East County Sports

Matadors turn Sultans into pretender

Mount Miguel’s C.J. Jackson goes for a slam dunk on Friday night. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRyan Photography




By Adam Paul


SPRING VALLEY (1-26-18) – In what was supposed to be a close contest between the Sultans and the Matadors turned into an ugly one in the first quarter.

The closest the Sultans were to the Matadors was when they trailed 14-8 in the first quarter.

The Matadors used their tenacious defense and mad rebounding to finish the first period on a 20-2 run to lead 29-10 after one period of play.

Mount Miguel kept the afterburners going in the second period as they continually pounded the Sultans.

From the 3:44 mark in the first quarter to the end of the second quarter the Matadors rolled to a 45-8 streak to lead 54-16 at intermission.

Both senior Deron Traylor and junior C.J. Jackson poured in 16 points apiece but in very different ways.

Traylor on the night would nail 4 long ones from behind the arc while Jackson who stands at 6-foot-6 would take the Sultans to task with 10 points coming on monster dunks which brought the crowd to their feet each and every time.

The Sultans actually would show a little sign of life in the second half in the third quarter as they jumped out 5-0 early on which was the first time on the night they scored two straight times. They would actually outscore the Matadors in the third quarter 17-12 but still trail 66-33.

Two of the biggest keys on the night was the fact that the Matadors shot 7 of 10 from behind the arc and also forced the Sultans into committing 29 turnovers in which they turned the majority of those into easy points.

Scoring for the Sultans, TC Simmons had 9 points on the night.

For the Matadors besides Jackson and Traylor, Mikeece Dunbar scored 14 points including 4 3-pointers.

With the victory, the Matadors move to 19-4 and 4-0 in league play.

On the other side the Sultans drop to 14-9 and 2-1 in league.

This was a crucial Division III contest as both squads are in D3 for playoffs.

The Matadors came into the contest ranked No.1 in Division III while the Sultans were No. 9.

“We want to finish as either the No. 1 or 2 seed because everyone will have to come to our house in the playoffs.”

Santana’s T.C. SIMMONS puts up a shot against Mount Miguel on Friday night. / photo by Tammy Ryan – TRyan Photography

“Last year we were the No. 9 seed, which meant we had to travel,” said Matadors head coach Jay Rowlett.

As far as how far this team can go and be when it comes to the all-time teams in boys basketball at Mount Miguel, Rowlett mentioned that this year’s Matadors squad reminds him of the 2009-10 team that won the CIF Championship that year.

“These kids all like each other, do things together,” said the coach.

Also with the victory, the Matadors will garner more consideration for top 10 votes as they came into the contest ranked No. 15 in the County.

Next up on the docket for the Sultans is a road league game at Monte Vista on Tuesday, January 30th at 7 pm while the Matadors finish off with a home non-league contest against the Morse Tigers on Monday, January 29th at 6:30 pm.

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