East County Sports

Matadors claim 21st title on Senior Night

Mount Miguel, including seniors Jacquee Brown and Arantxa Fonseca on Senior Night. / P.J. Panebianco



EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – It all came together for the Mount Miguel Matadors on Friday night. As it always does. Sometimes earlier rather than later.

Las Matadors needed the final night of the regular season to clinch the Grossmont Hills League championship, knocking off visiting challenger El Capitan, 73-52.

Mount Miguel defeated the Vaqueros on Thursday night in Lakeside.

The Matadors celebrated their seniors on Senior Night, and the teams put on a display of sportsmanship to start the game, then the night would still have drama and intrigue as underdog El Cap still had hopes of sharing the league title.

Robbie Sandoval receives a plaque from athletic director Ernie Reyes. / P.J. Panebianco

However, the Matadors still staked claim to a 21st-consecutive league championship under head coach Robbie Sandoval, who was honored during the evening for recently surpassing the 500 career victory mark.

Mount Miguel may have never felt threatened but El Capitan made sure the Lady Matadors never got away for the most part.

A strong start by the visitors made the game close through the first half, although Mount Miguel led 40-30 at halftime.

Junior Danay Williams-Pope had a big two-game series to help Mount Miguel sweep the Lady Vaqueros.

Williams-Pope poured in 23 points in Friday’s win to go along with 24 points the previous night. She also had nine rebounds on Friday.

Cool decision-maker Ixchel Rojo scored 18 points, including a pair of threes, and handed out 10 assists. She was 6-for-6 from the line on the night and also grabbed five boards.

Juinor Nataly Bravo scored 13 points, including nailing three three-pointers. For Bravo, she has three consecutive titles, but her previous two came at Foothills Christian, along with teammate Arantxa Fonseca.

“I’m extremely proud of my team and how we did tonight,” Bravo said. “I felt good even when my shots didn’t go down early. I was still playing hard and keeping the same energy. It was pretty exciting to beat El Cap twice.

“It’s been a pleasure to be able to continue the record of winning and being a part of the experience.”

Jennifer Moreno continued to work her way back from an injury, scoring seven points, while grabbing six steals.

She was also a part of the three-point crew, along with defensive stars Zanna Hurst, and Jacquee Brown, as they all knocked down a trey.

“(El Capitan’s) Mackenzie Curtis) is a tough kid who is basketball smart,” Sandoval said. “Jacquee Brown and Zanna Hurst did a great job guarding her.”

The Matadors have four losses in 21 years under Sandoval with one of those losses coming last year to the Lady Vaqueros.

Mount Miguel’s success this season, finishing 19-4 overall with a 17th perfect league season in those 21 championship years, allowed Las Matadors the No. 7 seed in the upcoming Open Division playoffs where they will travel to face the second-seeded La Jolla Country Day Torreys (15-3) on Sat. June 5 at 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, El Capitan (19-9) earned the seven-seed in Division I and will host a playoff game for the first time when the La Costa Canyon Mavericks (9-8) come to Lakeside on Wednesday, June 2 at 7 p.m.


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