Loss doesn’t damage Matadores’ standing

La Mirada’s 72-55 loss to Artesia Wednesday night did little to damage the Matadores claim to being the area’s best boys basketball team this season.

It simply was a matter of too much of everything, height, speed, scoring potential, etc., etc. etc. for the hard-working Matadores to handle.
The Pioneer’s 6-foot-10 sophomore, Renardo Sidney is a load, and much of the time, defending against him fell on the shoulders of senior Keith McGill.
McGill, listed at 6-4, appeared to give away at least 30 pounds in addition to the six inches in height, but did a credible job under very difficult conditions.
La Mirada guard Taylor Siemens also was impressive with his ability to penetrate and challenge taller defenders en route to a team-high 19 points.
It is difficult to envision another area team that coujld have fared better against the Pioneers. The difference between Artesia and La Mirada isn’t much greater than the gap between the Matadores and the rest of the locals.
With one week remaining in the regular season, 1) which is the area’s best player, and 2) which player has proven to be the most valuable to his team’s success?

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  • Surburban League BBall…Go LM!!!

    Mr. Murray, I’d have to disagree with some of your statements. Now let’s not forget, The Matadors DID beat Artesia. That same team that was too much of everything, height, speed, scoring potential, etc., etc. etc. They also faced a well rested Artesia team the first time.
    Both Josh Robbins and Derrick Williams made huge contributions to the first game. Some questionable calls had Robbins fouling out early in the fourth, and Coach Kaupaung’s decision to have Williams on the bench for a majority of the 4th quarter was also puzzling.
    You were in attendance for last nights game and witnessed that LM had Artesia’s full attention while they went on their second half run. I don’t believe that any of the other area teams would be able to have the score that close late in the 4th quarter in Artesia’s house.
    If Derrick Williams would of been able to see the floor and the ball a little more, I’m pretty sure the outcome would of been a little closer, maybe even a victory for LM. Let’s not forget how much of an impact DWill had against Artesia the first time he faced The Pioneers. Williams has showed no fear against Sidney both times he’s faced him.
    I hope you would agree that if DWill were to face area teams he would dominate as would Sidney.(Ok, maybe minus all the dunks) Regardless, Williams would be too much as he proved in the El Rancho Tournament facing some area teams.
    Let’s not forget about trying to contain Taylor Siemens. Something that NO Artesia player could do. Siemens was able to get to the basket against Harden, Story, and weakside help from Sidney. Aren’t all those guys D1 and future NBA prospects???
    O yeah…and basketball is Taylor’s second sport.
    With all due respect Mr. Murray, no area team would be able to match up with LM. McGill,Robbins,or Kaupang would absouletly dominate at any other area school. Belson and Risser are the area’s set of toughest guards. Random used Gillett would also be a force to reckon with any other area school.
    My choice for POY award would definetly go to Taylor Siemens. He is a five tool player with a relentless work ethic. I feel his second half against Artesia puts him way over the top. He kept LM in the game as long as he could single handedly. No other player in the area could come up with baskets like that in Artesia’s house, with a two game sweep of the powerhouse in his mind.

  • rvr

    st pauls girls basketball is the best thing going. trouble is nobody is really taking notice.they should be ranked in the la times top 25. but there not. they should be all over the whittier daily news. but there not. come playoff time everybody is going to know this team. the only thing that could hurt this team is there soft schedule. they beat the teams that were put in front of them. it would have been nice to play some of the top teams in southern ca.

  • Interested Party

    Best players in the Del Rio League:

    La Serna: No one really stands out–starters and players coming off the bench have had good games to help them win. There is no one player who is consistently top scorer or the impact person.

    Whittier: Ricky Kamayatsu and Ed Kim. Both are the ones to cover to try to win. Ricky for his outside shooting and Ed for his drive to the hole.

    Santa Fe: Maurice Cole-he is all over the court. He drives, steals, rebounds, and makes his free throws under pressure.

    Cal Hi: Drew Harris-he is the top player in rebounds and scoring in league (according to maxpreps) and he keeps working even though several players have quit the team.

