East County Sports

Monarchs lay claim to Valley title

Monte Vista celebrates the league championship on Friday. / MonarchSports1




EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The Monte Vista Monarchs staked their claim of the Grossmont Valley League championship on Friday night following a 66-38 win over the host El Cajon Valley Braves.

It appears the Monarchs may have won the championship by just a half-game over the second-place Mount Miguel Matadors.

The two teams split their season series but results indicate that the teams won all of their other GVL contests this season, giving Monte Vista a 7-1 mark with the Matadors finishing at 6-1.

Unfortunately for the Matadors, a game against Santana on May 4 was apparently not played.

Either way, the Monarchs were celebrating as champs following the win over the Braves.

Brandon Tully and Isaiah Hilke both scored 22 points for Monte Vista. Both players appear sharp heading into the postseason.

“Isaiah and I love playing together and the chemistry we have is amazing,” Tully said. “The team started off rough this season, especially after I got hurt, but once I came back they realized that more was still needed. We are healthy and focused on the playoffs with the momentum of winning the league. We’re prepared for a good run.”

Tully grabbed six boards and made five steals, while Hilke had 15 rebounds and five steals.

“Brandon and I are just always there mentally together when we are on the court,” Hilke said. “Knowing that we both are capable of high-scoring numbers and trusting each other helps us work very well together. After we went on our (10-game) losing streak, we all felt the need to step up our roles. It becomes a matter of playing harder than the other team, which is what gives us the confidence to win games. I think we are well prepared for what is coming up.”

Deron Whitley added eight points and five steals for the Monarchs, who didn’t get off to the fastest of starts but took over soon after.

The 14th-seeded Monarchs would appear to be decided underdogs in their playoff opener at third-seeded Madison (18-7), the undefeated champion of the Central League, but the Monarchs’ seeding was severely affected by its poor start. Monte Vista (10-14) won nine of its last 10 games. The game is Tuesday at 7 p.m.

El Cajon Valley (1-17) qualified for the Division IV playoffs and will travel to face Holtville (9-2), also on Tuesday at 7.

MOUNT MIGUEL 76, EL CAPITAN 54 – On Senior Night, the Matadors defeated the visiting Vaqueros to reportedly finish 12-7 overall.

Mount Miguel seniors Kaleb Wilson, John Brooks, Dre Richardson, Elijah Castro, Jerell Loredo, and Jaycee Coulter were honored.

The Matadors will be on the road for their playoff opener in Division II  against the Patrick Henry Patriots on Tuesday at 7.

R.J. Lugtu led El Capitan (3-19) with 16 points, while teammates Jayden Johnson added 13 points and Trevor Moklestad finished with 10 points.

The Vaqueros get a crack at the postseason on Monday night when they travel to face Morse (3-16) in a Division III play-in game at 7. The winner will meet top-seeded Valhalla.


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