East County Sports

Knights top Matadors before road trip



By Dave Dickens



SPRING VALLEY (12-16-2021) — Following a 5-0 start, and winners of their Jay Rowlett Matador Classic, the Mount Miguel Lady Matadors were not looking past the Bishop’s contest, or were they looking ahead to the Nike TOC Tournament in Arizona, traveling following this match?  This definitely is not a typical mindset of a Lady Matador squad that has ever been coached by the legendary Robbie Sandoval.


However, there are Covid tests before games, but not psychological tests, so we may never know the answer to whether or not some or all of the Lady Matadors were looking forward to as KK Luffborough stated previously, “This may be the biggest tournament I ever play in my basketball career.”


Neither here nor there, we could dice this one up into small puzzle pieces and try to make them fit, but there was a top match up between two of the elite girls’ basketball teams, one from the North County, and one from the East County.


The Knights came into the contest posting a decent record of 7-2.


Plenty of history between the two of these schools’ girls basketball programs.


The first quarter and almost the entire contest was full of neck and neck a majority of the time.


The score was 20-18 in favor of the Matadors to end the first quarter, or close to it. Fast forward to the third quarter, a little snippet of how close these two squads really contended, 35-25 towards the middle of the third quarter, as the Knights quickly made some defensive stops, 35-32, towards the end of the third, the Lady Knights were on the heels of the host Lady Matadors.


Mount Miguel playing tough but was expected to be much more dominant in this one as Coach Sandoval put together a solid core in early 2019 of Moreno, Ixchel Rojo, and Zanna Hurst. The additions of Luffborough, Nataly Bravo, Danay Williams-Pope from Arizona, finally a big, Hellen Rosales, and Yaneli Rosales.


Approaching the end of the fourth quarter, the Lady Knights were on the Lady Matadors’ tail, with Mount Miguel up by a point, 44-43.


Bishop’s gets the steal, now in the lead 45-44, and little time left in regulation, another nail-biter at the Matadome. 


Ultimately, The visiting Lady Knights finally pulled ahead by way of steals, blocks, and some poor shot selections. Bishop’s wins, 58-54.


Two of the struggling factors, 18 percent shooting three-pointers, and struggles at the free-throw line.


Moreno scored 27 points, including two three-pointers, nine rebounds, three assists, and a steal; Luffborough had eight rebounds, and four assists, while Bravo had four points, 14 points, two three-pointers, and a rebound, while Yaneli Rosales finished with five points, six rebounds, and a steal.


After taking their first loss on the chin, the 5-1 Lady Matadors travel to Surprise, Ariz.


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