    Pioneer: Robert Talamantes is the consistent top scorer for the team, where nepotism seems to be a problem. He is hustling up and down the court.

    El Rancho: Sorry, there isn’t anyone major to assess and hopefully their players keep working to the end of the season.

    Please Surburan League fans don’t get crazy-I don’t follow your league.

    But Steven Saenz from St. Paul is a great player despite his height, he is usually an impact of the game.

  • scj

    We’ve got 2 great girls teams here in the Whittier Area in St. Paul and La Serna. Haven’t seen LS play but I’ve seen SP and I was quite impressed. They are quick, aggresive and play a trapping defense that frustrates their opponents resulting in a lot of turnovers.

    They’ve only lost to South Torrance (ranked in the top 25) and La Serna. As much as I’d like to see SP ranked higher, they didn’t beat LS and on top of that LS has played some tough opponents.

    I wondered why SP wasn’t ranked higher in their division, especially when the ones ranked above them had more losses. But 2 of those teams, Marlborough and Windward have played some really tough teams.

    I wonder if we are going to see a St. Paul – Marlborough rematch of the 2004 CIF in this years final?

  • Matt Piazza

    Thank you for the honest and postive analysis, Mr. Murray. You are right, no area team could have been six points down to Artesia with a little more than two minutes to play at their place in a game for the Suburban League championship on the line. It was just a matter of running against a motivated and angry and extremely talented squad wishing to erase a bad memory.

    As a person who has covered this team and written about it for three years, I do have a lot of insight into its composition. Although the Matadores have become a TEAM, one that is more worried about the others and wins rather than individual glory, if you had to start picking out individual accomplishments you’d have to say that Taylor Siemens would be a much deserved Whittier Area Player of the Year. He’s played his best in the biggest games (Lawndale win for the El Rancho championship, Artesia twice, Gahr, and so on) and we just wouldn’t be closing in on a 20-win season without the problems he creates with his size and quickness at the guard spot. However, many more players on this team at times have been our best player in stretches. Sophomore Derrick Williams, who deserves to be your “Sixth Man of the Year” if you decide to add that award, has carried the team in games and a week at a time. He’s truly an amazing prospect. Josh Robbins has matured into a fearful player who does so many things for the team. Keith McGill and Stephen Kaupang have both been athletic forces and consistent. All of the above players should find their way onto the All-Area team. All of them would be starting stars on any other area team.

    Thank you for the attention you have given the La Mirada basketball team this year. Going into the season, we knew what we had on our hands, it’s just that others needed time to discover the hidden gem.

  • LS grad

    hold the phone, i thought that LS hadn’t lost a game yet, in the Del RIO. and they killed Pioneer by 30. they don’t have big names but they put it all togther.

  • Matt Piazza

    Roger, can you post your basketball rankings on the blog or tell us when you print them in your newspaper or how to access them on the internet.

    Thanks

  • murray

    Yo, Matt Piazza,
    Last week’s Top 5′s;
    Boys
    1) La Mirada
    2) Whittier Christian
    3) La Serna
    4) Santa Fe
    5) Schurr
    Girls
    1) La Serna
    2) St. Paul
    3) Whittier
    4) Schurr
    5) Whittier Christian
    The rankings run every Wednesday in the Rail on Page 2.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Interested Party, you put that “Pioneer: Robert Talamantes is the consistent top scorer for the team, where nepotism seems to be a problem. He is hustling up and down the court.”

    Coach Mata doesn’t have a son or sons on the team so were is the “Nepotism”.

  • Interested Party

    Hey Anonymous:

    No, Coach Mata doesn’t have a son or sons on the team (he does have a nephew ) but his assistant coach has two sons on the team.

    Read the Men’s Forum in socalhoops.com if you want to know how their fans really feel about it.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Interested Party, yes that’s true Coach Mata has a nephew on the team, but his nephew rides the pine. Now about his Assistan Coach does have two boy’s on the team. I know for a fact Coach Mata picks the starting five for every game. Asst Coach’s older boy is having a bad season. The young one is the second in scoring on the team. Go on maxpreps.com And if your know the team better then Coach Mata and his coaching staff, who would you put as the starting five?

