East County Sports

First-place Sultans win seventh-straight


EastCountySports.com staff report

EL CAJON – The Santana Sultans’ 4-12 start was so 2018.

The Sultans improved to 7-0 in 2019 and set up a sudden showdown next Tuesday against the Monte Vista Monarchs when they defeated the Granite Hills Eagles, 48-14, in a Grossmont Valley League game on Friday night.

Combined with Monte Vista’s win at Steele Canyon, the Sultans can take a big step towards a league championship when they host the second-place Monarchs at 6 in Spring Valley.

The Sultans won the first meeting in Santee, 50-36 on Jan. 15. The Sultans are on a seven-game winning streak

Senior AALIYAH STONE had 12 points, six rebounds, six assists, three blocked shots and four steals against the Eagles.

“Aaliyah is absolutely the unsung hero of this team,” said Santana head coach JORDAN FRANEY. “So consistent for us and we can’t win without her.”

Stone has been a presence that other teams in the Grossmont Valley League has had trouble matching up against.

Last year I wasn’t really needed as one of the premier players so that really pushed me to work on my defensive game and become more of a defensive player,” Stone said. “So this year when Coach asked me to score the ball and not always to pass it, it was not what I was used to doing but I didn’t want to let down my team or my coach.

“Over time, with coach’s help, I’ve learned when to score the ball myself and when to pass it to my team, so we can be as successful as possible.”

Junior BRIANNA JERIG scored 10 points and had four steals against Granite.

“Brianna went from being a liability on offense sometimes to really getting in the gym and getting shots up,” Franey added.

Santana freshman BELLA TERRY had nine points, two blocked shots and two steals.

Junior LAKAILA AQUININGOC-DAVID had six points and four steals for Santana.

“It’s been a long season and we are tired but can’t quit now,” Franey said. “The progress my kids have made is incredible and admirable for sure. Hopefully, we can just keep playing Santana basketball.”

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