East County Sports

These Sultans ready for own legacy


EastCountySports.com staff report

SANTEE – The Santana Sultans have won more than their share of Grossmont Conference basketball league championships over the years.

In fact, there have been times over the decades when the Sultans would dominate the local schedule.

While the 2019 Grossmont Valley League season isn’t a third of the way over just yet, the Sultans are the lone undefeated team in the circuit, improving to 3-0 with a 50-36 win over visiting Monte Vista on Tuesday evening.

The Sultans had a terrific team balance in defeating the Monarchs.

Senior Aaliyah Stone had 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Sultans

Santana Junior Brianna Jerig added 10 points and two steals. She had a pair of three-pointers in the first half.

Sultan junior Isis Taylor contributed nine points and three rebounds.

“We couldn’t have made it as far as we have without every girl and our will to never give up,” Taylor said. “(Monte Vista) was a tough team to beat and like any game, of course, I was nervous, but once I step on that court, I remember that we can do anything we put our mind to.

“However, we would not have made it to where we are without coach (Jordan) Franey.”

Santana got off to a terrific start, building a 13- 4 lead after one period with a 9-0 run at the start of the game. The Sultans led 21-10 at halftime.

“To win is one thing but it feels really good to know we have really put in work for every win,” Taylor said. We have definitely earned the (mark) of 3-0.

Juinor Lakaila Aquiningoc-David had 7 points and four rebounds for the Sultans, while freshman teammate Bella Terry had seven points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, and senior Angelina Madott contributed two points and six rebounds.

“Our early losses really forced us to get in the gym, not waste time, and just get better,” Franey said. “We’ve seen pressure and have truly learned what it takes to go out and win games.”

The Monarchs put up a strong fight in the second half and scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to put a sweat in the game.

“We didn’t have that winners’ mentality to start but we are slowly getting it and backing it up with our actions,” Franey said. “I tell my kids that I don’t want them to talk about it, I want them to be about it.

“Tonight was by far the best ball movement against a zone I’ve seen from us. We were unselfish, shared the ball, and took shots in rhythm. We played with poise and class even when things weren’t going our way and as a coach of these young women, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The Monarch senior duo of TORRI HONORE and SARA TAHA combined for 31 of the team’s 36 points.

Taha had five three-pointers on her way to 19 points.

Honore had 10 of her 12 points in the second half.

“(We were) slow offensively (in the) first half, nothing was falling,” Monte Vista coach Sabrina Jimenez said. “(In the ) second half, Sara and Torri picked up the scoring, but defensively, as a team, we still struggled.  Adversity challenges us, and we struggled as a team to push through.”

Santana (7-12) will host second-place Valhalla (2-1 GVL) in a key matchup on Friday at 5:30 in Santee

Monte Vista (8-11, 1-2 Grossmont Valley League) will host Granite Hills on Friday.

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