East County Sports

Curtis sets all-time conference mark

Senior Mackenzie Curtis / ec_girls_basketball

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LAKESIDE — In an accomplishment that has a family tone among coaches and players, El Capitan High senior Mackenzie Curtis has made history for the Vaqueros girls basketball program.

Curtis tallied 25 of El Cap’s 39 points Saturday (Apr. 10), becoming the career scoring leader in both East County and the Grossmont Conference. The University of New Mexico bound guard currently sits at 2,209 points.

The record was achieved at El Capitan’s Foster Gym, which has seen more than its share of prolific scorers.

Curtis’ total snaps a first-place deadlock that occurred at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, when El Cap’s Allison Duffy and Santana forward Jordan Franey finished deadlocked with career totals of 2,190 points.

The only other East County girls basketball players to achieve 2,000 points were Ellie Turk of Foothills Christian, who capped her career last season with 2,176 points, and another El Cap legend, Stephanie Kindreich, who was the first to surpass the 2K plateau with 2,006 in 1994-97.

Kindreich has been enshrined in the El Capitan Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. Franey joined the Santana Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.

Turk is currently playing for Point Loma Nazarene University.

Despite Curtis setting the record in a 58-39 tournament setback to Scripps Ranch, her head coach, older brother Dylan Curtis was pleased to witness the milestone by his younger sister.

“Mackenzie had a great week, scoring 32 and 32 points against a pair of Division I schools — Mission Vista and Torrey Pines — then set scored 25 to get the record,” he said. “It was a frustrating game — we didn’t play very well — but it was good to see her do it.”

“And we have 18 games remaining this season.”

Because of COVID-19 protocols, the Vaqueros are playing in the same league with Mount Miguel, Monte Vista, Santana, and El Cajon Valley. But if the Matadors do capture their 21st consecutive league title, they could advance to the CIF Open Division tournament, leaving a path for the Vaqueros to compete into the Division I field. Thus, more games and more opportunities for additional points.

“I’d love for her total continue to grow,” the coach added.

Dylan Curtis is in his first official season as Vaqueros head coach. Previously, father Darin Curtis guided the program. He was the 2002-03 East County girls basketball coach of the year.

“We all need to pay attention to little details, we’ll see what we can do,” added Dylan Curtis. I’m optimistic — we only lost by five points to both Mission Vista and Torrey Pines, and they’re both really good. We’ll see what we can do the rest of the year.”

Some believed Mackenzie Curtis also broke the East County record for girls and boys. However, the boys’ mark is held by Troy Leaf of Foothills Christian with 3,318 (2007-10) which is also the CIFSDS career record. Older brother T.J. Leaf, now with the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder,  is next with 3,020 from 2012-16.

The Grossmont Conference mark, according to the CIFSDS record book, is held by Kemmy Burgess of El Cajon Valley (2,066, from 1996-99). Other players are above him, but they only parts of their respective careers with a GUHSD school, like Tony Clark (Valhalla and Christian) and Floyd North III (Helix and St. Augustine).

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