East County Sports

Matadors climb back to top of Hills



By John Duran

Special to EastCountySports.com


SPRING VALLEY – Mount Miguel got revenge on El Capitan Friday night, defeating their rivals 40-37 to put the Matadors in position to win their 20th league title in a row.

“It’s always a battle with El Cap,” Mount Miguel head coach Robbie Sandoval said. “They’re a good rival we’ve had for a number of years and they always battle us really tough.”

With 2:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, freshman Jennifer Moreno fouled out for the Matadors (17-6, 5-1) with her team holding on to a 37-33 lead. Fellow freshman Ixchel Rojo took over for the Matadors. She hit a floater over three defenders to make it 39-35. After a field goal by Mackenzie Curtis to cut the lead, Rojo missed a layup but immediately stole the ball from Curtis before getting fouled. Rojo would make a free throw.

Following a failed three-point attempt by El Capitan (16-10, 5-2), Rojo took the inbounds pass and ran out the clock.

“I told my teammates this game isn’t over and that we can win this game,” Rojo said after Moreno fouled out.

“She showed a lot of poise. Stepping up taking over the scoring duties after Jennifer fouled out. Hit two big baskets then hit some free throws. That’s one of the big reasons we won the game,” Sandoval said of his freshman point guard.

Moreno, who finished with 21 points 3 rebounds and 3 steals, was not surprised by Rojo’s performance. “Ixchel did a great job. I knew she would do a great job. All respect to her.”

Rojo would finish 11 points (seven in the fourth), four rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

It looked like it was going to be the Vaqueros night early on. Led by Curtis’ six points, they led 14-7 after the first. 18 points for the Matadors in the second quarter had them leading 25-22 at halftime.

The third quarter was all defense.

El Capitan scored eight points while Mount Miguel only hit one field goal by sophomore Angelana De Tate.

Curtis would score seven points in the fourth, the only points for El Cap. Rojo would lead the way with seven with fellow freshman Moreno scoring three and Zanna Hurst hitting a three-pointer.

The win puts Mount Miguel in a position to win their 20th league title in a row. Thanks to Grossmont defeating El Capitan earlier in the week, 51-50, the Matadors are in sole possession of first place.

Next up for the Matadors, they will play Bishops in a tournament before welcoming in Grossmont Tuesday night.

El Capitan will take on Montgomery before ending the regular season against West Hills.

Ninth-ranked Mount Miguel will host Grossmont and Helix next week.

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