East County Sports

Foothillers bring the defense to Helix




EastCountySports.com staff report


LA MESA – The Grossmont Foothillers defeated the Helix Highlanders, 46-26, on Friday in a Grossmont Hills League game.

Grossmont’s defense was strong early, holding the Highlanders to just three points, taking a 12-3 lead after one quarter.

“Our game plan was to get everyone involved and we did that,” Grossmont head coach Grace Campbell said. “We focused on good team defense and that’s what helped us get the win. Shyann VanKirk protected the paint very well.”

VanKirk had 12 points, seven rebounds, and six blocked shots for Grossmont.

“We were definitely more hyped this game on the floor and off the floor,” VanKirk said. “The game plan for today was to play solid team defense. My job was to protect the paint, that’s what I did. We take one game at a time and continue to focus on getting playoff ready.

“We started playing late due to (the pandemic) and what we need to improve on is getting back into basketball shape. Our biggest strength is adapting to different challenges and learning from our mistakes.”

Anyssa Chargualaf also had 12 points in the game for the Foothillers, who carried a 22-10 advantage into halftime.

We have a very talented squad this year,” Chargualaf said. “I believe that our team can go far this season as long as we keep working hard. A lot of us weren’t able to play for a while due to (the pandemic) and we are a little behind on being in basketball shape, but I don’t think we should be counted out at all. I have confidence in my teammates that we can pull off a league title and make our way back to another CIF championship. It’s all about the grind from here on out.”

Unfortunately, the Foothills may have lost key player McKenzee Purnell to a serious ankle injury early in the contest.

I have not been playing as much due to some issues and injuries I have going on,” Chargualaf said. “We lost one of our key players (Purnell), so tonight I had to come out and really push for my team. I had a very rough first half offensively, but I was able to pick it up the second half and score.”

Daneca Perez had seven points, three steals, and three assists for the Hillers.

Grossmont improved to 2-0 in the Grossmont Hills League and 6-3 overall.

“Defensively, I have to give credit to my team,” Chargualauf said. “I had very reliable and talkative teammates around me to help make some opportunities for turnovers. That way we were able to capitalize off Helix’s turnovers and score.”

Ariy’Ana Duke, a former Highlander, had seven points, 11 rebounds, two steals, and two assists for Grossmont.

Senior Delina Yetbarek helped Helix (4-5, 0-2) with six points, including a three-pointer.

Senior Samonah Betts had a team-high nine rebounds for the Lady Highlanders.

Senior Le’Niyah Jones had nine points and five steals for the Scotties.

Helix, which was without injured star Serena Soloman, blocked nine shots as a team.


GRANITE HILLS 40, VALHALLA 36 – The Eagles edged the Lady Norsemen at Valhalla on Friday night.

Granite Hills improved to 2-0 in Grossmont Valley League play and 6-5 overall.


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