East County Sports

Royals rumble past stunned Matadors



By Dave Dickens



SPRING VALLEY (1-8-2022) — The last time the Mount Miguel Lady Matadors competed was on the Dec. 30, 2021. It was definitely not anywhere close to home, as they faced off against Desert Oasis, edging the hosts, 58-55.


That was until they faced off this past Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Matadome, versus the Rosary Academy Royals (6-5). 


It was definitely the type of contest we never expect the Lady Matadors to be on the shorter end of the game. In fact, the last time Mount Miguel scored less than 33 points in a loss was on  Feb. 25, 2020, in a loss to Mission Hills, 68-32. By the way, they finished the season 22-9 overall, and 7-1 in the Grossmont Hills League.


It has been a familiar trend this season for the Lady Matadors to start most games off slowly, as they did in the first quarter of this game, as well, down 23-5 at the end of the first quarter. Being held to only five offensive points, and one of their staples is defense, especially for press against an opponent like this, thus the 23 points in just the first quarter allowed by a visiting opponent is typically unheard of.


As the Lady Matadors also typically do is come back in the second quarter, in which they did, 13-10. However, still considerably behind, 33-18 at the half.


“The main problem was we didn’t play with a lot of energy, or a competitive edge. It seemed as if we were playing if we had to, not because we wanted to. Only we can correct the lack of energy we had within ourselves,” said KK Luffborough, of the Matadors.


Mount Miguel tried to make the necessary adjustments, but it was just as if maybe they were able to fit maybe two or three more games prior to this matchup, and perhaps a day or two before just to stay sharp.


The Lady Matadors were only able to come up with a combined 15 points, nine in the third quarter, six in the fourth quarter, as the visiting Royals put up another 15 in the third quarter, and 18 in the fourth quarter against a typically stingy defense that typically causes multiple turnovers.


The final from the Matadome was in essence a shellacking by the visiting Royals, 66-34.


One of the bright spots, Ixchel Rojo, of the Matadors, put up 15 total points, five rebounds, two assists, and three steals. 


“ =It is a personal thing to have a strong enough passion and desire to push through adversity and compete. We just didn’t compete. Toughness is not something you can teach, the solution is to bring the toughness out from within,” said Luffborough.


The next opponent slated for the Matadors was supposed to be the Monte Vista Monarchs.


Due to health protocols, there will be a postponement of this game as the Monarchs would not have enough healthy players to compete.


“Whether it will be Monte Vista or any team in the future, we just have to play tough and with passion. Of course, we have to play smart and play together, but what we lack as of right now is the drive to win, almost like a refusal to lose. Honestly, we just need to adjust our energy. If we don’t find the need to compete, we will not find the motivation to win games. Whoever our opponent is, we should always be excited to be on the court,” said Luffborough.


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