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Torres earns first league win

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Matilda Torres’ Simar Thiara drives the lane to score two of her 14 points in Wednesday’s victory over the McLane Highlanders.


The Matilda Torres Toros girls basketball team used a dominant first half to cruise to a 45-32 North Yosemite League victory over the McLane-Fresno Highlanders.

The Toros outscored McLane 24-11 in the first half to cruise to their first NYL win in the program’s history in their league home opener Wednesday.

Despite just six players suiting up, the Toros forced 34 turnovers from the Highlanders for the victory.

“Most of our offense is generated from our press,” head coach Jose Villalobos said. “It got difficult when we lost four girls. Now, you’re wondering if you can press a lot. I felt our girls were a little tired.”

Despite the good start, it seemed like the Toros were playing a little sluggish until Simar Thiara started to take control of the game.

“Our practices have been preparing to start off strong,” Villalobos said. “It’s something we’ve been working on. We sometimes have a great warm-up. I talk about our mentality being not too high or too low. It has to be in the middle.”

Thiara scored eight of the Toros’ 16 points in the second quarter and scored 14 total to go with three steals.

“This was Simar’s first game back that she looked like the old Simar,” Villalobos said. “She’s been ill the past couple of weeks. We had flashback on her quickness and how she disrupts with her quickness.”

Sabrina Cerrillo filled up the stat sheet and led the Toros with 17 points. She also pulled down five rebounds and had a team-high six steals. Sheng Lee and Kaylin Perez each had four steals.

“Our girls feed off of Simar’s energy,” Villalobos said. “Sabrina brings in energy with her speed. We get a steal off our press, but sometimes have nothing to show for it. We got layups tonight.”

J’Lynn Mitchell added eight points to go with 10 rebounds.

The Toros jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead with a Mitchell layup and two Thiara free throws. McLane scored three points and both tems couldn’t find the bucket.

After more than two-and-a-half minutes without a score, Torres finally broke the drought when Cerrillo put back a miss. Mitchell hit a short jumper for an 8-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Mclane cut the lead to three with a pair of free throws. After a Thiara free throw, McLane hit a mid-range jumper to cut the lead to two, but that was as close as McLane would get for the frst of the night.

The Toros went on a 6-0 run to take control of the game. Mitchell came down with a rebound and then hit a seven-foot jumper. Cerrillo came up with a steal and made a layup.

Another Cerrillo steal led to a free throw, and she did it again on the next McLane possession for a 15-7 lead.

McLane stopped the run with a bucket, but Thiara started to get into the act with a 3-pointer. Then, she found Cerrillo for a layup and a 20-9 lead.

Thiara hit a pair of mid-range jumpers for a 24-11 halftime lead.

Perez opened the second half scoring with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 16. McLane answered with a layup.

After coming down with a rebound, Perez found Cerrillo for a layup. Then, McLane went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 10.

Lee picked up a steal and turned it into a layup. Cerrillo answered a McLane layup with one of her own for a 33-21 lead at the end of the third quarter.

McLane cut the lead to 10 to open the fourth quarter, but Cerrillo completed a 3-point play off an assist from Thiara to get the lead to 36-23.

After a McLane layup, Mitchell found Cerillo for a layup. After two McLane free throws, Cerrillo hit Thiara for a layup. After a free throw by Perez, McLane made a layup to get back to 12.

Thiara connected on a four-foot floater and Mitchell went coast-to-coast with a rebound for a layup and a 45-29 lead.

McLane closed the scoring with a free throw and a layup for a 13-point Torres victory.



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