East County Sports

Knights, Norsemen, Lions into semifinals

Mount Miguel and Carlsbad in action on Saturday night.


EastCountySports.com staff report

Three East County boys basketball programs advanced into the San Diego CIF division semifinals next week with wins on Saturday…

FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 69, SAN MARCOS 40 – D.J. CARTER-HOLLINGER, a senior, scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Foothills Christian (22-5) enjoyed an impressive victory in the San Diego CIF Open Division quarterfinals on Saturday night.

Junior JALAI O’KEITH added 19 points and 10 rebounds, while fellow junior YASSINE GHRARAM had 17 points for FCHS.

The Knights led 18-10 after one quarter and by a 27-16 count at halftime.

Foothills will face Vista High on Wednesday night at Cuyamaca College in the semifinals at 7.

VALHALLA 64, SAGE CREEK 50 – The second-seeded Norsemen moved into the San Diego CIF Division III semifinals by defeating Sage Creek at home behind the senior combo of DOMANIC SAFARTA and JORDAN GAINES.

The Norsemen made four three-pointers in the first quarter to take a 17-14 lead after one. Valhalla led 30-27 at halftime.

Valhalla led by eight midway through the fourth quarter.

Safarta scored 32 points and handed out eight assists to pace Valhalla.

Gaines added 23 points, five rebounds and five steals on the evening.

On Wednesday, second-seeded Valhalla (27-3) will host third-seeded Del Norte (19-10) for a berth in the section division championship game.

LIBERTY CHARTER 63, HIGH TECH NORTH COUNTY 55 – Liberty Charter’s TYLER SNELL and ALEX FERRER had back-to-back three-pointers early in OT and sophomore JONAH BELPREZ scored 30 points in the game to lift the visiting Lions past second-seeded High Tech North County in a San Diego CIF Division V quarterfinal upset.

Ferrer finished with 11 points, while Snell added a couple of three-pointers in the second period to finish with 12 points.

Ferrer also hit the tying free-throw with .5 seconds to send the game to OT.

High Tech managed a furious rally in the fourth quarter to force the extra session.

Belprez dominated the first quarter, scoring 11 points, but the Lions led just 13-12 after one. He then came out strong in the second half, piling up 12 points in the third quarter as seventh-seeded LCHS enjoyed a 20-11 surge to pull in front heading into the fourth.

Liberty (15-11) advances to the semifinals next Tuesday night, meeting the Clairemont Chieftains (14-16).

CARLSBAD 69, MOUNT MIGUEL 61 – The Matadors nearly rallied from an 11-point deficit but couldn’t overcome the host Lancers in a San Diego CIF Division II quarterfinal.

The teams met for a CIF championships last season, with the game lasting three overtimes.

Seniors MARQUISE EDWARDS and MIKEECE DUNBAR helped get the Matadors back into the game in the third quarter of this one.

But the Lancers shot well from the outside and pulled away in the fourth.

Edwards did a terrific job getting to the line when he wasn’t scoring from the field.

Edwards made 12 free throws in the second half and finished with 27 points in the game.

Dunbar and senior LAWRENCE GRAY both finished with 12 points.

Senior WAL NHAIL had a pair of three-pointers in the first half for Mount Miguel (22-8).

CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC 66, CHRISTIAN 56 – The Patriots stayed close throughout most of their San Diego CIF Division I quarterfinal game at Western League rival Cathedral Cathedral Catholic.

However, the Dons pulled away from Christian in the second half. The Patriots had a couple of players battling the flu bug, sidelining one of them.

Senior JACKSON LARSEN and junior KOBE SANDERS were strong in the scoring department through three-plus quarters. Larsen had 16 points, while Sanders had had 13 points for the Patriots with still four minutes left in the game.

“(We were) a little nervous at first,” Famber said. “We were missing pieces. You need every contributor. It was just too much to overcome.

The Dons beat Christian twice at home this season, while the Patriots defeated Cathedral at the Ryan Center late in the regular season.

“They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect. (CCHS’ Thomas) Notrainni is tough. He’s looking for contact going to the basket.

“Their center, OBINNA (ANYANWU), can make every shot inside the three-point line.”

The Patriots got just seven points from players other than Jackson, Sanders and MILES WILLIAMS.

“It’s tough to win like that,” Famber said. “They beat us at their house, we beat them at our house, now they just beat us again. It was competitive.

The Patriots finished 16-14, playing a tough schedule, finishing third in one of the top two leagues in the county.

“All-in-all, it was a success,” Famber said. “Guys grew, guys learned, one of my seniors got a Division I scholarship.

“We’re going build hard over the summer. Our guys like each other. They want to stay together.”

SOUTHWEST (SD) 61, EL CAPITAN 49 – Junior JAKE PFITZNER scored 23 points for the Vaqueros, making five three-pointers in the second half, but El Capitan couldn’t overcome a 31-16 lead by the Raiders at halftime.

El Capitan senior center RANDY TUCKER also got it going in the third quarter, scoring six points. He finished the game with 15 points.

Junior JAQORI HARRIS had a three-pointer in the first quarter for El Capitan (15-14)

MONTGOMERY 82, HELIX 57 – Helix was in the game throughout most of the first half.

The Highlanders turned the ball over, however, frequently in the first quarter but still trailed just 17-16, as junior MAURICE HOLMES had a three-pointer to beat the shot clock late.

Holmes finished with 13 points to lead Helix.

Sophomore KAI JESSIE had 11 points for the Highlanders.

Junior KEISHON TRICE had 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers, for the Highlanders. He scored seven points in the second quarter.

The Aztecs’ Kyle Paranada scored 33 points in the game, including a pair of treys in the third, as Montgomery outscored the Scotties, 19-8, in the period.

Helix finished 17-12 despite not playing a single game in its own gym this season.

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