East County Sports

Monarchs return to form, beat Sultans




By Dave Dickens



SPRING VALLEY (1-15-2022) — After Friday night’s playoff atmosphere that fell a few points short of an astounding comeback victory, leaving a sour taste and a fantastic recipe for a Monte Vista victory. Let us not forget how well the visiting Santana Lady Sultans and the host Lady Monarchs know each other, as the two teams just shared a Grossmont Valley League Championship on Jan. 29th, 2019, with a 42-36 Monarchs’ win in Spring Valley.


Definitely a triumphant moment for the Lady Monarchs, and the place was at deafening decibels that evening. There are a pair of current players on this year’s roster, Sami Gonzalez and Meadow Delino, who were freshmen at the time, but would love to compete for a possible league championship in the Grossmont Hills League, or at least a close second.


As Monte Vista (8-9) took the court against the visiting Santana Sultans (9-4), let us not forget that this year, the records may look deceiving on paper as the Lady Monarchs have graduated to the Grossmont Hills League, which has been literally owned by head coach Robbie Sandoval and his Lady Matador teams since its inception.


A thought surely in many of the Lady Monarchs’ minds, along with ending a five-game losing skid, and climbing back up to the .500 mark.


As the first quarter began and through the entire quarter, it definitely was not the early result the host Lady Monarchs were looking for, as the Lady Sultans came out swinging to the tune of a 20-14 score, up by 6 and had won the first quarter of play.


However, here came the staple press on defense, holding the Sultans to a mere two points, as the Lady Monarchs managed 10. The Monte Vista defense led by Lina DeLeon, Meadow Delino, and even Yasmine Al Asady got into the heavy dose of the Monarch D, which would ultimately end up causing 29 turnovers, just another day at the office for this defense, as that is correct folks, Santana had two points in the second quarter, leaving the score, 24-22, Lady Monarchs at the half.


Monte Vista came out firing and taking control of the third quarter, with pure determination,


They were gonna win this game. As they took care of the third quarter with that stingy defense.


Yet again, the third quarter belonged to the Monarchs, 14-6, which propelled the Lady Monarchs up by 10, 38-28, heading into the fourth quarter.


Almost as if a carbon copy or Deja Vu, it became once again a back and forth, ‘you score, and we’ll score,’ which led to a tired defense on the host Monarch side.


No matter, as Delino, who worked harder on her defensive play just last night, just could not get her shots to drop, was the leading scorer this afternoon. With 26 total points, six three-pointers, three from the field, 2-of-3 for free throws, and great defense, leading the team in steals with seven. 


The Sultans did lose, 12-10, as far as the fourth quarter was concerned, but ultimately won the battle, 48-40.


Other notable players, Al Asady had six total points, four rebounds, and two steals, DeLeon had seven total points with a three-pointer, three rebounds, and four steals.


Delino, what a complete turnaround for the field general.


“Before the game, I told myself I knew I had to make up for yesterday’s game versus Helix since I didn’t shoot very well. I knew already when we played Santana they put up a fight. In the first quarter, Santana had the lead, so Coach Sabz (Sabrina Jimenez) called a timeout to set us straight. After the timeout, I realized enough is enough and decided to take things into my own hands.


Once we all started clicking together, the momentum shifted and we were on top. Entering the fourth quarter, they really focused on playing tight defense on me, so I stepped it up on the defensive side to force turnovers and find my teammates, to give them opportunities,” said Delino.


“Wow. It was another hard fought game on back-to-back nights. I never take Santana lightly. You can always expect Santana to be well coached-those girls come ready to play. We had to make early adjustments, and the girls came back in the second quarter to play. They played tremendous defense after that first quarter. We had some early foul trouble and had some people step up defensively. After a little pep talk, I got a defensive surge from Sam, Micyaah (Flournoy), and Meadow. Yazzy stepped up offensively in the fourth quarter, giving us big points in the paint. Meadow turned it up from last night and was on fire,” said Jimenez.


Now that the Lady Monarchs have a win under their belt, back to the .500 mark at (9-9), they will travel to Grossmont (7-1) for their second league game on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m.


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