East County Sports

Foothillers get championship experience

DANECA PEREZ accepts the Sportsmanship Award for Grossmont




EastCountySorts.com staff report

SAN DIEGO – The Grossmont Foothillers weren’t necessarily in rebuilding mode during the 2018-19 girls basketball season.

However, in the San Diego CIF Division II championship game on Saturday, the Foothillers looked very much the team willing to play their young players in preparation for a bright future.

The Carlsbad Lancers jumped out to a big early lead, 17-4 in the first quarter, and defeated Grossmont, 64-42, in the title game at RIMAC Arena.

Carlsbad has an open shot against Grossmont on Saturday.

It wasn’t by design but Grossmont had to shift the lineup. And the final score didn’t necessarily tell the story of the Foothillers’ title-worthy effort.

Senior star Athena Sotelo missed the championship game with a bad knee injury which will require surgery in less than two weeks.

Grossmont scored five points in the fourth quarter after closing the lead to one point in the third quarter. The result of the final period tilted the scoreboard.

“Carlsbad shot the ball well,” Grossmont head coach Grace Campbell said. “We couldn’t get into the rhythm. Sotelo was definitely needed.”

Sophomore Daneca Perez won the CIF Sportsmanship Award for Grossmont and led the Foothillers with 13 points and a pair of steals.

“I’m excited and even though we lost today,” Perez said. “I am looking forward these next two seasons here at Grossmont.”

Sophomore Anyssa Chargualaf continued her terrific play, finishing with 11 points and five rebounds. She had seven points at halftime.

“Playing in the finals is a huge accomplishment not only for myself but for my team,” Chargualaf said. “Although we didn’t pull off the win, to even make it there when so many people doubted us is a huge deal.”

Marissa Giles and Sarah Henry both had four points in the first half for the Hillers.

The Hillers trailed by 10 at halftime but Perez scored off a turnover right out of the gate. Then a free throw by Chargualaf made the lead just seven.

Alex Purnell then pulled down a rebound and put the ball back up off the glass to make it just a five point game less than two minutes into the second half.

Grossmont following the game.

A minute later, Henry drew a foul and went to the line, making a pair of free throws and all of a sudden the gap was 33-30.

Perez then hit a three-pointer to make it 35-33 in favor of the Lancers.

Carlsbad led 46-37 at the end of three periods.

Grossmont will play in a state playoff game on Tuesday. The seedings are announced on Sunday for the state playoffs.

“When two sophomores are your leading scorers in a CIF championship game, that proves that the future of our program is bright,” Campbell said. “For a team that has had many adversities and still make it to the CIF championship game, that speaks volumes.”

Carlsbad freshman ALEXA MIKESKA had four three-pointers in the first quarter on the way to 20 points.

Grossmont had 11 turnovers in the first half.

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