SPORTS

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Photo by : Justin Toyomitsu
Photo by Sydney Trieu

The Matador boys volleyball team faced off against the West High School Warriors on March 10. Though taking control of the first set, the Matadors slowly crumbled, ending in a fatal loss with a set score of 3-2. Losing the tie-breaking first set by several points, the Matadors had a wide chance to come back but were unable to grasp the game, which ended with a solid loss.

The first set of the game was a smooth game for the Matadors, who swept the first three points of the game and continued to keep the lead. Focusing on widening the gap, the Matadors were able to make a nine-point difference against the Warriors, winning the entire set with the set score of 25-13.

However, everything started to fall from the second set. Losing the first four points, West High School stubbornly kept their five-point lead while the Matadors tried to bounce back. ending in a tie, 17-17. Unfortunately, with unexpected errors, the Matadors lost the set with a three-point loss, ending the set with the score of 22-25.

The game entered the third set and even the fourth set, lengthening the game until the fifth set. With another loss in the third set with a score of 17-25, the Matadors could not afford to lose another set. Waking up from their deep sleep, they came back strong with a six-point lead of 25-19, winning the fourth set.

Entering the fifth set of the game, which was the tie breaker, both teams vigorously played in order to capture 15 points first. Though the Matadors had a secure tie with the Warriors, the game ended in a loss 11-15, with the set score of 3-2.

Photo by Tran Lam
Photo by Tran Lam

In their second match against Alhambra High, the Matadors lost to the Moors, 38-42. The game displayed a constant battle between the Matadors and Moors, with each team constantly battling to gain the upper hand.

The Matadors started off the game even against the Moors. Among the basket trades between the teams, the score stayed relatively even, closing out at 14-11 after the first quarter.

During the second quarter, the Matadors and Moors rallied for the ball to try and gain the lead. Two minutes before the quarter ended, a time-out was called, while both teams were neck and neck with a score of 19-18. Just after, the Matadors fouled and gave the Moors a chance to shoot, leveling out the score to 19-19. With six seconds left on the clock, senior David Gonzalez scored a three-pointer for the Matadors, causing the San Gabriel crowd to yell throughout the arena. In another last-ditch effort to score, sophomore Jarett Tan threw the ball just as the buzzer sounded, which scored another three points for the Matadors, further fueling the crowd’s uproar throughout the room. The Matadors ended the first half of the game with a six point lead, 25-19.

For the half-time show, Cheer, Choreo, Color guard, and the band performed their routines to raise the spirit of the Matador crowd.

In the third quarter, both teams fumbled for the ball, frequently trying to bring the ball back to the opponent’s side of the court. The Moors slowly climbed back as the game progressed, reducing the score gap from six points to two points, 31-29.

To finish off the game, the Matadors regained their six point lead back in the last four minutes, which gave them some room to breathe. The future looked dim for the Moors, with even their coach showing a visibly dejected face. A sudden three-pointer from the Moors brought them back on a level playing field at 38-36. With one minute left in the game, the Moors miraculously shot another three-pointer, giving them a lead of one point at 38-39. With less than a minute left, the Matadors fouled multiple times to try and regain the ball. The home crowd chant reverberated throughout the arena, “Matadors! Matadors! Matadors!” However, the Matadors’ strategy of using fouls eventually timed out, and they fell to the Moors with a score of 38-42.

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Photo by Sydney Trieu
Photo by Sydney Trieu

At the pre-Thanksgiving event for San Gabriel’s boys varsity basketball, the alumni squad squared off against the varsity team and defeated them in a late rally at the score of 58-50.  Throughout most the game, the varsity team was up on top holding the lead, but a comeback in the final period of play pieced together by the alumni squad sealed the deal.

The starting lineup for the varsity team was sophomore guard Nick Miyamoto, junior guards Quoc Ho, Courtland Khuu and forward Austin Tien, and senior center David Gonzalez.

In the first quarter, the Matador was able to hit multiple three-point field goals courtesy of sophomore guard Nick Miyamoto, scratching the first bucket of this contest. Utilizing their hot hands, the varsity team was able to keep the alumni team behind them throughout most of the game. However, there were also opportunities to extend the lead even further.

“We have to recognize mismatches in the post,” Coach Jason Meador said. “We missed easy looks to score.”

