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Matadors’ thin squad does heavy lifting in easy win

02/08/2013, 11:21pm PST
By Bill Dickens, Special to the U-T

Mount Miguel’s varsity boys basketball roster contains only six names.

— Mount Miguel’s varsity boys basketball roster contains only six names after Matadors coach Jay Rowlett kicked three players off the squad a couple weeks ago.

So every game is a tightwire walk as the Mount Miguel bench consists of only one player.

Rowlett doesn’t seem worried by the shortage.

“We have the ‘right six’ — no knuckleheads,” he said. “Everybody we have now knows their role.”

Speaking of rolling, Mount Miguel jumped to a 29-point lead in the second quarter Friday night in a battle of Grossmont Valley League contenders at Monte Vista. The game was never in doubt as the Matadors posted a 77-46 victory over the Monarchs to set up next week’s showdown with El Cajon Valley for the league title.

It’s possible these three teams could wind up in a tri-championship if the Braves (17-8, 5-1) lose to Mount Miguel (15-10, 5-2) and Monte Vista (14-11, 4-2) sweeps the bottom two teams in the league.

Izzy Wagner set the pace for the Matadors with 39 points, five rebounds, five assists and eight steals.

“I know there are only six of us now, but that just means we have to work harder,” Wagner said. “I like the six we have. The chemistry is better than it was in the early part of the season.”

A new force for Mount Miguel is Mike Taylor, who nailed five 3-pointers against Monte Vista and 17 3s in his last five games.

“I didn’t play very much in the beginning of the year,” said the 5-foot-8 senior guard. “Really that’s my game, shooting the three. I don’t drive to the basket very often.”

One thing Taylor definitely does is take some of the defensive pressure off Wagner, who is averaging just under 34 points a game.

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