East County Sports

Monarchs ready for next-level success

Monte Vista steals the ball from West Hills on Wednesday night. / MonarchSports1



ECS staff report

SPRING VALLEY – No one is necessarily predicting a league crown or a deep CIF playoff run for the Monte Vista girls basketball team just yet. However, to successfully compete, the Monarchs are well aware there is only one way for the ballclub to gain accomplishments not seen in previous seasons.

“Our game plan was for each of us to play our hardest with high energy,” said junior Micyaah Flournoy. “We were able to play good defense, then find open teammates to shoot open shots”

It sounds simple, but some things are harder than others. Still, for Monte Vista, which finished second in the Grossmont Valley League a season ago, the system employed by head coach Sabrina Jimenez is churning out position results.

On Wednesday (Mar. 24), Monte Vista utilized all three aspects expressed by Flournoy to topple visiting West Hills, 80-36, in Grossmont Conference Tournament action.

With the triumph, Monte Vista is now 2-0 overall to equal the school’s best start since the 2012-13 Monarchs leaped to a 3-0 start nearly a decade ago.

Many might shrug about a 2-0 start, but when winning isn’t an integral part of your program’s culture, the early success has the ballclub excited about the immediate future.

“We performed well overall, but we’re not trying to get cocky,” said Flournoy. “We played with confidence, and are just trying to keep this up.”

The mental balance led to equal distribution of the scoresheet.

Of course, Flournoy led the way, scoring 13 of her  21 points in the decisive second quarter to allow the Monarchs to pull away.

Flournoy, who added six rebounds and five assists, did not find the net early on, but she had plenty of help.

Meadow Delino tallied all of her seven points in the first quarter, garnering a 16-14 lead. And when Flournoy drained a series of three triples in the second, Monte Vista registered 25 points in the period to mount a 41-20 cushion into halftime.

“Our team has speed,” Delino said. “Every game I try my best to set the momentum to get us going. It feels good taking on the leadership role. We are always going to use our speed as an advantage.”

In the third period, guard Samantha Gonzalez poured in 14 of her 21 points to share scoring laurels before sitting out the final stanza.

Another top performer for Monte Vista was Angelina De Leon, who recorded six of her 7 points in the second period. She also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and had a team-high seven steals.

For the contest, the Monarchs drained nine triples, including three by Veronica Barka for all of her nine points in the second half.

“Defense is our bread and butter,” said Delino, who had five assists. “We’ve got to get our rotations down, anticipate passes, and limit our fouls.”

For West Hills (0-2), Noie Wiley posted eight of her team-high 12 points in the first to keep the game close for a while. Mia Jaquez added seven points


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