I knew Mesa Grande Academy’s marquee athletic team for some time has been their girls basketball team. But unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to cover the Cardinals. In fact, I had covered a Mesa Grande softball game and written a Mesa Grande cross country feature before my first Mesa Grande girls basketball team.
I came away from my first Mesa Grande girls basketball game, Wednesday’s 45-24 win over San Diego Ocean View Christian in the State Division V first round, as very impressed.
Mesa Grande has an extremely talented ball handler in Michaela Garcia. They don’t have a ton of size. But they do have other players who are pretty decent at handling the ball, and most importantly, they have players who play great team defense and rebound. On offense, they tend to be very patient but have players who can finish around the basket.
I have no idea if 5th-seeded Mesa Grande (28-3, winners of 21 straight) can beat its next opponent, No. 4 Sun Valley Village Christian, a road game on Saturday night. Just from talking to coach Bob Walker in recent years, I had respect for how he runs his program, but after watching the Cardinals on Wednesday, I have respect for how they play the game.