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All-League Teams have been announced

Leaf has a monster game to move Foothills to the finals

By James McHugh
© East County Sports.com
RANCHO SAN DIEGO (3-4-15) — A year ago most believed that Foothills Christian was a victim of the CIF Power Ranking that failed to take strength of schedule into account. The Knights’ strength of schedule, according to MaxPreps.com, was nearly double that of Sweetwater who gained the No. 1 seed in the Division III section playoffs. Foothills Christian was relegated to No. 4 and forced to play Sweetwater in the semi finals while Kearny saw what was perceived as a much easier Calvin Christian squad on their side of the bracket. After Sweetwater defeated Foothills and Kearny stunned Sweetwater by routing them in the Division III title game, those arguments were put to rest.

This season all three teams jumped to Division II and there has been little doubt who the No. 1 seed would be for most of the season. Foothills Christian has played a schedule unparalleled in the section and it is paying off now. Kearny players provided plenty of bulletin board material via Twitter in the days leading up to Wednesday night's (Mar. 4) semifinal game at Cuyamaca College. Stopping T.J. LEAF and making things difficult for the junior forward were at the center of most of the post.

Leaf may or may not have taken note, but his play Wednesday night led onlookers to believe that he was well aware of the confidence his opponents entered the game with. Leaf exploded for a career high 43 points and added 25 rebounds for good measure. Foothills led by just one point after a quarter, but that lead had ballooned to 19 by halftime and Leaf was already nearing 30 points.

NIKKO PARANADA connected on 12 of 12 free throws for a Foothills team that does not get to the line at high rate on average. Four of those free throws came on Kearny technicals. Both OMAJAE SMITH and LUIS SALGADO had solid performances for the Knights in the 84-44 semifinal win, which actually saw a running clock for the final 2:34 of play. Neither starter had enormous stats, Salgado finishing with seven points and seven rebounds, and Smith finishing with 12 points and four assists. The intangibles of the game were well on display with the duo however. Smith and Salgado have to be guarded. Teams have learned that eliminating Leaf alone is not a recipe for success against the Knights, not eliminating him makes things much, much worse.


All-League Teams have been announced

Matadors making the familiar trip to the finals

By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com
SPRING VALLEY (3-4-15) — The Mount Miguel Matadors girls basketball team will make its 12th San Diego Section appearance under coach ROBBIE SANDOVAL in Friday’s (Mar. 6) Division I finals at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion at 8:07 p.m.

Half of those bouts for Sandoval’s crews have resulted in championships.

The Matadors (20-11), who edged Granite Hills in Tuesday’s (Mar. 3) SDCIF semifinals 74-69, will seek a championship ring again when they face top-seeded Horizon in the finals.

Sandoval realized that his Matadors pulled a nifty escape in holding off the Eagles (10-10).

“Give the Granite Hills coach (CURTIS NORWOOD) credit for having a great game plan against us,” the Mount Miguel skipper said.

Mount Miguel could not pull away from Granite Hills despite 25 points from ZARIA BRANCH, 19 from KAMREE HARRISON and 14 from SATERA BATES. ROZLYN PIERCE pounded the Eagles inside the paint for 18 rebounds and 5 blocks.

DEAJANAE HARVEY countered with a game high 28 points for Granite Hills, which suffered three losses in as many tries against the Matadors.

“I thought we were up to the task, we were right there looking them in the eye.” said Norwood, whose Eagles were outscored by the Matadors 25-24 in the fourth quarter. “But we were going against a veteran team in Mount Miguel. You have to play better than good – you have to play excellent. Our lack of rebounding was a big factor in the game.

“They’re a very good, well coached team and a veteran team. I’m proud as I can be of our team. We wish them well representing our league in the championship.”













CIF San Diego Section Boys Basketball Championships BOYS DIVISION I CIF San Diego Section Boys Basketball Championships BOYS DIVISION II CIF San Diego Section Boys Basketball Championships BOYS DIVISION III CIF San Diego Section Boys Basketball Championships BOYS DIVISION IV CIF San Diego Section Girls Basketball Championships GIRLS DIVISION I CIF San Diego Section Girls Basketball Championships GIRLS DIVISION II CIF San Diego Section Girls Basketball Championships GIRLS DIVISION III CIF San Diego Section Girls Basketball Championships GIRLS DIVISION IV  


Bullock makes Opening Day 2015 one to remember

By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com
LA MESA (3-5-15) — On opening day of the season it is always great to play at home and as was the case when the Helix Highlanders took on the Olympian Eagles in first day action of the Pacific Beach Classic and coming away with the victory 11-9.

