East County Sports

Monarchs break out brooms for sweep


By Dave Dickens



LAKESIDE (2-11-2022) — After losing five straight games and being on the road for the last two games of the season, the Monte Vista Lady Monarchs (11-15, 2-6 GHL), fourth in a tough Grossmont Hills League, especially when you have two games back to back as a result of a make-up game to the 22-time league champs, the Mount Miguel Lady Matadors (19-7, 8-0 GHL). 


On to the last regular-season game versus the El Capitan Lady Vaqueros (7-21,0-7, 5th in GHL).


The Lady Vaqueros and Lady Monarchs kept it close in the first quarter, Monarchs up 13-12.


Onto the second quarter, the Vaqueros played good defense and played great at the boards, which in turn gave the El Cap offense more chances to shoot and score in the paint.


As the half ended, the Monarchs now needed to regroup at the half and discuss how they were held to only seven points and the typically tight Monarch defensive press just wasn’t there.


Keep in mind, the Monarchs pummeled the Lady Vaqueros, 64-27, back on January 21. 


Enter the second half of play after Monte Vista head coach Sabrina Jimenez spoke to her team about needed adjustments, and defensively, if more pressure was applied the ball would end up in the best offensive shooter’s hands if the ball handling and passes were tightened up, as well.


Out came a more fiery and confident Lady Monarchs team that came out and executed. Still seems if they just had one more shooter, the Monarchs more than likely have at least another five wins, but at this point, that is neither here nor there. Monte Vista ended up with a third quarter 25-11 win, a miraculous execution on all fronts. Now, as the scoreboard read, 45-37, as everyone knows and can imagine, the crowd for both home and visitors were loud, but a once roaring crowd on behalf of El Cap was now a bit stunned heading into the fourth quarter.


The final quarter of the half increased the volume once again from the El Cap home crowd, which in many cases can really frustrate a visiting team, but not this Monarch team that were playing calm, cool, and collective. Jimenez and senior Meadow Delino would tell you just that, they love to play in that type of energy and roaring crowd.


“Honestly, it doesn’t phase me what the stat sheet says, I just play my game. The Vaqueros were in a 3-2 and we were able to swing the ball quick enough, find the weak side of the defense and to take the open shot. I love it when the gym is loud and packed. Whatever noises the fans make it, it doesn’t phase me. I just love the energy in the gym,” said Delino.


That is exactly what took place, the Lady Monarchs continued to play their game and even dominate at times again, and excellent execution. As the Lady Monarchs and Vaqueros were tied as far as the scoring in the fourth quarter, 16-16, ended the game as the defense held on courtesy of Lina DeLeon, Micyaah Flournoy, and Meadow Delino on the offensive side by herself was on fire.


Monte Vista brought out the brooms as they swept the Vaqueros, 61-53.


“Great basketball from both teams. The energy , the back and forth, giving up leads, gaining leads — the whole crowd was into it. We were having a tough first half with game execution, the gym was so loud it was hard for all of us to get on the same page. After a halftime prep talk, second half we turned it up. Meadow was on fire, she couldn’t miss. Lina took charge was hitting from everywhere. Micyaah and Saniya’s energy in the second half was phenomenal, tt was a team effort all around, The gym was loud, it’s a tough environment to play in, but that’s exactly what you need going into playoffs, I’m excited, this is the push the girls needed before next week,” said Jimenez.


“Once I graduate and move on, I do believe Lina DeLeon will be a one of a kind player. Right now, she has all of us and we all work together, but next year when it’s just her, is when she will be able to show what she herself has and be able to show her individual skill,” said Delino.


Delino had an amazing 28 points to add to her already impressive resume, also had seven three-pointers, three two-pointers.


DeLeon, a future leader and should be crowned MVP by next season, added her 18 points, two three-pointers, three two-pointers. six free throws. Watch this player closely, she is gonna be something big next season.


The immediate future has the Lady Monarchs, the No. 6 seed will be playing away at Liberty Charter, the No. 11 seed, as they won their league. It will be Tuesday February 15 at 7 p.m.


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