  • Del Rio Follower

    Hey Intersted Party, what do think about this?

    It’s time for Coach Mata to step down as coach of the Titans. At La Serna his top Asst. was telling all the parents how he made the program not Coach Mata.Come on Coach Mata,when are you going to say something?I over heard parents say “why hisn’t Coach Saldana coaching”?That sad,what kind for friendship do you have with Coach Saldana.He tell everybody he coached you in high school,is that why you let him get way with all of stuff?Long time coach of Whittier High School, Ray Cooper coached you too,and if Ray was on you staff,would you let Ray do the same.I don’t think so,Ray wouldn’t do that!

    Coach Mata your a good coach for the Del Rio League, tell Coach Saldana to pipe down and be a asst.coach and stop trying to being a head coach.Or step down as a Head Coach and be come asst. coach for Coach Saldana!!

  • Interested Party

    Hey Anonymous:

    So one of the sons is “having a bad season” but he still consistently starts, right? What is your definition of nepotism? Kelsey Thompson was tossed around as one of the better players in the league (in another blog) yet he doesn’t consistently start, does he?

    Hey Del Rio Follower:

    Yeah-that’s the post I remember reading on socalhoops.com! So if this is an indication of what the fans feel . . .

  • Friend Of The Program

    Wow you guys talk about how bad the team is and how bad the coach is. Look remeber last year was all 12th grader now the team is young.
    It’s not Coach Mata, he’s a very good coach. Let me tell you again, “IT’S NOT THE COACHING”. It’s the kids and there parents, there parents fill there kids heads with all this stuff how good they are. You know Coach Mata has it hard over there. But everybody
    has to look down on him. Look how good Santa Fe is they have 9 12th grader on this year team. Now is everybody going to talk bad about Coach Geren if he has a bad season, he’s going to be young too. Everybody comes on this site and everybody thinks there can coach or they know alot about basketball. Or there upset cuz their kid doesn’t get any playing time. Once again IT’S NOT COACH MATA!!!!!

  • Friend Of The Program

    Wow you guys talk about how bad the team is and how bad the coach is. Look remeber last year was all 12th grader now the team is young.
    It’s not Coach Mata, he’s a very good coach. Let me tell you again, “IT’S NOT THE COACHING”. It’s the kids and there parents, there parents fill there kids heads with all this stuff how good they are. You know Coach Mata has it hard over there. But everybody
    has to look down on him. Look how good Santa Fe is they have 9 12th grader on this year team. Now is everybody going to talk bad about Coach Geren if he has a bad season, he’s going to be young too. Everybody comes on this site and everybody thinks there can coach or they know alot about basketball. Or there upset cuz their kid doesn’t get any playing time. Once again IT’S NOT COACH MATA!!!!!

  • Friend Of The Program

    Wow you guys talk about how bad the team is and how bad the coach is. Look remeber last year was all 12th grader now the team is young.
    It’s not Coach Mata, he’s a very good coach. Let me tell you again, “IT’S NOT THE COACHING”. It’s the kids and there parents, there parents fill there kids heads with all this stuff how good they are. You know Coach Mata has it hard over there. But everybody
    has to look down on him. Look how good Santa Fe is they have 9 12th grader on this year team. Now is everybody going to talk bad about Coach Geren if he has a bad season, he’s going to be young too. Everybody comes on this site and everybody thinks there can coach or they know alot about basketball. Or there upset cuz their kid doesn’t get any playing time. Once again IT’S NOT COACH MATA!!!!!

  • del rio fan

    wow i was looking at the post about the best players in the del rio league!!! u got to be kidding me!! la serna’s best players are eddie (i dont know how to spell his last name) and mike acosta!! and santa fe’s best players are ruben sanchez and jacob camach, not maurice cole

  • Interested Party

    Del Rio Fan:

    Maurice Cole is 3rd on his team for rebounds and blocks–as a point guard- and is the second leading scorer. Camacho only leads in scoring because he throws up so many threes. Sanchez should be the rebound leader, just by virtue of his height. But Cole is all over the court!

