East County Sports

BOYS: Teams prep for postseason

El Capitan guards against Liberty Charter on Friday night. / photo by Dave Dickens

El Capitan boys varsity on Senior Night.



EastCountySports.com staff report


LAKESIDE – The El Capitan Vaqueros celebrated Senior Night with a 76-60 victory over visiting Liberty Charter on Friday night.

The Vaqueros went to the locker room with a 37-19 lead following a 20-6 edge in the second quarter.

El Capitan senior Jake Pfitzner scored 30 points for the contest, knocking down five three-point field goals. He also had six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

“Jake Pfitzner has been doing his thing lately and I’m just trynna help out and provide for my team,” said El Capitan sophomore Daisean Desinor, who had 16 points. “But the gameplan was simple. Just go out and dominate.”

Desinor made 9-of-10 from the foul line on the night.

El Capitan at the free-throw line on Friday night against visiting Liberty Charter. / photo by Dave Dickens

“Huge win tonight for us,” El Capitan head coach Elias Totah said. “Gives us huge momentum going into CIF. Proud of the tempo we played with tonight. Pfitzner had it going and was a scoring threat every time he touched the ball. I’m proud of the player he has become over the past month or so. Desinor was aggressive in attack mode and drawing contact at the rim.”

Senior Blaize Saiz, of the Vaqueros, had 11 points, nine rebounds, and a pair of assists.

“Blaize Saiz really stepped on Senior Night and also a lot of our underclassmen played a big role not only on defense but the offense, as well,” Pfitzner said.

Vaquero R.J. Lugtu, a junior, finished with 10 points, four rebounds, a pair of assists, a steal, and a blocked shot.

“Blaize Saiz has had a nice last couple of games,” Totah said. “He contributes in so many ways.  Another senior that understands what he needs to do and has been here before. Lugtu shot at a high percentage tonight as well. His defensive presence has ramped up the past couple of games.”

El Capitan senior Harrison Morton had one of El Capitan’s 11 three-pointers as a team.

“We were definitely outsized tonight but it was a team effort on the boards,” Morton said. “We were hitting shots and playing great in transition. I was satisfied with the outcome of our Senior Night.”

Morton also had eight assists and five rebounds.

“Morton is the smallest guy on the floor,” Totah said. “He crashed the boards tonight and played with an energy I haven’t seen in a few games.”

Senior James Zuniga had 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists for Liberty Charter.

Junior Jayden Swanson added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Lions.

Junior Jonah Belprez came home with 10 points and 10 rebounds for LCHS.

“I liked Liberty Charter’s size from the get-go,” Totah said. “I knew we had to compensate for that mightily. They have a lot of raw ability right now, but with growth and development, they will be a lot more fluid in the years to come.”

Senior guard, Harrison Morton for us also added 8 assists and 5 rebounds.


FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 80, FRANCIS PARKER 67 – The seventh-ranked Knights made a statement on the final night of the season by putting away a team that has passed them in the local top ten media poll this week.

The game was close until the fourth quarter when the Knights spoiled Parker’s Senior Night.

The score was tied at 14-all at the end of the first quarter.

However, Foothills Christian built a lead in the second quarter and led 38-33 at halftime.

The Knights’ Yassine Gharram had a field goal in the third quarter that gave Foothills Christian a 47-37 advantage.

The Knights led 62-50 at the end of three.

Foothills Christian was good from the line down the stretch.

Francis Parker rode a long winning streak that propelled the team up in the local poll, but the Lancers lost to Christian High last Saturday and Foothills Christian on Friday.

The Knights and Lancers will meet again in the first round of the Open Division playoffs on Feb. 21, with the Knights garnering the No. 4 seed and Parker gaining the No. 5 seed.


HELIX 74, MOUNT MIGUEL 35 – The ninth-ranked Highlanders got 22 points from senior Maurice Holmes in the Grossmont Hills League finale, as Helix finished the Grossmont Hills League schedule with a 10-0 record by winning its 15th consecutive game.

