Braves earn their 'front row' spot
First-ever league championship for ECVHS
By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com
SANTEE (2-13-13) — El Cajon Valley fourth-year basketball coach MARTY ELLIS has a meeting scheduled with principal [sic] STEVE GOTOWALA on Wednesday (Feb. 13). The topic of discussion will be where Ellis will park his automobile.
“Three years ago when I talked to Steve, we talked about if I could have a front row parking spot,” said Ellis. “He said ‘When you win, we’ll talk about it.’”
Following the Braves' 77-53 victory at Santana on Tuesday (Feb. 12), which clinched the Grossmont Valley League championship – the first boys basketball circuit crown in El Cajon Valley’s 57 year history – Ellis figures he has pretty good negotiating power.
“I’m looking for a front row spot,” chuckled Ellis.
Of course that’s the least of his concerns at the moment.
Knocking off Mount Miguel in Friday’s (Feb. 15) regular season finale would give the Braves the GVL title outright. Should they stumble, the Matadors would be co-champions.
“We’re not looking for any asterisk,” Ellis said. “We’re still not satisfied, we want the complete prize all to ourselves.”
“The game against Mount Miguel is huge – probably the biggest game of our kids’ lives,” he added.
Ellis has been title-conscious from the opening day of practice.
“My players know what the deal is,” he said. “There’s a banner up in my office that we made and laminated that says ‘Team goal is winning league,’ and all our kids have believed that to be possible since Day One.”
In Ellis’ first season at El Cajon Valley his team did not win a single game. A year later they won twice. Momentum started to swell in year three when multi-talented ANDRE NIKKITA transferred to El Cajon Valley from San Diego. They won eight games that year.
Heading into the final game of the regular season the Braves own an overall record of 18-8 and a league mark of 6-1.
Not surprisingly, Nikkita led the Braves with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists at Santana (11-15, 2-5 GVL).
DERRICK MOORE added 7 of 12 shots from the field and 5 of 5 from the free throw line to score 19 points inside the paint to go along with a dozen rebounds.
A surprise influx for the Braves was BRENDEN BROCIOUS, who hit four treys on his way to a 14 points finish.
ANDY MILLER, CHRISTIAN BARRY and DUSTIN MURPHY combined for 41 points for Santana.
The pivotal period of the contest was the second quarter when the Braves claimed a 22-3 scoring advantage.
“El Cajon Valley is the real deal,” said Sultans coach TIM BARRY. “They are one team that is a match-up nightmare for my team.”
El Cajon Valley: Andrew Nikkita 31 (11 reb, 5 ast), Derrick Moore 19 (12 reb, 2 blk), Brenden Brocious 14 (2 reb, 1 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk), Loqman Sulyman 9 (1 ast, 3 stl), Brandon Rumley 4 (3 reb), Ibraham Ali (1 reb, 2 ast), Sangar Hasan (9 ast, 2 stl), Edon Lushi (3 reb, 1 ast), Mathew Shearin (1 blk).
Santana: Andy Miller 15 (4 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl), Christian Barry 14 (7 reb, 5 ast), Dustin Murphy 12 (6 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl), Daniel Shively 6 (3 reb), Jordan Vargas 3 (2 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl), Tim Huson 2 (3 reb, 2 ast), Derrick Burks 1, Gabe Kruse (3 reb), Tiano Franco (1 reb).