East County Sports

Patriots avenge loss to Matadors in dominating fashion

Christian's Javier Jimenez goes up for a rebound against Mount Miguel.

JACKSON LARSON, of Christian High, watches the ball on Saturday night.




By Dave Dickens


Mount Miguel’s C.J. JACKSON and Christian’s JACKSON LARSEN battle for position.

SPRING VALLEY (03- 10-2018) – Last time the Christian Patriots and Mount Miguel Matadors collided, the host Matadors, had the crowd in full force in the Matadome, as they call it.

This time around, Christian High School boys basketball had vengeance on their mind and a huge crowd following their seven-mile journey to Mount Miguel High School, the place that had the feel of an NBA final, extremely loud on both sides of the gym, although the Patriots side would end up with the final scream as they move on in the state playoffs with a 70-58 win.

“This time around was payback,” said Christian High’s ISAIAH ROBINSON, who had three three-pointers. “We knew we only had one chance to get even, and on top of it there was a lot of talking ever since they beat us.”

Mount Miguel bulldozed the Visiting Patriots out of the gate at the beginning of the first quarter.

It appeared that the home-court advantage with all the crowd noise, along with the excitement of the triple-overtime win win over Rolling Hills Prep, give the mentality of the Matadors to think they were the best and athletic enough to take out Christian just like before.

The Matadors were up by two points midway through the first quarter.

Next thing you know, the Patriots’ game plan is executed, as they become a rebound, block, and scoring machine, not to mention getting steals.

The Matadors were crushing it leading 15-6 midway through the first quarter.

Mount Miguel’s lead started to dwindle as Mount Miguel was up by 9 and increased the lead again to the middle of the second quarter, 21-13.

Before you thought, as did the crowd, that the Matadors had this contest well in hand, the Patriots went on a scoring frenzy, with stellar defense to go up 34-27 at the half, and would not give up the lead for the rest of the game.

Heading into the fourth, you could sense the emotion from the Matadors every time they started clicking, the Patriots had an answer.

Christian High head coach DAVION FAMBER yells instruction on Saturday night in Spring Valley.

Not only were the Patriots scoring, they played incredible defense.

The Matadors had been the most athletic team on the court all season. They had beaten Christian before.

Unfortunately for the Matadors, the Patriots scouted the Matadors quite thoroughly, as the Patriots were now up, 53-39, heading into the final quarter.

Mount Miguel had been in this position before, then turn on the afterburners and steal the game in the fourth.

The Matadors’ C.J. JACKSON was all over the court and was always fantastic at guarding the rim.

“We wanted to front the post, as the Matadors started every offense at the high post,“ said Christian head coach DAVION FAMBER. “We let one slip away last time we were here. We had a clear game plan, however, we got caught up in the home crowd noise and not executing the game plan.

“This time we were clicking on all cylinders.”

For a majority of the entire season, Christian was accustomed to starting slow, scouting the hand, if you will, that the opponent was playing and adjusting accordingly.

“We were starting to press, back to man, different press packages to throw them off kilter,” Famber said.

As the fourth quarter began, the Matadors were hitting some shots, however, it got ugly in a hurry, 67-49, through three quarters, though the fourth, not for lack of effort, saw Christian just moving so methodically and in sync, there was an answer for whatever the host Matadors could come up with.

With the final score at the buzzer, the Christian stands and bench were going crazy over the avenged win at the Matadome, as the squads shook hands and cleared the court quickly, however, this Mount Miguel team will just get
better next season.

Christian High’s CHRISTIAN WEST shot 75 percent overall percentage and had 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1 steal, and 6 points.

The Patriots’ JACKSON LARSEN showed why he was selected as player of the year, with 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocked shots, 5 steals and 20 points.

“Our thought process is that we just need to focus on one play at a time and play like this is the last game we will play,” Larsen said. “Mount Miguel started off hot, but we knew that as long as we didn’t dip below their score too much, continue to play our game and hustle we will end up on top.”

Christian High senior NASHOM CARTER was 4-for-4 on free throws, along with grabbing 4 rebounds, handing out eight assists, making one block, and one steal, to go along with 20 points.

“We played together this game, it meant a lot to us so we came out hungry,” Carter said.

The Christian High Patriots will travel to Riverside to face the division’s No. 1 seed, Hillcrest High, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.

“We know we can beat anybody as long as we play as a team, we lose if we beat ourselves,” Robinson said. “We have to go into Tuesday’s game against the No. 1 seeded Hillcrest with the same mindset we had today, playing and communicating as a team.”


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