East County Sports

No surprise, Matadors win event

Jay Rowlett Matador Classic division champion Mount Miguel.





By Dave Dickens



SPRING VALLEY (12-11-2021) – Saturday evening’s matchup between the Mount Miguel Lady Matadors (5-0) and the visiting El Camino Wildcats (4-1) would naturally appear like a great matchup between two of the elite north and east county’s best. Up until the end result of this one, El Camino was undefeated as well.


On paper, the Lady Wildcats had some impressive blowout wins to the likes of teams like Bishop’s and Rancho Christian,


Everyone who’s anyone knows how tough head coach Robbie Sandoval and his Lady Matador teams are, especially at the Matadome.


Rest assured, the Lady Wildcats had plenty of film to view, however when you have great coaching combined with a lot of pure talent year after year, you can watch film until you are blue in the face, as any opponent.


Mount Miguel has not played as many games, back to back, or week to week, they have really just begun their season, as many of the players have acknowledged, they are a little rusty.


With that being said, in back-to-back contests, the Lady Matadors have started the first quarter slowly.


A great example is the first quarter started with the visitors up by three, 9-6. 


“I believe we have been coming out slow the last two games to kind of figure out how our opponent was going to play, like speed, how physical, and where their mentality is,” said KK Luffborough, of the Matadors.


As always, the game plan begins execution, the press comes quickly and very physically, and the end result with even elite teams like El Camino, these Lady Matadors are very bright and Coach Sandoval does a great job teaching his girls, while on press talk it up, and get inside their head as it can create confusion that leads to turnovers. 


The Lady Matadors won the second quarter and into their press mode, quick passes, trying to wear down the opponent, Lady Matadors up 32-18 at the halfway point.


“We tried to play press every minute of the game as we are playing much better, and have better control of the game, which is how we run it all the time in practice. El Camino has been the toughest competition so far. I think we were playing great tonight as a team and great on the floor tonight because of practice. We have also been running a lot more lately, and although it is not our favorite thing to do, we know it will help us have better stamina to stay on the floor and go hard longer,” said Nataly Bravo, of the Matadors.


Mount Miguel just continued to improve as the evening progressed. As the game wore on, very quickly the Lady Matadors sealed the contest 45-26 in the third, and in spite of a great effort, finished off the Wildcats, 61-43.


Bravo had one of her better offensive performances on this young season, seven points, five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.


Luffborough, 11 points, 1 three-pointer, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, also one of her best performances in the early season, and as one of the newer rising superstars.


Zanna Hurst has been clutch in so many ways as well with 14 points, two three-pointers, one rebound, and three steals.


“Zanna Hurst can knock down some seriously clutch three-pointers and she made them look so easy tonight. El Camino didn’t match our physicality, but at least they challenged it because our game here at Mount Miguel is all about speed and playing physical,” said Luffborough. “I think what I brought to assist my team in this victory is energy, to help my team get off the court fast. Getting rebounds, I like the speed of the game to be non-stop. I’m definitely a defensive player, and the best aspect of our game is transition offense, and just getting off the court. Once we get the ball, that is what Coach Rob has especially taught us.”


Ixchel Rojo is one of those players that helped us get this win tonight, and I want to recognize her because she is always so composed, and also another one clutch with her shots.


“Lastly, I wanted to give recognition to Jennifer Moreno, as her engine never stops, and she can score at all three levels,” said Luffborough.


The Lady Matadors will face Bishop’s at the Matadome at 5 p.m. on Thursday, and then will be heading out of town, playing at The NIKE TOC Basketball Tournament.


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