    As for La Serna, everyone agrees-including the coach if you have read any of his post-game interviews-that the team does not have any stand-out players. A variety of players have stepped up to win games-but Zozoya and Acosta have not consistently played well. Sometimes they have scored just two points in a game. It’s the whole team-starters and bench-who have pulled out games in OT- and just by two points!

    Recognize!

  • Del Rio Follower

    Top three scorer in the Del Rio League are, after 26 games. And this doesn’t mean play-offs.

    1. Robert Talamantes (PHS) 395pts.

    2. Jaycob Camacho (SFHS) 387pts

    3. Maurice Cole (SFHS) 316pts

    All three player should make first team Del Rio League and All-Area. That if Mr. Murray picks the kid from Pioneer. I bet he won’t!!!

  • Interested Party

    The Del Rio League is 10 games and acording to maxpreps.com, the top scorers in the League are:

    1. Drew Harris (CHS) 176 pts.

    2. Robert Talamantes (PHS) 162 pts.

    3. Jaycob Camacho (SFHS) 139 pts. {Total is for 8 games, as SFHS has not updated info–what did he score in the last two games?}

    All-League is determined by league play. All-Area may include the entire schedule. But then rebounds, steals, and assists would also be part of the picture.

  • Interested Party

    Actually just checked maxpreps.com and info has been updated:

    1. Drew Harris 176 pts.

    2. Jaycob Camacho 168 pts.

    3. Robert Talamantes 162 pts.

    Again, these are League stats.

  • Suburban League BBall…Go LM!!!

    Hold on Intrested party, Del Rio League follower, you want how many kids from Santa Fe on the All Area team???
    Santa Fe maybe has one worthy player for the All Area Team.
    La Mirada: Player of the year Taylor Siemens and Derrick Williams
    Whittier Christian: Tom Granado and Randy Oronoz
    Schurr: Jeremy Gerardo
    Montebello: Michael Carrillo
    Whittier: Ed Kim
    La Serna: Mike Acosta
    Santa Fe: Jaycob Camacho
    La Habra: Jordan Sachs

  • Del Rio Follower

    Come on don’t forget that Robert kid from Pioneer he carried the Titans on his back.

  • Interested Party

    Why is La Mirada part of the Whittier area for basketball when it’s not included in our area for football?

    I’m sorry you don’t have your own local paper but why are you in Orange Co. for one sport and not the other?

  • Whittier Cardinal

    WHS doesn’t post stats but Ricky @ WHS finished the league season with 183 points and 99 3-pointers for a 18.3 average for the entire season 535 points for a 19.1 average, career total of 1315 points for a 17.3 average !

  • Suburban League BBall…Go LM!!!

    Good question intrested party. That’s one for Mr. Murray to answer. But isn’t Schurr located in Montebello? How bout La Habra?? Cantwell??
    Don’t just use La Mirada as an example.
    I was at the Santa Fe, La Serna game and they are real nice small DIII teams. But La Mirada has faced and beat some quality DI teams this year and they are finally getting some respect. Anyone of La Mirada’s starters would absouletly dominate playing in the Del Rio League this year.
    I’m sure La Mirada football has been posted in the past.

  • Interested Party

    Surburan League Bball:

    I know it sounds like I singled you out but that wasn’t the intent. In the football All-Area Players, La Habra, Montebello, and Schurr were represented but not La Mirada. So I just wondered why for one sport, but not the other?

    Again, I don’t follow your league except through your posts. Good luck in playoffs!

    It’s almost no fun without the nasty comments! JK

  • Matt Piazza

    La Mirada football was represented in the Whittier all-area teams. Our starting power forwards Josh Robbins and Keith McGill made the Whittier All-Area football squad. Our football team had a down year so we didn’t have many picks on the all-area team, but with a closer look, you’ll find us represented.