Lakewood~In their third straight game, the La Mirada Matadores Boys Basketball team held their opponent to under 50 points, as they defeated the Mayfair Monsoons at home 58-41.
The Matadores (16-6) controlled this one from start to finish as the Monsoons never led once. La Mirada started the game on a 13-2 run, with that culminating into a 16-point lead going into halftime. The rout was on in the second half as the Matadores led by 22 going into the 4th quarter, where the bench saw extensive action.
Down low in the paint is where the Matadores thrived against the Monsoons. Sophomore big man MJ Smith electrified the La Mirada crowd with his shot blocking as he had two blocks. “He is a big piece for us, he fills a lot of holes,” La Mirada head coach Randy Oronoz said of Smith.
Senior forward Athan Sierra put together another shooting masterpiece finishing the night tied for a game high of 15 points. He made four 3’s, plus he put together a four-point play early in the first quarter.
Sophomore guard Julien Gomez finished the night with 15 points as well, tying Sierra for the game high, except his points mainly came inside the arc. Gomez showed off his aggressiveness continually attacking the basket with 12 of his 15 coming from inside.
Sophomore big Jaydin Cox made his season debut after being cleared to play. “We didn’t know if we were going to play him today,” Oronoz said, “but we threw him in there.” Cox finished with 4 points on the night.
For the Monsoons (9-11) it was the Botts who did the heavy lifting offensively. Sophomore guard Deacon and Junior forward Desman Botts each finished with 12 points.
Mayfair’s offense couldn’t get going early due to numerous self-inflicted mistakes including costly turnovers and fouling issues. That left them playing from behind the whole game and defensively, the Monsoons couldn’t match the physicality of the Matadores.
Looking ahead, the La Mirada takes on the Foothill Knights (19-1) at the MLK Dream Classic on Monday, January 16th at St. John Bosco High School at 7 P.M. Foothill was the 2022 CIF State Division II runner up, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2022 CIF-SS Division 2AA playoff bracket.
Elsewhere, the Monsoons take on the Esperanza Aztecs (13-8) at the MLK Classic at King-Drew High School on Saturday Jan. 14th at 3 P.M.