Vista’s Morgan Matteson, who had 18 points, goes up for a shot as Sweetwater’s La Jaye Gray defends.
VISTA Except for one season when Morgan Matteson was playing for the Vista High girls basketball freshman team and sister Paige was still in eighth grade, they have been teammates for 11 seasons.
“We’ve basically played together since I was about 6 and she was 5,” Morgan Matteson said. “She’s always been in the post and I’ve always been a guard.”
As those days together wind down — Morgan is a senior and Paige is a junior — they continue to fill their roles to perfection.
They were at it Tuesday night in the first round of the San Diego Section Division I playoffs at home against Sweetwater.
The Matteson sisters — Morgan is Miss Outside while Paige is Miss Inside — combined for 23 points and 14 rebounds to help lead the No. 4-seeded Panthers to an easy 68-32 victory over the Red Devils.
That performance where Morgan scored 18 points and Paige collected 11 rebounds adds one more home game to Morgan’s agenda.
Vista (18-11) will host Mission Hills (17-11) in a quarterfinal game Friday night.
“The thought of playing my last game for Vista is kind of scary,” said Morgan Matteson, who was icing her left knee and left hip after the game. “I’m still kind of shocked senior season came and went and that CIF is here now.”
Most of the Mission Hills team watched the second half after beating Carlsbad in a first-round game in San Marcos.
By the time the Grizzlies arrived at halftime, the Panthers had pretty much wrapped up the win with a 36-14 halftime edge.
Morgan Matteson nailed 11 of her team’s first 16 points in the game, hitting three of her five 3-pointers in the opening quarter.
“I was kind of feeling it in the game,” Matteson said. “My first 3-pointer was an air ball, but coach tells me all the time to keep shooting no matter what.
“You have to have that mentality or every miss will bother you.”
The game was tied 3-3 as point guard Jamee Mangoba and Anastacia Rodriguez of Sweetwater (13-13) exchanged 3-pointers.
Matteson hit three straight 3-pointers after that and the rest of the night belonged to Vista, which built a 22-point halftime lead at 36-14 and stretched the lead to 32 points in the third quarter.
The biggest lead of the game came in the fourth quarter as Vista led 64-25 with 4:24 to play.
“Taking it to them was the whole point,” Vista coach Pat Moramarco said. “Get the game under control in the first quarter and play it out from there.
“Our plan is always to shoot a lot of 3s, although we didn’t hit a very good percentage in this game.”
Led by Morgan Matteson, the Panthers nailed 10 3-pointers, far short of the school record of 15.
The Panthers also got a double-double from Rashawna Williams with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Patricia McClure added 10 points as well.
Vista also battered the Red Devils, who were led by Anastacia Rodriguez’s 12 points, for a 48-18 edge in rebounds.
“That’s crazy to outrebound a team like that,” Morgan Matteson said. “We didn’t know much about them except we saw two game films.
“We just had to trust coach and play our game.”
Thanks to the Matteson sisters, there’s yet another playoff game.
“I like our chances Friday night,” Morgan said. “It’s one step at a time from here on out.
“I do know I’m not ready to turn in my jersey yet.”