It was definitely an exciting game for fans who were in attendance as offense was aplenty. Olympian struck in the first inning off of SHAREENA LACHANCE who was making her pitching debut when they were able to put up two runs. The two runs came on two walks and a single as well as two errors by Helix.

The Highlanders, despite being down after a half an inning, came back fast and furious in their bottom half, scoring nine runs of their own. It all was started by leadoff hitter freshman BRIANA REED who led off with a double, senior CLARISSA SMITH singled, and was followed by DESTINI BULLOCK who doubled, bringing in Smith.

One of the biggest highlights of the first inning for Helix was when freshman MACKENZIE FLORES who was making her varsity debut stepped up to the plate and raked a three run blast in her first ever plate appearance. The offense continued as Helix was able to bat around and Smith added two RBI via a double and Bullock added another two RBI to her plate via a double.

In the top of the second Olympian struck again, scoring four runs to tie the ballgame. This brought out Helix Coach EMILY KOWALSKI who made the change on the mound. Replacing LaChance would be Brianna Reed who came in with one out and two runners on base and got out of the jam. Looking like a veteran pitcher and putting down the hammer on Olympian, she only needed 25 pitches to get through the rest of the game.

In the 5th inning for the Highlanders they were able to score the go ahead runs when junior JAYCIE MATTHEWS singled with one out, junior VICTORIA CYMAN than followed with a pinch hit single and Brianna Reed drove in what was ultimately the winning run via an RBI single.



Vaqueros' State championship game, and more postseason coverage





Grossmont tight early, blowout late at City

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
SAN DIEGO (3-5-15) — The Griffins and 16th ranked (Southern California) Knights were locked in a nail-biter through six innings on Wednesday (March 4). Before the Griffins blew the scoreboard up and scored eight in the final third of the game to take a 10-2 PCAC game that was delayed one day due to weather.

KEITH KRUGER and DIEGO REYNOSO combined to go 8-for-10, five runs scored and five RBI in the top two spots in the lineup for Grossmont (8-8, 2-2).

Kruger and Reynoso each singled in the top of the first to get the game underway. TANNER PERRY (2-5, 3 RBI) singled through the left side to bring in Kruger. JORGE GARCIA walked to load the bases up. After two strikeouts, PEYTON LINDSEY (2-5, 2 runs, RBI) knocked a single through the right side to bring in Reynoso for a 2-0 lead after a half an inning.

JACKSON DENNIS (1-0) relived BRANDON LEWIS as it was all-hands on deck for the Griffins. Dennis allowed a triple to Valhalla alum CORY RUSSELL (1-4, run scored). He was knocked in two batters later to cut the Griffin lead to 2-1 after five innings.

After a quiet sixth inning, the Griffins played some small ball in the seventh. Kruger got things rolling, Reynoso sacrificed him to second and advanced to third on a balk. Perry hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring Kruger home to make it 3-1 Grossmont.

The Green and Gold blew things open in the eighth as they scored four runs in the frame. JUSTIN MITCHELL (2-5, run scored) got the engine going by singling up the middle. Lindsey singled to center to move Mitchell to second. DJ LEWIS (0-4, run scored) reached on a fielder’s choice when City got Mitchell at third.


Griffins win in come from behind style

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
CHULA VISTA (3-5-15) — The Grossmont College Griffins scored the tying run in the sixth and winning run in the seventh to down Southwestern in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game on Wednesday (March 4) by a 3-2 score.

NICOLE BALINGER (8-6) went seven innings allowing three hits and two runs. One of those runs came via a home run to BRANDI McCRYSTAL (West Hills).

Southwestern had the bases loaded and Balinger got out of the jam with a grounder to MELISSA EGGLESTON.

In the seventh, Southwestern had the game tying and winning runs on second and third. Balinger again got another grounder to Eggleston to get out of the jam and get the win.


Former Griffin Hutchins signs

© East County Sports.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. (1-23-15) — Former Grossmont College offensive guard AARON HUTCHINS has signed with the Howard University Bisons of Washington, D.C.

The 6-foot-2, 270 pound lineman from Landstown High in Virginia Beach, VA is a mid-year recruit and is already taking classes at Howard.

