East County Sports

New-look Matadors, same winning result




By John Duran

Special to EastCountySports.com


SPRING VALLEY -The Mount Miguel Matadors opened the 2018-2019 season with a dominating 79-30 home victory against Crawford Tuesday night.

The Matadors, who dominated their way to a league title and won a Division III championship in a classic triple overtime final against Carlsbad last season, are looking to repeat as league and CIF champions this year.

“Same goal. Win 20 or more games, win league and win CIF,” Matador head coach Jay Rowlett said of his team’s expectations.

Mount Miguel enters the season with two experienced returners in seniors Mikeece Dunbar and Marquise Edwards.

Edwards lead the way for the Matadors with 27 points against Crawford without playing the fourth quarter.

“He can get that anytime he wants,” Rowlett said of Edwards performance. “It’s all up to him.”

Edwards played a key role in leading the Matadors to back-to-back CIF finals. This year, as a senior and one of two returners, Edwards is confident he can be the senior leader this team needs.

“I’m approaching it the same way,” Edwards said. “I just got to put more effort into my game and just keep working hard and be a leader on and off the floor.”

Key additions to Mount Miguel are junior point guard Dominic Morales and senior Lawrence Gray, Jr., who are replacing James Allen, who graduated, and CJ Jackson who transferred. Both those players were first-team All-League.

Edwards spoke highly of Gray and Morales. “Lawrence, he’s a good player. He can do anything. He can facilitate, create space off the dribble. Dom has good IQ and he can score at will. It’s a good addition to the team.”

Gray, who transferred from Morse and finished with 15 points, admitted to having butterflies before the game.

“I came into the game very nervous but I felt I was prepared,” Gray said. “Last year I had to sit out all season so I haven’t played actual high school basketball in a while. So I felt it was a good team win and we really played together.”

It was a good first step for the new-look Matadors. They will play Patrick Henry Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. The mindset is the same every game for the Matadors. The leaders know what it takes to make a run at a title.

“We just have to work hard every day in practice and keep grinding,” Edwards said. “We’re just looking to get a win. We’re not going to underestimate anybody. We’re just going to come out and play.”

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