounds and eight steals.

“It was a nice win,” Foothills head coach JOEY TURK said. “It was also great to have our senior, Emy Ancho, make such a huge impact in the game and not score a single point. She played really great.

“She was extremely scrappy tonight getting loose balls and just plain playing tough. Never stopped working.  She has realized how she can help our team and committed to it.”

LIBERTY CHARTER 47, O’FARRELL CHARTER 4 – Liberty Charter (9-5) won its Summit League opener.

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