Three Griffin offensive football players have signed major college scholarships – all three are mid-year recruits.


Shelton's dozen not enough for Griffins

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (2-19-15) — In a game that saw 40 fouls and Grossmont College's bench out scoring Palomar's 13-0, the Comets ended up winning 69-57 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North battle.

On sophomore night, the Griffins started all five sophomores on the roster and took a six point lead in to the half. SHANE SHELTON lead all Griffins with 12 points with freshman KAELEN MITCHELL being the second highest with 10 points. Three other Griffins scored nine points.

"We played a team that is going up for a league title," Griffins assistant coach JOHN CLARK said. "It is always a battle between us and Palomar."

One Comet fouled out and three Griffins had four fouls. Several of those fouls were committed as the Griffins were trying to come from behind, however with Palomar hitting 82.7 percent of their free throws that strategy failed.


Miller scores 22, sparks Lady Rebels to OT win at Fresno State

© East County Sports.com
FRESNO (2-15-15) — Former Mount Miguel alum DANIELLE MILLER hit a 24-foot tying 3-pointer in the final second of regulation and totaled a game-high 22 points to lead UNLV to a 73-70 overtime victory over Fresno State in a Mountain West women’s basketball game Wednesday (Feb. 11) in Fresno.

Miller is the WAC statistical leader.


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The 5-foot-8 senior shooting guard scored 25 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, dished nine assists and made nine steals in the first round and quarterfinal playoff games for the Highlanders.

RONNE READUS, El Cajon Valley

The 6-foot-8, 170 pound junior center grabbed 53 rebounds in the first round and the quarterfinal playoff games for the Braves to go with 18 blocks and 24 points.

ZARIA BRANCH, Mount Miguel

The 5-foot-8 senior guard scored 55 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished five assists, made 11 steals and had three blocks in last week’s work.


The 6-foot-3 senior forward scored 38 points, hauled down 23 rebounds, dished four assists, made four steals and blocked a shot in two games last week.


The 5-foot-6, four-year starter for the El Capitan Vaqueros scored 28 points in her last time out against Steele Canyon and totaled 39 for the week. She also logged eight rebounds, five steals and five assists.

NATE GILBERT, Mount Miguel

The 6-foot-2 senior forward scored 60 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals for the Mount Miguel Matadors (12-11, 0-4) in two games last week. During the game against Crawford he scored five 3-pointers.


LEANNA WATSON, El Cajon Valley

The freshman guard scored a career high 21 points, including three 3-pointers in a close victory over Valhalla.


SYON HICKS, El Cajon Valley

The senior guard scored 26 points, made two steals and three blocks for the Braves in a victory over El Capitan.



The 5-foot-6 senior guard scored 29 points and dished eight assists vs. Fontana Summit, and scored 10 points, including a trey and dished five assists vs. Monte Vista. Shepard has committed to Portland State University.



The 6-foot-3, 180 pound junior forward scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a Grossmont Valley League victory over Granite Hills on Friday (Feb. 23).


LUIS SALGADO, Foothills Christian

The 6-foot-1, 175 pound junior guard nailed 21 points, including three treys to spark the No. 1 ranked Knights to a 76-52 Coastal League victory over La Jolla Country Day. Salgado was 3-for-3 from above the arc, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished 4 assists.



The 5-foot-9 junior power forward scored 20 points, including a 3-pointer, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished an assist in a losing effort to Bishop&rsquot;s.



The 5-foot-10, 178-pound senior guard scored 45 points, grabbed eight rebounds and made five steals for the Monarchs over two games.



The 5-foot-1 junior point guard rolled a rare triple-double against Valhalla with 20 points, 13 assists, 11 steals and seven rebounds.



The 6-foot-4 senior guard scored 99 points and grabbed 30 rebounds in four games for the Matadors over the holiday tournaments.



The 5-foot-7 senior forward scored 58 points and reeled in 19 boards in four games for the evenly balanced Wolf Pack over the holiday tournaments.



The 6-foot-10 junior poured in 31 points, grabbed 27 rebounds, blocked 15 shots and dished two assists in the Foothillers’ victory over Oceanside.



The 5-foot-5 point guard scored 23 points, snagged three rebounds, made one assist and recorded three steals in the Matadors’ victory over Olympian.

For previous 2014-15 winners, click here




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