East County Sports

Erickson gives Eagles 14th-straight win

GRANITE HILLS and HOOVER in the fourth quarter on Friday night.



EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – Granite Hills senior Caleb Erickson calmly buried a three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the game to lift the Eagles to a 49-48 victory over the visiting Hoover Cardinals in a San Diego CIF Division III quarterfinal game on Friday night.

“It was the best feeling ever,” Erickson said. “I really didn’t believe that shot just went in. And when the crowd stormed the court, it was so crazy.”

Despite a huge contribution, the basket was Erickson’s only points of the night.

“I’m so happy for Caleb,” Granite Hills head coach Dan Duffy said. “He has sacrificed his scoring all season without a single complaint. He epitomizes what I would hope defines Granite Hills basketball. He is unselfish and works hard every day and has played through numerous injuries in the past couple of seasons.”

The win was Granite Hills’ record 14th-consecutive victory and allowed the Eagles to reach a section semifinal for the first time in school history.

The Eagles were down 10 points with 3:30 to go in the contest.

“I’m extremely proud of the way we played as a team through adversity,” Duffy said.We were down and turned up our defensive intensity to make one last run. We survived another bad shooting night (16-of-53 FGs) to advance.”

McKay Roberts scored 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for the Eagles.

“The key was coming together in the fourth quarter and getting down and dirty on defense,” Roberts said. “Once we got in them, we got some fastbreaks and the momentum switched.”

Roberts knocked down four three-point field goals in the process but had the biggest assist in his prep career on the big shot.

“McKay Roberts demonstrated this team’s unselfishness by kicking out that last pass for the game-winning shot showing an amazing level of trust in his teammate,” Duffy said.

Deon Spear added 12 points for Granite Hills.

John Yakou had nine points for the Eagles.

Erickson had a team-high 11 rebound and also blocked four shots.

“Our shots haven’t been super on in the past couple of games, mine included,” Erickson said. “But the defense was definitely the key to this game in the fourth quarter to get us back up.”

The Eagles advanced to face second-seeded San Ysidro in the semifinals.

“We just have to get right back to work and ready for a huge game Tuesday at San Ysidro,” Erickson said.


CORONADO 63, WEST HILLS 39 – The Wolf Pack fell to the Islanders in a playoff quarterfinal in Division III on Coronado Island on Friday night.

Islander star Wayne McKinney was limited by the Wolf Pack for most of the game but Coronado pulled away from a tired Pack late.

San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher was at the game to see McKinney.

“We were in the game for most of the game but we ran out of gas in the fourth quarter and they pulled away,” West Hills’ Ashton Avestro said. “Wayne McKinney is a really good player and we tried all our best to stop him but we couldn’t. We’ll be back better next year.”

McKinney was held to 11 points over the first three quarters but finished with 21 points. The star averages 29 points-per-game.

Kyle Dobyns opened the game with a three-pointer for the Pack. He has another field goal later in the first to give West Hills a 14-8 lead.

“We wanted to win this game for the seniors tonight but Coronado just played better,” said Dobyns, a junior. “Jayden Moreno and Ayden McClure played great defense on Wayne throughout the game. It seemed like the refs weren’t on our side but we just tried to keep our composure.”

Jayden McClure also had an early field goal and West Hills was out to a 7-2 advantage. The Islanders tied the game at 14-all by the end of the first quarter.

“The other team just wanted it more than us,” McClure said. “We played our hearts out but couldn’t handle the heat of the other team. This wasn’t how I wanted to end of course, but everything happens for a reason.”

Avestro had five points in the first quarter. He added a three-pointer in the third quarter to cut a lead to single digits.

Brendan Greene made a three-pointer in the second quarter for the Pack.

Cornado led just 26-22 at halftime but took off in the second quarter and led 39-24 just three-plus minutes into the second half.


CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC 72, CHRISTIAN 61 – The top-seeded Dons won the Open Division quarterfinal over the visiting Patriots on Friday night.

Patrick Roberts had a field goal in the second quarter to cut a Don lead to single digits.

Moments later, Kobe Sanders had a three-pointer for the eighth-seeded Patriots to close a Don lead to 28-18.

Then, Dasean Lynch answered a Cathedral three for Christian to keep the deficit at 10 points.

Vincent Warren also connected on a three-pointer for the Pats in the second quarter, as Cathedral led 35-24 at halftime.

Warren also connected from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter but the Dons led 59-41.

Kobe Price added a three late in the fourth for Christian, as did Vinny Signorelli, and Sanders.


SAN MARCOS 69, HELIX 50 –  The Knights KO’d the visiting Highlanders in a Division I quarterfinal in the North County.

The Knights built a 31-22 lead by halftime.

Helix finished 23-7 overall, including a win over Vista in the first round.

San Marcos sophomore Devon Arlington had 33 points.


CENTRAL UNION 61, MONTE VISTA 41 – The Monarchs fell in the Division IV quarterfinals after building a short lead early against the Spartans.

Monte Vista had an 8-4 lead in the first quarter but trailed 22-12 at the end of the period.

The Spartans led 32-19 at halftime and 43-34 after three quarters.


FRANCIS PARKER 70, FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 63 – The fifth-seeded Lancers eliminated the fourth-seeded Knights by winning for the second time this season against FCHS on the road at Cuyamaca College.

The Lancers bolted out to a 23-15 lead after the first quarter.

The Knights made a big offensive rush late, scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter.

The Knights trailed 60-53 when Yassine Gharram went down hard after a drive to the basket.

Kimo Ferrari had a three to give FP its largest lead of the game at 47-36 in the third.

With 4:05 left in the second quarter, the Lancers led the Knights, 30-20.

With 2:56 left in the first quarter, Francis Parker led Foothills Christian, 17-11.

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