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Metro-Pacific League champion Red Devils close out undefeated 25-0 hoops campaign Phillip Brents | Fri, Feb 21 2014 11:19 PM

Metro-Pacific League play in boys and girls soccer and boys and girls basketball wrapped up Friday, with the  championship decided in boys soccer and the third-ranked Sweetwater boys basketball team sealing a perfect 25-0 regular season campaign.

Boys basketball
: SuHi Nation
The Metro-Pacific League champion Red Devils liberally substituted in the second half en route to claiming a 79-33 victory against the visiting Castle Park Trojans. Sweetwater finished league play 6-0 and regular season play without a loss at 25-0.

A large crowd supported the Devils in their send-off to the Division III San Diego Section playoffs, with the school band serenading the team under the alma mater banner on the gymnasium wall after the game.

Oscar Picazo led all scorers in Friday’s game with 20 points, followed by teammates C.J. Cadua (17 points), Raven Middleton (12 points), Spencer Mattox (10 points) and Alvin Imperial (eight points).

The Devils are expected to receive either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The ninth-ranked Kearny Komets (21-2) are also in contention for the No. 1 seed.

“I’m excited about the playoffs,” explained junior Raven Middleton, who threw the game-winning touchdown pass in Sweetwater’s 7-0 victory over Monte Vista in December’s Division IV championship game. “Everybody is out to beat us. We’ve got to show that we went undefeated for a reason.”

No previous Sweetwater team had finished undefeated in regular season play.

“It’s unbelievable,” Imperial said when asked how he felt to finish 25-0 with his team. “We’ve had each other’s back since the start of the season. We play together. We practice hard and we run hard every single day.”

The section seeding meeting is Saturday, with divisional play to start Tuesday and Wednesday.

Castle Park entered the final week of regular season play with a 6-16 overall record, while Hilltop finished regular season play 13-14 and Chula Vista entered the final week of regular season play with a 4-23 mark.


Girls basketball: Spartans on top
It took a pair of free throws by Maria Tinajero as time expired to lift the visiting Chula Vista Spartans to a 38-36 overtime victory at Hilltop on Friday. With the win, the Spartans finished Metro-Pacific League play with a perfect 6-0 record and, in the process, finished regular season play with an overall 20-7 record.

The Spartans started off slow, trailing the Lancers (2-4 in league, 15-8-1 overall) by a score of 9-4 after a tentative opening quarter and 22-15 at halftime. But a strong second-half showing tied things up as Chula Vista got back in the game with a 10-4 scoring edge in the third quarter to pull to within one point at 26-25, and then out-scored the hosts 8-7 in the final quarter.

The Spartans outscored Hilltop by a 5-3 margin in the OT period.

Tinajero led the victors with 14 points while bella Julio contributed 12 points and Danielle Menchaca grabbed 10 rebounds to brace the winning effort.

Sweetwater (15-11) finished in second place in the league standings with a 3-3 record, followed by Hilltop and then Castle Park (1-5 in league, 11-13 overall).

The next stop for Chula Vista is a berth in the upcoming Division II playoffs as a league champion. The Spartans have the third-best record in the division after Ramona (22-6) and Helix (22-7).

Sweetwater also will be looking to secure an at-large berth in the division along with Otay Ranch (16-12).

Hilltop looks to be in good position to receive a playoff invitation in Division III, possibly along with Castle Park.


Boys soccer: Tie suits CVHS kickers
The Chula Vista Spartans secured the rights to the inaugural Metro-Pacific League title after battling the visiting Hilltop Lancers to a scoreless tie. The Spartans needed either a win or a tie to sew up sole possession of this season’s banner while a win by Hilltop would have locked the teams into a co-championship.

Chula Vista finished league play with two victories and four ties — showing the competitiveness of the four-team league.

Hilltop finished league play with a 2-3-1 record, faltering the second round of league competition with a 0-2-1 record after owning the best mark following the opening round of league play.

The Spartans finished their biggest tests of league play with consecutive ties against visiting Castle Park on Wednesday and Hilltop on Friday.

Chula Vista received a penalty kick goal from Carlos Aparicio in the 78th minute on Wednesday to salvage a 1-1 draw with the Trojans.

Castle Park (12-5-4 overall) finished league play with a record of 1-2-3 following a 5-1 loss at Sweetwater on Friday. The Red Devils (11-7-3 overall) appear to be generating some late season momentum after previously hanging a 1-0 loss on Hilltop in a match played Wednesday on the Lancers’ turf.

Sweetwater finished league play 2-2-2 — good enough to edge Hilltop by one point for second place in the league standings.

Victor Alfaro scored three goals while Juan Hernandez and Jorge Quinones each scored single goals to lift the Devils past the Trojans in the teams’ regular season finale.

Castle Park finishes league play in fourth place — two points behind Sweetwater and one point behind the Lancers.

Chula Vista (12-5-4) and Hilltop (9-12-1) both will compete in the upcoming Open Division playoffs while Castle Park (Division II) and Sweetwater (Division III) both expect to receive at-league playoff berths.

Metro-Pacific League standings

Chula Vista Spartans 2-0-4, 10 points

Sweetwater Red Devils 2-2-2, 8 points
Hilltop Lancers 2-3-1, 7 points

Castle Park Trojans 1-2-3, 6 points


Girls soccer: Lancers get their kicks
Hilltop finished league play 6-0 after blanking visiting Chula Vista 3-0. The Lancers (16-5-1) will compete in the upcoming Division I playoffs as a league champion.

Mary Reilly, Jaelynn Kamanu and Tehya Peterson each scored goals for Hilltop on Friday. The Lancers finished with a 36-2 goal-differential in league play with five shutouts in six games.

Sweetwater (7-9-2), Chula Vista (8-12-1) and Castle Park (5-13-2) will now hope to secure at-large playoff berths in their respective divisions.

Metro-Pacific League standings

Hilltop Lancers 6-0-0, 18 points
Sweetwater Red Devils 3-2-1, 10 points
Chula Vista Spartans 2-3-1, 7 points
Castle Park 0-6-0, 0 points

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