LA MESA — Monte Vista High School's man-to-man defense shut down Mount Miguel to lead the Monarchs to a 54-47 victory Friday night in a game that decided the Grossmont League's top seed to the San Diego Section 3-A basketball playoffs.
Monte Vista's victory at Grossmont broke an 11-game Mount Miguel winning streak and marked the third time the Monarchs had won in four meetings between the teams this season. Mount Miguel's last loss was to the Monarchs at Monte Vista in mid-January.
Mount Miguel routed Monte Vista, 59-41, two weeks ago at home. In that game, Monte Vista could not hit its outside shots.
Mount Miguel suffered a similar fate Friday night. The Matadors tried to compensate by getting the ball inside. But Monte Vista's defense moved in for the steal whenever the Matadors tried to get the ball inside.
Mount Miguel's 6-10 center, Mike Flores, scored eight points in the first quarter but only three after that, after Monte Vista Coach Zach Peck moved James Gotell to guard him.
"Gotell did a super job for us," Peck said. "We had Gotell play man on Flores whenever he was in the game because of his quickness."
Gotell scored Monte Vista's first six points in a sloppily played first half as both teams looked tentative.
With the score tied, 15-15, Monte Vista outscored Mount Miguel, 6-2, to take a 21-17 lead at the half. Flores scored inside to open the second half, but Monte Vista outscored Mount Miguel, 7-1, to take a 28-20 lead.
Mount Miguel pulled within one, 30-29, with 2:05 left in the third quarter on a lay-in by Anthony Rivera. But Monte Vista again pulled away, outscoring Mount Miguel, 7-1, in the final two minutes of the quarter.
Leading 41-35 with 6:32 remaining, Monte Vista took command by scoring eight straight points for a 49-35 lead and Mount Miguel never challenged again.
Scott Winne led Monte Vista with 17 points, including 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. Gotell added 14 points. Gus Lopez scored 13 points for Mount Miguel.