East County Sports

Pack win in wacky Hills; El Capitan wins

El Capitan senior R.J. Lugtu. / P.J. Panebianco



EastCountySports.com staff report


SANTEE – In the wild and wacky Grossmont Hills League, the margin for error is becoming very thin.

With near-total balance and parity, no team has established itself as the league favorite as the schedule reaches the midway point.

The West Hills Wolf Pack defeated the Granite Hills Eagles, 60-55, to hold serve in a matchup of contenders on Tuesday evening.

“I told our team that our backs were to the wall and we needed this win,” West Hills head coach Tim Barry said. “All 12 of our players contributed.”

A subtle change provided the necessary spark, according to Barry, who inserted an all-junior class lineup at one point in the first half.

“If our senior class could shoot better, we can win these bigger games,” Barry stated. “I put in all juniors for a minute-and-a-half and it changed the whole trajectory of the game. In the second half, our seniors played much better.”

Wolf Pack senior Kyle Dobyns scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as West Hills pulled away from a 40-39 lead after three quarters.

“Granite shot the ball well,” Dobyns said. “It wasn’t our best shooting night but we were able to find a way to win.”

West Hills improved to 12-6 overall but most importantly, earned a second league win to go to 2-3.

Granite Hills (10-3) fell to 2-2, one game back of Helix and Steele Canyon in the GHL standings.

West Hills trailed the Eagles 17-13 after the first period but ended up with a 33-27 lead at halftime.

The play of the game, however, according to the players and their coach, was a taken charge late in the fourth quarter by Jarrett Hartwig.

The Pack’s Brendan Green had a three-pointer in the first quarter and finished the game with 11 points.

Ashton Avestro had a trey in the second quarter and went on to finish with nine points.

“We knew we had to win to stay in the running for the league championship,” Greene said. “Jarrett’s taking that charge, making our free throws, and Ashton made some great passes late in the game that was very big for us.”

Luke Gibson had eight points for the Pack.

Cash Creighton added a three-pointer for West Hills.

West Hills went 15-for-19 at the foul stripe. The Wolf Pack appear to be the sharpest team in the conference from the line.

“We have five guard-types who really should be shooting the ball better from the field,” Barry said. “We have an underwhelming shooting percentage and I think we are a better shooting team than we have shown. We should have four more wins at this point.

The Edmund brothers “double-handedly” kept Granite’s chances in hand in the fourth quarter.

Junior Tre Edmund had three three-pointers in the fourth and finished the game with 19 points.

The younger Edmund brother, Derek, had three threes in the first half and also finished with 19 points.

Joseph Sagmani finished with 12 points for Granite.

West Hills will travel to face Helix on Friday. The Highlanders may be the team that has the slightest of upper hands in the league title race currently.

“Hopefully, we can carry this momentum into Friday,” Dobyns said.


HELIX 50, VALHALLA 33 – The 14th-ranked Highlanders controlled a low-scoring contest against the Norsemen to move to 3-2 and into a tie for first place currently in the Grossmont Hills League.

Helix led just 8-4 after the first quarter and 15-13 at halftime.

It was a 10-point advantage in the third quarter that seemed to put the Highlanders comfortably in front 32-20 entering the fourth quarter.

Isaiah Thomas led the Highlanders with 14 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, and two assists.

Markees Williams added seven points, six assists, four rebounds, and a steal for Helix (10-7), which was the only team to receive a vote (10th place) in the latest San Diego County media rankings.

The East County had gone two straight weeks without receiving one vote cast from the panelists.

Sophomore Ahkwon White has a three-pointer in the second quarter to give Helix an 11-7 lead, then Thomas scored to make it 13-7.

A White layup made it 15-13 late in the second half.

Thomas hit a three in the third to give Helix a 21-15 lead

White knocked down another three-pointer midway through the third to make it 24-13.

Moments later, Thomas scored on the break to put the Highlanders up 26-15

Williams later scored on a pass from Thomas to make it 30-17.

The Highlanders Payton Steele scored a layin on a football pass from Williams, which kept Helix up 32-18.

Wiliams later hit a three to make it 35-22, then Akhwon White added another three which put Helix up by 15 at 42-27.

Valhalla (10-4), which was outrebounded 35-28 and was limited to just 24 percent from the field, is currently just 1-2 in the Grossmont Hills League so they, too, can still contend for the championship.


GROSSMONT 67, STEELE CANYON 55 – The Foothillers limited the Cougars to just five points in the second quarter to take a 31-25 lead into halftime to earn a key road victory in the Grossmont Hills League.

A 20-11 margin in the third quarter helped Grossmont pull away further.

Junior River Elliott led the Foothillers with 15 points, including two of Grossmont’s four three-pointers on the night.

Junior Sergio Franso added 13 points for Grossmont

Junior Elijah Williams finished with 10 points for the Hillers.

The margin for error is so thin in the GHL that a road win almost counts double at this point of the season.

Angel Raposa finished with 15 points and four rebounds for Steele Canyon (10-7), which is now tied for first with Helix at 3-2.

Senior Alessando Pabon hit five three-pointers (in seven attempts) from downtown to finish with 15 points.

Steele Canyon is at home against Granite Hills on Friday night.


EL CAPITAN 56, SANTANA 49 – The Vaqueros broke through for their first victory of the season against the visiting Sultans on Tuesday evening.

Daisean Desinor and Trevor Moklestad both scored 12 points for El Capitan.

Moklestad was 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.

The Vaqueros are now 1-3 in the Grossmont Valley League play.

El Capitan will have a non-league game at home against O’Farrell Charter on Saturday at 3.


MOUNT MIGUEL 78, EL CAJON VALLEY 43 – Mount Miguel freshman Mekhi Sidney scored 25 points and handed out six assists in his varsity debut.

The Matadors led 30-24 at halftime, then pulled away from the Braves for the Grossmont Valley League win.

Mount Miguel is 3-0 in the GVL, one-half game in front of Monte Vista (3-1).

The Monarchs, winners of five straight games, will host the Matadors on Friday.

Mount Miguel won the first meeting at home, 48-33.

The game will be extremely significant in determining the league championship and represents the game of the year in the GVL.


FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 64, ARMY-NAVY 56 – Sophomore Derrius Carter-Hollinger scored a career-high 21 points and also corraled nine rebounds in the Knights’ win over the Warriors.

The teams played relatively even throughout but the difference was the Knights’ 17-8 edge in the second quarter.

Darrien Carter-Hollinger added 18 points, seven assists, and 10 rebounds for the Knights.

Junior Anthony Lambert had 13 points and 10 rebounds for FCHS.

Foothills Christian improved to 6-11 overall.

LIBERTY 60, MOUNTAIN EMPIRE 28 – The Lions rolled to the road win over the RedHawks and improved to 5-0 in league play.




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