East County Sports

Las Matadoras hang on for win in Vegas





By Dave Dickens




LAS VEGAS (12-30-2021) — Thursday night’s contest in the desert gymnasium of Las Vegas was a nail-biter to the end. 


Both teams came into battle sporting impressive records, Mount Miguel at 9-4 and Desert Oasis at 7-3. 


As far as head coach Robbie Sandoval and his Lady Matadors, this was just like another day at the office.


As forecasted, and a trademark of the Lady Matadors, the first quarter of play was utilized as the psychological evaluation quarter, as KK Luffborough and Zanna Hurst have made reference to on occasion, or their figuring the opponent out early, thus a 15-14 opening quarter in favor of the host Diamondbacks. Once again, the Lady Matadors were heating up, however fell short in the second quarter, as well, and were losing at the half, 29-24.


As always, coach Sandoval uttered some words of wisdom, and rest assured, also let his squad know that they were better than this, to press harder on defense, and utilize their speed and conditioning to come out and put this team away.


In the absence of leading shooter Jennifer Moreno, who has some type of ankle sprain, there must always be a pair of teammates to show up on behalf of the Lady Matadors, to ensure the job, especially on offense, is taken care of.


The tandem for this particular evening was junior point guard Ixchel Rojo and senior guard Nataly Bravo. 


Rojo and Bravo led the second-half charge, and indeed they did, led by Rojo, 42-41, winning their first of four quarters, by 1. The Lady Matadors played their best basketball in the fourth quarter and rallied playing their best basketball, winning the nail biter, 58-55.


One of the standout offensive players, in this game, in particular, was senior Bravo, contributing 12 total points, four three-pointers, and two rebounds. 


“By making my threes, it gave our team motivation to battle during the game since we started the game off a bit slow. During the second half of the contest is when all of us started playing better defense, but Yaneli (Rosales), came off the bench to lend an incredible hand on defense, especially grabbing rebounds, Danay Williams-Pope attacking the rim. Ixchel, especially with her ball-handling skills, and taking the right shots. As far as myself, hitting the open shots that gave us the lead, and I’m extremely excited to start league play and face off against elite teams,” Bravo said.


Rojo had an outstanding night with 20 total points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.


After some incredibly talented teams faced by the Lady Matadors, including trips to Arizona and Nevada, Mount Miguel (10-4) will face the Monte Vista Lady Monarchs (8-6) at Monte Vista, on Friday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m.


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