Taft Secures Win in First League Game, Defeats El Camino by 35 Points


The Taft Toreadors hosted the El Camino Royals in a highly anticipated Wednesday night battle between inner-city rivals and the West Valley League for both. Both teams were matching up for their first league game of the season, as Taft went 8-7 in non-league games, while El Camino entered having gone 4-11 in said games. With home field advantage and a roaring crowd, the Toreadors were looking to take the first of two meetings in the month of January.

Heading halfway within the first quarter, Taft stretched out to a six point lead, with both defenses keeping any scoring to a minimum. Both Derrick Hill and Adam Grissom provided sparks for the Toreadors on offense, as Grissom in particular garnered eight points in the quarter, highlighted by an energetic dunk from a fast break opportunity. Taft’s lead would remain mostly constant through the rest of the quarter, as they entered the second quarter with a 20-12 lead.

The second quarter saw Taft drive the rally engine even further, as at one point they possessed a 20 point lead. El Camino struggled to fare much on offense from the field, as the majority of the points in the first half came strictly from free throws. Taft, offensively, saw the emergence of Keyon Kensie Jr. in the second quarter, as he erupted for eight points, highlighted by a dunk that amplified the crowd’s energy. Taft had a steady hand on the Royals, entering the second half with a 14 point lead.

The second half saw Taft go a different route on offense, as they used Grissom as more of a facilitator in the passing game. This saw him net 12 points in the game, after recording eight in the first half, however, his teammates were able to thrive on scoring. Both Derrick Hill and Keyon Kensie Jr. led the way on scoring through the second half. Hill finished with 14 points and a buzzer beater to end the third quarter, while Kensie Jr. led all players in scoring with 19 points while throwing down four dunks. Defensively, Taft limited El Camino to under 30 points for each half, with the Toreadors holding the Royals to a scoreless streak of over three minutes. Taft was able to net 40 points in each quarter, as the Toreadors shone brightly in their first league matchup, winning by a final of 85-50.

As for the now 9-7 Taft Toreadors, their next matchup will see them travel for a Friday night league showdown between the Granada Hills Highlanders, with game time scheduled for 7pm. As for the now 4-12 El Camino Royals, they will host the Chatsworth Chancellors for a league matchup Wednesday, with game time scheduled for 5 pm.

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