East County Sports

Classy Monarchs splash into semis

2021 Monte Vista Monarchs advance to the SDSCIF D4 semifinals.




EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – Monte Vista finished off Valley Center in fine fashion on Saturday night, taking a 75-58 decision in a San Diego CIF Division IV quarterfinal.

The Monarchs are the second seed in Division IV and they will move on to host third-seeded Classical Academy on Wednesday at 7 for a berth in the division championship game. The Caimans advanced with a 35-23 win over San Ysidro.

The Monarchs scored the first 11 points of the game and led 14-6 at the end of the first quarter as Meadow Delino got things started with a pair of treys in the opening eight minutes.

Monte Vista extended its lead to 32-23 at halftime as Delino made a three and Sami Gonzalez scored seven points in the second quarter.

“The key to defeating Valley Center was our defense,” Gonzalez said. “We had to step it up on rebounds and we made some adjustments. We worked on different scenarios and we managed to work it out.”

Monte Vista eventually led 51-30 late in the third quarter as Lina De Leon caught fire and scored nine points, however, the Jaguars were able to whittle the lead to 58-52 in the fourth quarter.

Delino was good down the stretch from the line, going 5-for-7.

In all, the Monarchs were good again from the foul line on the night, as they made 20-of-25 freebies.

Gonzalez, a junior, made a pair of three-pointers in the fourth quarter, as well, on the way to a 24-point effort in the playoff home game.

“My biggest contribution was on both ends – defense and offense,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just feeling really happy. We’ve worked so hard and we deserve this and, yes, most definitely, we are going to prepare for the next game, study them and we are going to be ready.”

Delino, a junior, continued to score well in the postseason with 19 points in the contest.

“Coach Sabz (Sabrina Jimenez) always assembles a solid game plan for us and if she recognizes something during the game, she will adjust our plan and we go out and execute it,” Delino said. “I feel like we went out and executed the game plan the best. Since it’s playoffs and it’s a win-or-go-home situation, we have to play each game with great energy and hustle. At the end of the day, it all comes down to who wants it more. Like Coach Sabz says, ‘heart over height.'”

De Leon, a junior, contributed 10 points in all.

Micayaah Flournoy finished with 10 points, including a pair of buckets in the fourth.

“We are getting better and better every time as a team,” Flournoy said. “The key was mainly our defense turning our steals into points. We limited the second chance opportunities and were getting the boards. It feels amazing to be where we are right now, we just have to keep fighting.”

Following the game, Jimenez got an impromptu water bottle shower from her team.

“That was super fun,” Gonzalez said.


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