East County Sports

Hot-shot Matadors quiet host Vaqueros


By Adam Paul




LAKESIDE – In one of the more intriguing matchups in the county on the evening in front of a very raucous crowd in Lakeside, the Mount Miguel Matadors really showed they are one of the best teams in their convincing road victory over the Vaqueros.

The Matadors who came into the league opener ranked No. 1 in Division II went back and forth with the Vaqueros who came into the contest ranked No. 10 in Division IV.

The Vaqueros towards the end of the first quarter took advantage of their opportunities and thanks to a 5-0 run were able to lead 14-6. However, the Matadors used their athleticism and stormed right back via a 12-0 run to retake the lead 16-14 to end the first quarter.

In the second quarter, both squads went back and forth with the Vaqueros taking a 24-21 lead on a three-pointer. Right after taking the lead the Vaqueros switched up their defense to a 1-3-1 hoping to slow down the Matadors but with 3:30 remaining they nailed a three-pointer to tie the score 24-24.

Once again the more athletic Matadors would retake the lead over the final three minutes of the second quarter by outscoring the Vaqueros 9-2 to take a 33-26 lead at intermission.

For the Matadors in the second quarter, Mikeece Dunbar behind a could 3-balls scored 8 points to help the Matadors outscore El Capitan 17-12 despite Jacob Pfitzner nailing a couple 3-pointers and scoring 10 points in the second quarter for the Vaqueros.

A couple of adjustments made by the Vaqueros to start the second half enable them to pull within 33-30 but the Matadors countered. However with 4:06 remaining Pfitzner nailed a three-pointer to pull the Vaqueros within 36-35.

Just when it looked like the Vaqueros garnered the momentum the Matadors changed things with a 7-0 run to lead 40-35 with about three minutes to go. Mount Miguel would eventually outscore the Vaqueros 16-4 in the final three minutes of the third quarter to lead 47-39.

The Matadors started off quick in the final period as they were able to extend their lead to 54-39 when El Capitan called a timeout with 6:41 left. Mount Miguel took advantage of the fact that 6’5” big man Randy Tucker for the Vaqueros fouled out of the contest. After Tucker had to sit the Matadors really opened the floodgates as they push to a 66-46 lead with 3:00 to go in the quarter.

For the home team Vaqueros, a trio scored in double-digits led by Pfitzner with 13 points including 3 3-pointers, Jacob Lopez who scored 12 points and Tucker who scored 10 points on the night.

On the visiting side it was a balanced scoring night as five Matadors reached double-figures led by Allen who scored 20 points,  CJ Jackson and Daron Taylor each scored 14 points, Dunbar with 11 points and Justice Chima with 10 points.

Jackson slammed one home to quiet the home side of the large crowd.

The Matadors improve their record to 15-3 and 1-0 in league play while the Vaqueros fall to 6-10 and 0-1.

Mount Miguel with the way it is playing look to be a serious contender in Division II for a CIF Championship. The Vaqueros even with the tough loss will still be a sleeper pick in Division IV.

Next up for the Matadors is a trip to Las Vegas for a contest against Silverado of Nevada tomorrow January 13th at 4 pm. El Capitan, on the other hand, will take on the Crawford Colts in a special MLK Day Matinee on Monday, January 15th at 1:30 pm at the Ryan Center on the campus of Christian High as part of an All-Day MLK special.

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