Shorthanded Toros falls to Firebaugh
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
With Karina Sandoval (4) coming in for support, Matilda Torres’ Sabrina Cerrillo drives the lane for two of her team-high 13 points in Wednesday’s loss to Firebaugh.
Already shorthanded, the Matilda Torres Toros lost two more players for last week’s non-conference battle Firebaugh, who were also shorthanded.
Despite not playing without their point guard against a team that advanced to the championship of Torres’ Cen-Cal Invitational, the Toros gave the Eagles a battle in a 40-25 loss Wednesday.
The Eagles got a boost from Karol Marquez, who scored a game-high 20 points that included all four of her team’s 3-pointers.
“We game planned a little bit against their shooter,” head coach Jose Villalobos said. “I don’t think she hit the rim in the first quarter. You have to give it to her. She stepped up and made good shots.”
Marquez scored 18 of her team’s 25 points in the first half, but the Toros clamped down on defense and allowed two points from her the rest of the way.
“In the second half, we changed the strategy to full court pressure,” Villalobos said. “I thought it was working. But, we just weren’t finishing. We got steals, but couldn’t capitalize. I thought we put pressure on them and made it a game. We got a little tired and made some mistakes.”
The Toros finished with 14 steals and forced 16 second half turnovers from the Eagles despite missing point guard Sheng Lee.
Sabrina Cerrillo led the Toros with 13 points. She filled the stat sheet, again, with six rebounds, seven steals and three blocked shots. Karina Sandoval scored seven points and Layla Webster scored the other four.
Firebaugh scored the first six points of the game before Cerrillo made a layup. Another Marquez 3-pointer opened the lead to seven.
Sandoval made two free throws and a layup after a Firebaugh layup. Marquez swished another 3-pointer to get the lead to eight.
Cerrillo answered with a layup, cutting though the Firebaugh defense, but the Eagles hit a jumper at the end of the quarter for a 16-8 lead.
The Toros went cold from the field in the second quarter. They scored just one point — a Cerrillo free throw — while missing eight shots from the field.
Meanwhile, the Eagles scored nine to open the lead to 16 points. However, the Toros’ defense did some work, forcing four turnovers in the final three minutes while allowing just two points.
The Eagles extended their lead to 20 with four free throws to open the second half.
Cerrillo stopped the run with a free throw and later hit a seven-foot jumper. Cerrillo found Webster for a layup and then hit a 3-pointer for an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 12 at the end of the third quarter.
Firebaugh made a free throw to open the fourth, but Sandoval scored on a driving layup.
The Eagles came back with a pair of free throws and a Marquez layup for a 15-point lead.
Cerrillo got a steal and then made a layup, but the Eagles made a layup of their own.
After an Eagles bucket, Sandoval hit a 15-foot jumper. The Eagles made a pair of free throws, but Webster countered with a 15-foot jumper for the final points of the game.