However, it seemed as if the alumni squad was just biding their time with this contest. In the second half, they staged a comeback sparking after a couple of treys from Wesley Licher that helped reduce the gap into striking range. The rally was hard to contain, leading to breakdowns on the offensive end, and trying to trade buckets.

“Play hard guys, don’t let up,” Coach Alex Canizone said. “Don’t worry about the score, just play hard and hustle.”

That was not the case for the varsity squad in this contest. They were unable to catch up in the final minutes and fell at the score of 58-50.  San Gabriel will start their season with the don Bosco Tournament starting next Tuesday, Dec. 2 against Diamond Bar at 4 p.m. at Don Bosco Tech.

 

 

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Photo by Sydney Trieu
Photo by Sydney Trieu

In their first game of the don Bosco Tournament and the season for the Matadors, San Gabriel faced off against the Diamond Bar Brahmas and lost at the score of 76-55 on Dec. 2.  The defensive rebounding of the Matadors was simply not there, and the Brahmas grabbed available opportunities and finished at the rim.

The starting lineup included sophomore guards Nick Miyamoto and Jarett Tan, juniors guard Quoc Ho and forward Austin Tien, and senior center David Gonzalez.

 

First Half:

The Matadors were able to scratch first with a trey from Miyamoto and set the tone for the first quarter.  With Gonzalez monitoring the boards, San Gabriel was able to limit second opportunities from the Brahmas in the first quarter. However, when he was out, Diamond Bar capitalized and put up multiple tip-ins, extending the lead beyond reach.

 

“They might not hit the first shot,” Coach Jason Meador said, “but they will if you continue giving them second, third or even fourth opportunities. You have to box them out.”

 

Second Half:

Guard Tan and the Matadors tried their best to close the gap hitting multiple baskets to try and spark a run, but the Brahmas’ lead and offensive boarding were too much to handle for the Matadors. San Gabriel was unable to get into the transition game that usually resulted in easy buckets at the tin; instead, the Brahma’s defense was already set, disrupting the Matador sets.

San Gabriel will continue on their second game of the Don Bosco Tournament on Dec. 3 against Mountain View at 6 p.m.

 

 

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Photo by Sydney Trieu

During the second game of the Don Bosco Tournament, San Gabriel outpaced Mountain View on Dec. 3 at the score of 41-37. Losing by a surmountable lead in the beginning, the Matadors were able to rally behind sophomore Jarett Tan to defeat the Vikings in the second half.

The starting lineup included sophomore guards Nick Miyamoto and Jarett Tan, juniors guard Frank Lieu and forward Austin Tien, and senior center David Gonzalez.

 

First Half:

Even though the Vikings were lacking in size against the Matadors’ Gonzalez, the Vikings were able to jump to an early lead.  San Gabriel’s effort in the first half was simply not there; they gave up the ball multiple times and the tenacity on defense was not there. San Gabriel tried to take advantage of the occasional times of the Vikings’ poor handling, but they were caught by the referees who seemed to call everything in this contest. The Matadors went into the half down four at the score of 22-18.

“We have to be patient on offense and help on defense,” Gonzalez said. “We have to control the tempo; we dictate the tempo out there, not them. We need that energy from the [Diamond Bar] game.”

 Second Half:

In the second period of play, the Matadors seemed to pick things up with a spark by guard Tan on the offensive end. In the other side of the court, the San Gabriel defense also picked up with multiple traps and presses, resulting in transition layups.  The Matadors were able to last longer than the Vikings in this game and would eventually barely escape with a win.

 Even though the effort in this game was “atrocious,” Coach Meador encouraged the team.

 “If we had that kind of effort we did last year,” Meador said, “we would have lost, and that means we took some steps forward.”

 The Matadors would continue through the don Bosco Tournament on Dec. 5 at Rosemead High School against the Serrano Diamondbacks at 3 p.m.

 

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Photo by Sydney Trieu

In the third place game of the Don Bosco tournament, the Matadors lost in a blowout against the La Serna Lancers on Dec. 6 at the score of 72-55. San Gabriel was burnt by opposing team’s Jessie Garcia, who was red hot, dropping 38 from beyond the arc.

The starting lineup included sophomore guards Nick Miyamoto and Jarett Tan, juniors guard Frank Lieu and forward Austin Tien, and senior center David Gonzalez.