Holmes scored 17 points in the first half. He had a three-pointer in the second quarter and the third quarter.

Sammy Stewart added 17 points for the Highlanders.

Xavier Otis finished with 13 points for Helix.

Shawn Parks finished with 13 points for Mount Miguel.

Dominic Morales had a pair of three-pointers for the Matadors.

Ronald Graves also made a three for Mount Miguel.

Helix will host Vista in the opening round of the Division I playoffs on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Grossmont High.

The Highlanders earned the No. 5 seed.

The Matadors, seeded last in Division I, will travel to face 15th-ranked Santa Fe Christian in a playoff opener on Wednesday at 7.


GRANITE HILLS 66, SANTANA 53 – The Eagles won over the Sultans in the Grossmont Valley League finale, giving Granite Hills an unblemished league record for just the second time in school history.

The victory also tied the all-time Granite Hills record for most consecutive wins with its 12th-straight win.

McKay Roberts had 13 points and 15 assists for the Eagles.

John Vrzich had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Granite Hills. 

Deon Spear finished with 15 points while teammate Yakou had 14 points for the Eagles.

“It was a great all-around effort,” Granite Hills head coach Dan Duffy said. “I’m very proud of the team. They stayed focused and brought a high level of effort every night.”

Ethan Wolchko, a junior, finished with 22 points for the Sultans, while junior teammate Carson Burton came home with 19 points.

“Santana played hard and was well prepared,” Duffy said. “Kevin has done a great job with his group.”

Granite Hills will host Morse in a first-round game in the Division III playoffs on Wednesday at 7.


MONTE VISTA 77, EL CAJON VALLEY 75 – The Monarchs defeated the Braves by a bucket in the Grossmont Valley League finale as the teams had a wild fourth quarter to finish off the contest.

Ivan Maynard scored 34 points for Monte Vista, including a pair of three-pointers.

Cameron McKan added 12 points for the Monarchs.

The Monarchs jumped out to a 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, as Marco Bahlin hit a three-pointer for Monte Vista in the period.

Monte Vista led 32-22 at halftime.

The Braves, however, had a double-digit lead, 55-45, at the end of the third period.

Monte Vista scored 32 points in the fourth quarter, eventually tying the game in the waning moments at 75-all before winning the game.

The Monarchs improved to 5-3 in the Grossmont Valley League and could be headed to a top-four seed in the upcoming Division IV playoffs.

“One of the best games I’ve been apart of,” El Cajon Valley coach Raynell Mills said.

Monte Vista will host Chula Vista in the opening round of the Division IV playoffs on Wednesday at 7.


GROSSMONT 57, WEST HILLS 53 – Noah Velasco scored 17 points for Grossmont, including three three-point field goals, as the Foothillers won the Grossmont Hills League finale to take second place.

Grossmont got the No. 4 seed in Division III and will host Hoover on Wednesday at 7.

Mykol Rodriguez and Lachin Bekirov both had 11 points for Grossmont. Bekirov had two three-pointers, while Rodriguez also had a trey.

Kyle Dobyns had 17 points and five rebounds for the Wolf Pack.

Jayden Moreno added 15 points for West Hills, including a pair of three-pointers.

The Wolf Pack finished 6-4 in the Grossmont Hills League, good enough for a third-place finish.

Grossmont was a little better tonight but I have a smile on my face, pride in my heart, and satisfaction in my soul to have the opportunity to coach these kids,” West Hills head coach Tim Barry said. “So proud of my boys. The growth of these boys has been satisfying. Time to make a run in the playoffs.”

West Hills will travel to face Mt. Carmel in the opening round of the Division III playoffs on Wednesday at 7.


VALHALLA 58, STEELE CANYON 52 – The Norsemen outlasted the Cougars in the season finale for both teams on Friday, as Josue Amaya scored 20 points, Joe Avalos had 18 points, and Justin Razooky added 14 points for the Norsemen.


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