East County Sports

Monarchs stake claim of Valley

Monte Vista following the game. / Dave Dickens



EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – The Monte Vista Monarchs turned their season around once the Grossmont Valley League season got started. And they made a statement that they are a championship contender on Friday night.,


The suddenly-hot Monarchs (4-1 GVL) handed the rival Mount Miguel Matadors (8-5, 3-1 GVL) their first league loss of the season,


Monte Vista senior Brandon Rully scored 25 points and grabbed eight boards.


Tully knocked down a trio of three-pointers in the first quarter.


“This was a huge game and everyone knew that,” Tully said. “We were locked in an hour before the game and we were focused during the game. We were not leaving the gym with a loss. No matter what, we were ready for the game and it showed. I’m proud of everyone.”


Deron Whitley finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Monarchs.


“Coach (Mike Tully) was getting on us about pressuring them,” said Whitley, who missed the first game with the Matadors, a 48-33 Mount Miguel win. “Brandon was the hot hand. He was making important plays and shots that the team really needed.


“The crowd was very loud the whole game and gave us the momentum we needed. Our coach builds a connection with everybody. We have been practicing very hard the last three weeks.”


Cameron McKan had nine points for Monte Vista, six of them coming in the key fourth quarter, which saw the Monarchs outscore the Matadors, 19-13.


McKan and teammate Jayden Ricahrdson both a three-pointer in the second quarter.


Marco Balhin handed out five Monarch assists.


Junior guard Jaysen Brown had a three-pointer in the first quarter for Mount Miguel, which forced an early Monte Vista time out after junior guard Elijah Black scored following a Matador steal.


Black added a three-pointer in the second quarter. Brown added another trey in the third quarter.


Senior Matt Flores drew a foul on his inside bucket in the first quarter for the Matadors.


Junior Quincy Lealie had a three-pointer in the second quarter for Mount Miguel, which trailed 48-44 with three minutes left in the game.


Monte Vista dropped a non-league home game to Serra, 52-45, on Saturday to fall to 7-14 on the season.


It was the Conquistadors first victory of the season.


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