 

First Half:

The game started with the Matador defense losing their assignments in the first two defensive plays, leading to easy open three-point field goals to the Lancer guards. At a certain point where the score was 20-9, the Lancers hit three three-pointers in a row, increasing the already double digit deficit to 20.  Guard Tan was able to knock down a half-court heave at the end of the first quarter to cut the score into 17.

“Number 2 [Garcia] has 17 points in the first quarter,” Coach Jason Meador said. “He’s the only player in that team that’s doing damage.”

It wasn’t until the end of the second half when the Matadors showed some sign of life utilizing the three-point field goals to their advantage, cutting the lead into only 10 at halftime at the score of 42-32.

 

Second Half:

Coming out of the halftime huddle, one of the main objectives was to contest all the three-point shots, contain the point guard, and press them in the backcourt. However, the Lancers were very fundamentally sound and were able to break the press every time, leading to easy buckets and pushing the lead way ahead.

This concluded this year’s don Bosco Varsity Basketball Tournament, and San Gabriel will attend another tournament against La Cañada in the Arroyo Tournament at Arroyo High School on Dec. 8.

 

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Photo by Sydney Trieu

On third day of the don Bosco Tournament, the San Gabriel Matadors extended their win streak to two and were able to defeat the Serrano Diamondbacks on Dec. 5 at the score of 58-54. The Matadors seemed to be in the driver seat during the entire game, controlling the tempo and limiting the Diamondbacks’ turnovers.

The starting lineup in this game included sophomore guards Nick Miyamoto and Jarett Tan, junior guard Frank Lieu and forward Austin Tien, and senior David Gonzalez.

 

First Half:

From tip off, the Matadors were in control. They pressed the Diamondback guards, resulting in turnovers and fast break points. They executed on offense with guard Tan hitting multiple three-point field goals.  Most importantly, the Matadors were able to feed the post players, to whom they struggled with in the first two games. Breaking past them, San Gabriel was able to keep their lead throughout the first half, ending the period at the score of 29-26.

 

Second Half:

Despite the scores being extremely close, San Gabriel was able to keep Serrano just beyond striking range with at least a two possession lead. Every time the Diamondbacks would score, the Matadors would respond right back, hitting buckets of their own. It wasn’t until the last few seconds when Serrano knocked down two shots to put them two points behind. Intentionally fouling to stop the clock, Serrano sent guard Miyamoto to the line, who calmly knocked down two free throws to seal the deal.

“[Serrano] used to be really good,” Coach Jason Meador said. “I’m really happy that we won this game.”

San Gabriel will finish their run in the don Bosco Tournament at Bosco Tech on Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m. against La Serna High School.

 

 

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Photo by Sydney Trieu
Photo by Sydney Trieu

In the first game of the Arroyo Tournament, San Gabriel was faced off against the La Canada Spartans and were trounced on Dec. 8 at the score of 73-30. The Matadors were simply not there from the tip-off for the game was decided in the first quarter.

The starting lineup consisted of sophomore guards Nick Miyamoto and Jarett Tan, juniors guard Frank Lieu and forward Boris Huang, and senior center David Gonzalez.

 

First Half:
The Spartans came into the game attacking relentlessly and aggressively, penetrating the perimeter defense and kicking out the shooters when they were open.  La Canada was able to knock down most of their three-point field goals, pushing their lead into the double digits within a few minutes at the score of 20-8. The Matadors managed to erase the lead down to five but it would not last, for the Spartans also responded with a counterattack that would double their lead to 34-17.

“There’s several stretches where we look like we are actually competing out there, but then we start tanking again.” Coach Jason Meador said. “We are not consistent and we need to play with that effort for the entire game.”

 

Second Half:
The second half was not as welcoming to the Matadors than it was to the Spartans. Their objectives would not be stopped, for the drive-and-kick game was unstoppable in this game. However, on the Matador offensive end, they were able to drive the ball to the hoop and receive two free throws, but it was not enough to overcome the insurmountable lead.

Coach Jason Meador emphasized effort in the closing game statements.

“The beautiful thing about basketball is that nobody gets a head start in this game.” Coach Meador said. “You can be rich or poor, but you still start the same, and where you go depends on how hard you work.”

The San Gabriel Matadors will continue their daily journey in the Arroyo Tournament against Bishop Amat on Dec. 10 with times to be determined.