East County Sports

Matadors, Monarchs, Sultans earn wins

Granite Hills looks for an attempt against Santana's Bella Terry. / photo by Ken Todd



EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – Jennifer Moreno scored 25 points, including four three-point field goals, to lead the Mount Miguel Matadors over the visiting Helix Highlanders, 57-38, in a Grossmont Hills League game on Friday night.

Ixchel Rojo added 15 points for the Matadors, including a three-pointer in the first quarter.

Mount Miguel at the free-throw line against Helix on Friday. / photo by Dave Dickens

Mount Miguel led 29-13 at halftime following an outstanding start which saw the Matadors lead Helix, 15-4, after one quarter.

Jacquee Brown and Zanna Hurst both added a three-pointer in the contest, as well, for Mount Miguel

Ariy’Ana Duke scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for Helix, which has been one of the pleasant surprises this season following an outstanding non-league campaign.

Le’Niyah Jones added 10 points for the Highlanders.

Both teams are now 13-6 overall.

The Matadors improved to 2-1 in the Grossmont Hills League.

Helix fell to 1-3 in the league.


MONTE VISTA 53, EL CAJON VALLEY 45 – The Monarchs’ Sami Gonzalez poured in 25 points as Monte Vista improved to 2-2 in the Grossmont Valley League by defeating the Braves.

Gonzalez had a pair of three-pointers in the first half.

“I play for the team since they don’t give up on me when I play injured,” Gonzalez said. “They step up and today was a great win. We played like a family and we need this type of energy for our next opponent.”

Meadow Delino added 11 points for the Monarchs.

“I feel like I did my best today with the ball movement,” Gonzalez said. “Meadow and I had a talk and I feel like we have to move the ball faster. I am going to give credit to the bigs due to the fact that they stepped up by getting the rebounds and passing the ball to our guards fast. That gave us fast-break opportunities.”

Monte Vista led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and led 28-21 at halftime.

“It’s not hard to stay positive throughout every game because I know that my teammates will stay positive and fight through the whole game,” Monte Vista captain Heidy Romero said. “I feel like Sami does an amazing job at staying strong. As one of our main scorers, she does not give up and continues to put in the effort no matter what the score looks like. The pressure is definitely there but I think we all feel it at some point in the game.”

Vean Gorgees scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out five assists for El Cajon Valley.

Gorgees started out hot with a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter.

Silvia Aboud added 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds, handed out five assists, and made four steals for the Braves.

Freshman Ruth Taulanga contributed 10 points for ECV. She also had three blocked shots.

Taulanga combined with her sister, Fineita Taulanga, to corral 25 total rebounds between them.

El Cajon Valley (1-3 GVL) fell to 12-8 overall.


SANTANA 39, GRANITE HILLS 23 – The Sultans moved to 4-0 in the Grossmont Valley League by downing contender Granite Hills in Santee.

“Granite Hills is much improved and I have so much respect for their coach and program,” Santana head coach Jordan Franey said. “It was a fun game to be a part of. My kids knew what we needed to do as far as execution and we battled it out.”

Lakaila Aguiningoc-David had 15 points for the Sultans, including a three-point field goal. She also had five assists and a pair of steals.

Bella Terry, of Santana, blocks a Granite Hills shot on Friday. / photo by Ken Todd

The Sultans led 9-8 at the end of the first quarter but extended the lead to 17-13 by halftime.

Santana led 28-21 at the end of the third quarter.

“The game plan for granite was just to come out and play our game against them,” Aguiningoc-David said.It doesn’t matter who is on the other bench, we are going to play as hard as we can for as long as we can. But Granite came out with lots of energy and are way better than last year. I don’t think we really realized how bad they wanted it. But after they had that first-quarter lead, I knew it was time for us to pick it up and start playing ball. 

Bella Terry had 14 points for Santana. She also grabbed 12 rebounds and made four blocked shots.

“During the first half, we had Bella Terry out as a guard which really wasn’t working for us,” Aguining0c-David said.She strives in the post, and just dominates down there. The biggest key to the turn around was our attitude. Our way of playing.  Our way of finding who we are as a team and as basketball players. That’s what changed.”

The Sultans have put it all together in time for a Grossmont Valley League title run.

Still, the pressure is on the team to keep winning and earn the championship, since their placement in Division III may require the title in order to qualify for the postseason.

Santana’s Taylinn Warren controls the ball on Friday against Granite Hills. / photo by Ken Todd

“My assistants Emerald Branson and Mike David are the glue to everything we do,” Franey said. “Without them, we would definitely not be the team we are right now. They get to work every day with our kids. I’m super grateful to not only have some incredible coaches but coaches who are my dear friends. It’s a great dynamic.”

The Sultans currently have a two-game lead following the win, which was the team’s sixth consecutive victory.

“Tonight was another night of playing Santana basketball,” Franey said. “I talk to my kids a lot about worrying about ourselves and what we need to do to control our own destiny.

Julia Zakkak, Taylinn Warren, Gaby Ley, Raeya Bristol, Jordyn Beatty, and Jaden Cablyan are all new additions to our squad this year and I couldn’t be happier. These kids have absolutely put in the work necessary to get us to the position we are today. Our practices are competitive and without everyone bought in, we would have been dead in the water early this season.”


GROSSMONT 55, WEST HILLS 37 – Freshman Jaylyn Johnson scored 21 points for the Foothillers, who pulled away after leading 29-25 at halftime.

The Foothillers outscored the Wolf Pack 18-3 in the third quarter.

Shyann Van Kirk added 10 points, three blocked shots and 12 rebounds for Grossmont.

Sophomore Mckenzee Purnell added eight points for the Hillers.

Junior Daneca Perez and senior Sarah Henry finished with six points each for GHS.

Paige Evans had a three-pointer in the second half for West Hills

Grossmont (11-10) improved to 2-1 in the Grossmont Hills League.

West Hills (0-3 GHL) fell to 13-7 overall.


MOUNTAIN EMPIRE 53, BORREGO SPRINGS 39 – The RedHawks won against the Rams.

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