East County Sports

Vaqueros prove playoff class

El Capitan during a timeout against High Tech San Diego




EastCountySports.com staff report


SAN DIEGO – The El Capitan Vaqueros are proving to be a clutch team in the postseason.

In a Division IV quarterfinal, Vaquero senior Jake Pfitzner scored 15 points, while teammate Daisean Desinor added 14 points to help El Capitan advance in the San Diego CIF Division IV playoffs.

The pair combined to go 13-of-18 from the charity stripe.

The Vaqueros advance to the semifinals where they will travel to take on No. 2-seeded O’Farrell Charter on Feb. 26 at 7.

El Capitan was down 31-25 at intermission, but eventually, the Vaqueros would rustle up a double-digit lead down the stretch.

It was after El Cap took a 49-39 lead that the Storm would storm back into the game quickly with a 10-0 run to tie the game.

“Very proud and thrilled for our group of young men,” El Capitan head coach Elias Totah said. “Down at the half, they managed to re-group in a hostile and intimate environment, to say the least. We managed to fight through a lot of adversity.”

El Capitan outscored the Storm, 33-17, in the second half. The Vaqueros were particularly solid at the free-throw line in the final minutes.

“Our second-half energy is what put us over the hump,” Totah said. “We had a ton of contributions. Desinor was aggressive into the second half and gave us an anchor on the offensive end. Pfitzner was a lot more assertive tonight and surveyed High Tech’s zone defense much better later into the second half.”

R.J. Lugtu added nine points for the Vaqueros, while teammate Blaize Saiz came home with seven points and Harrison Morton added six points, four assists, and two steals.

Pfitzner had 13 rebounds for El Cap.

“We made key adjustments at halftime,” Totah said. “Credit to High Tech. David McRae is an all-around talent. Our defensive prowess was unmatched against their weapons into the second half. Rotations from Lugtu and Morton were crisp and our guard tandem managed to get some crucial touches on the basketball that ultimately resulted in steals and possessions.”

After an unsatisfying league campaign, the Vaqueros have hit their best stride of the season in the playoffs.

“It was a great basketball game tonight and one for the ages in my book,” Totah added. “This game was cemented in El Capitan basketball history. We are not done yet. One game at a time. Credit to our players and staff for a hard-fought effort.”

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