In the quarterfinal of the SIlver Division of The Classic At Damien tournament, the La Mirada Matadores (12-5) defeated the Orange Lutheran Lancers (8-4) by a score of 76-53.
An offensive explosion of 51 points in the second half propelled the Matadores to another victory as they had a tough time finding their rhythm, finishing the first half with only 25.
Defensively, the Matadores had another great game. Despite the tough going in the first half offensively, La Mirada played some hard defense to limit Orange Lutheran to just 27.
Size favored the Lancers but they were shut down in the paint as the Matadores' physicality took over, “Coach Dave Martinez is our defensive guru. Credit to him for coming up with the different schemes we used tonight,” Coach Randy Oronoz of La Mirada put it.
Junior big man #1 Michael Torres was a force to be reckoned with as he controlled the paint, on both ends, for a majority of the game. He finished with 16 points.
Sophomore guard #3 Julien Gomez was at it again with 23 points in another masterful performance to push the Matadors to 11 wins on the season. Gomez recently just earned a scholarship offer to UC Santa Barbara.
Junior forward #2 Isaiah Valenzuela was a sharpshooter behind the arc from the Matadores featuring four three-pointers made, all in the second half. Senior guard #4 Sean Cervantes drew a considerable amount of oohs and aahs from the crowd as he dazzled with 16 assists.
For the Lancers, it was Senior forward #5 David Manea who led them with 18 points. Along with Junior forward #22 Andrew Nagy with 14 points. They were the only two to reach double-digit points for the Lancers, as it was a tough second half for them offensively.
La Mirada advances to the semi-finals of the Silver Division of the Classic At Damien. They look to take on the St. Anthony Saints at Bonita High School on Thursday, December 29th at 8:30 p.m.
St. Anthony and La Mirada do have a common opponent as they both have taken on Riverside Poly, who the Matadores beat, while the Saints lost. It should be an exciting matchup as the Mats look to advance to the finals for the second straight tournament.