ARVADA — Remember the name Santana Sabus.

The Ralston Valley freshman scored a career-high 33 points Friday night in her first taste of the cross-town rivalry game against Arvada West. The Mustangs needed the monster effort from Sabus to grab a 48-44 victory against the Wildcats at Ralston Valley High School.

“She (Santana) is a very multi-dimensional player and she competes,” Ralston Valley coach Amy Bahl said of the freshman who already has five 20-plus point games this season to go along with her 33-point performance Friday. “She is probably one of the most competitive people I’ve ever coached. She will do whatever it takes to score and win a game.”

Bahl said it was an emotional week for the youngest Sabus sister. Senior Sophia Sabus suffered a knee injury in the Mustangs’ win over Mountain Vista on Wednesday. Sophia, who was averaging 15.6 points per game, was on crutches while supporting her team Friday night.

“She (Sophia) is a big piece of this team. We love her,” Santana said of her older sister. “It is really tough on us that she is gone, but I thought our team really came through tonight.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

A-West (9-4, 0-1 in Class 6A Jeffco League) held a slim 35-33 lead going into the fourth quarter. Juniors Avery Harrison and Sara Walker had buckets for the Wildcats in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 39-33, but the Mustangs (8-4, 1-0) leaned on their freshman who scored a dozen points in the final quarter.

“Our coaches help us get through out there and we believe,” Santana said of the fourth quarter where the Mustangs outscored A-West 11-3 in the final four minutes. “We wanted it. We went and took it.”

A-West actually ended a 17-game losing streak to Ralston Valley last season. The Mustangs hadn’t lost to the Wildcats since the 2011-12 season before A-West held on for a 52-49 home victory last season in its second go-around during league play against Ralston Valley.

“It was a classic Arvada West/RV game,” said Bahl after splitting with A-West a season ago in the two league games. “We realized that we need to step up and compete. Nobody is going to give us anything. That (loss) defintely gave us motivation.”

A-West was motivated to get a winning streak over its chief rivals. Junior Saylor Swanson poured in a team-high 15 points and Harrison finished with 14 points in the Wildcats dropping their league opener.

“It is everything you can dream of,” Santana said of play in front of a packed gym. “Playing in front of so many fans is such a great feeling.”

A-West and Ralston Valley both hit the road next week to continue 6A Jeffco League play.

The Wildcats are at Chatfield on Tuesday, Jan. 16, and travel to Lakewood on Friday, Jan. 19.

The Mustangs head to Lakewood on Tuesday before facing 5-time defending conference champion Valor on the Eagles’ home court next Friday. Valor is currently No. 3 in the Colorado Preps media and coaches rankings.

It looks like Ralston Valley might have the best shot to dethrone Valor (8-3, 1-0) on winning a sixth-straight league title. The Eagles crushed Chatfield 79-32 in their league opener Friday night. Chatfield (9-4, 0-1) was on a 6-game winning streak before the loss to Valor.

“Everyone has got to step up,” Bahl said of Sophia Sabus going down with the knee injury. “It is a big jolt missing Sophia. It’s going to be a big adjustment.”