Toros fall in second half
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Matilda Torres’ Arturo Corona drives the lane to score two of his game-high 21 points in Thursday’s loss to the Mission Oak Hawks.
The Matilda Torres Toros boys basketball team will give many teams a battle during its first varsity season and it was evident during last week’s non-conference battle with Mission Oak-Tulare.
The Toros kept within striking distance of the Hawks for two quarters, trailing by seven at the half behind the strength of shooting 50 percent from 3-point land.
However, the second half was a different story. The Toros made just two field goals (2-for-29) in the second half, including going 0-16 from 3-point land. Meanwhile, Mission Oak had a 20-3 run and outscored Torres 31-11 for a 64-37 victory Thursday at Matilda Torres.
“That’s the part about building a program,” head coach Charles Rigby said. “You have to take each quarter at a time. We’re really young and we’re trying to learn how to play a whole game.”
Arturo Corona led the Toros with 21 points to go with four of his team’s five 3-pointers. However, he was the lone player in double figures despite eight players scoring.
“They are great shots,” Rigby said about his team’s 3-point shooting. “I don’t condemn them because one day they are going to fall. Watch out when that happens.”
The Toros were also hurt by the turnover bug, committing 25 in the game, including 12 in the second quarter.
“We are averaging a lot of turnovers,” Rigby said. “That’s our Achilles Heel. I tell them it doesn’t matter who is on the floor, we’re still trying to learn how not to beat ourselves. It just comes to playing. We have to play more.”
The Hawks jumped out to an early 7-2 lead before Corona made a layup and Joel Conde put back a missed shot to cut the lead to one.
After a Hawks’ offensive putback, Corona hit a 3-pointer to tie the score. Jose Soriano made a free throw and Moses Soto picked up a steal and found Corona for a layup to give the Toros a 12-9 lead.
Mission Oak answered by scoring the next eight points before the end of the first quarter.
Corona hit a half-court heave at the first quarter buzzer for a 3-pointer to cut the Hawks’ lead to 17-15.
Mission Oak opened the second quarter by going on a 10-0 run to open the lead to 12. The Toros turned the ball over six times in the run and took just one shot.
Torres came back with the three-ball. Corona hit one and Ali Alkahfajl added another. Two possessions later, Corona hit another 3-pointer to cut Mission Oak’s lead to 27-24.
Mission Oak added a pair of buckets before Corona made a layup. The Hawks closed the first half with two free throws for a 33-26 halftime lead.
Soriano opened the second half with two free throws for the Toros. Mission Oak scored three straight points before a layup from Joseph Bass.
From there, the Hawks closed the third quarter by scoring 12 of the next 13 points for a 50-31 lead. In the run, Torres missed five 3-pointers and committed a pair of turnovers.
The Hawks kept attacking in the fourth quarter and extended their run to 17-2 for a 55-32 lead.
Corona hit a free throw, but Mission Oak answered with a free throw and a layup for a 20-3 run. Bass stopped the run with a layup, but Mission Oak made a layup.
The Toros only got two free throws in the final five minutes and missed 12 shots, including six 3-pointers for a 64-37 loss.