East County Sports

Vaqueros win again, gain D4 final berth




EastCountySports.com staff report


SAN DIEGO – The El Capitan Vaqueros recorded their second straight upset of the San Diego CIF Division IV playoffs on Wednesday night, knocking off second-seeded O’Farrell Charter, 58-55, to advance to the division finals on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against the Calexico Bulldogs at Serra High.

It will be the second-ever title game appearance for El Capitan High, which finished as runner-up in the Division IV playoffs in 2015, falling to Pacific Ridge, ironically by the same score as Wednesday night’s semifinal, 58-55. That Vaquero team was led by Bryant Irvin, Andy Casas, Ryan Smith, and Kade Kygar.

El Capitan senior Blaize Saiz came up with the most important performance of his career, scoring 15 of his 23 points in the second half. He also had five rebounds and a steal.

He had the key basket late in the game to provide the decisive margin of victory.

Senior Jake Pfitzner scored 12 points in the second quarter for the Vaqueros. He finished with 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a blocked shot.

“Pfitzner started to get it going in the third quarter,” El Capitan rookie head coach Elias Totah said. He had a huge assist to Saiz on the last possession to win the ball game.”

Daisean Desinor, a sophomore, scored nine points for El Capitan.

O’Farrell led, 18-12, after the first quarter and took a 33-28 lead into halftime.

El Cap was down as many as 12 points in the first half, 31-19.

“We made key adjustments in the second half to be victorious in this one,” Totah said. “Blaize Saiz had himself a performance tonight. We could not be happier with his efforts on the offensive end.”

But in the third quarter, El Cap outscored O’Farrell, 20-11, as Saiz and Pfitzner combined for 13 points.

“We felt comfortable being down 33-28 at the half knowing what we had to fight back from,” Totah added. “We felt if we set the tempo and made key adjustments at the half, we would give ourselves a great chance. Our guys trusted each other and we are now playing into Friday night. We have a chance to make history. A credit to our players and staff for this historic win.”

J.R. Lugtu and Pfitzner both had a three-pointer in the third quarter.

“A lot of the O’Ferrell focus was intended for Pfitzner from the get-go,” Totah said. “We had to have a player step up tonight and lead us on the offensive end, and Saiz answered the call.”

The sixth-seeded Vaqueros will be shooting for a third consecutive upset when they face the Bulldogs.

Top-seeded Calexico held off fifth-seeded Central Union, 52-49, on Wednesday.

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