East County Sports

GIRLS: Terrific seasons come to end for Santana, others


EastCountySports.com staff report

CHULA VISTA – The modern-day historic season of the Santana Sultans came to an end in the first round of the San Diego CIF Division III playoffs on Tuesday in a 53-33 defeat at Hilltop.

Senior AALYIAH STONE finished with nine points, eight rebounds and three for Santana, while BRIANNA JERIG added seven points.

“I’ve always had hope that great things would happen for the team throughout the season,” Stone said. “Tonight‘s game was tough but I believe we played very well as a team and have improved a lot throughout the season with Coach (Jordan) Franey’s help.”

ANGELINA MADOTT had six points and four rebounds in a notable playoff performance.

The Sultans trailed just 11-8 after one quarter, but the Lancers outscored Santana 18-4 in the second quarter.

The Sultans lost nine-straight out of the gate, but recovered to win their first league championship in 15 years.

“I am one proud, grateful and blessed coach,” Franey said. “No one is hanging their heads after this loss. Hilltop was a very talented team and we gave them our best shot. They neutralized some of our main scoring threats and hit some tough threes. We let them capitalize on some of our turnovers and we didn’t find our offensive sense of urgency until it was too late.

“Our season has been unbelievable. We had people counting us out a long time ago and every day we just flat out got better, tougher, and more talented. 

“My kids know that talk is cheap and we went out every day and let our actions speak for ourselves. I have been coaching for a long time and I can easily say this team holds the most special place in my heart. A bunch of tough kids from Santee went out every day with grit and willpower and we battled. I’m one lucky coach and our future is more bright than ever.”

Santana has a strong young nucleus and Stone has fond memories of a great season.

“I think the team will do great (next year) and improve a lot over summer,” Stone said. “I think coach has prepared me so much for college and I can’t thank her enough for all that she’s done for me. I’m so glad I got to play with all of these girls this year and be coached by such an amazing coach and it sucks that it’s come to an end but this season was amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

SAGE CREEK 51, STEELE CANYON 44 – Also in Division III, the Cougars put up a strong effort on the road before falling to the Bobcats.

ST. JOESPH’S ACADEMY 47, EL CAJON VALLEY 44 – The Braves led 21-17 at halftime but couldn’t hold off the hosts in a San Diego CIF Division IV contest on Tuesday.

MADISON 63, VALHALLA 34 – The top-seeded Warhawks knocked off the Lady Norsemen, who trailed just 15-10 after one quarter, in a San Diego CIF Division IV playoff game on Tuesday night.

Norsemen guard Mariam Mechael had a three-point field goal to close the first quarter, but host Madison completed several defensive adjustments to go on and take Tuesday’s (Feb. 12) CIFSDS Division NUMBER opener.

Mechael’s three and another Valhalla triple trimmed a 15-4 deficit to 15-10, but the Warhawks utilized a 16-6 advantage in the second period to pull away and advance.

LA COSTA CANYON 60, WEST HILLS 18 – The top-seeded Mavericks eliminated the Wolf Pack in a San Diego CIF Division I contest on Tuesday.

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