It was all Indio on Tuesday as the Rajahs hosted Desert Mirage in a matchup between the Desert Valley League and the De Anza League, that saw the DVL’s Rajahs come out on top 74-24.
Senior point guard Cesar Cid led the charge for the Rajahs, scoring 23 points on the night. He shot 62 percent from the floor and was 7 of 11 from the foul line.
“We had two tough losses coming into the game, so we were focusing on playing our defense and coming back into DVL (play) with a good record,” Cid said. “Our offense was flowing because we were getting out on the break, playing team defense and we did all that as a group.
“I normally haven’t been leading the team in scoring, but I’ve been the second leading scorer throughout the season. Today I was really focusing on my defense and I was getting out and running on the break to finish the layups.”
Tuesday’s second-leading scorer was Isaiah Thomas, who came away with 17 points.
William Thigpen was the other Rajah to score in double digits, with 12 points. All of Thigpen’s goals were of the 3-point variety, going 4 for 10 from the floor with all of his shots coming from beyond the arc.
“We’re playing in the tournament in Imperial this week and we just wanted to work on some things: work on our trapping, working on being disciplined, working on sitting down on our defense and not reaching,” Indio head coach Ivery Thompson said. “Making a conscious effort of trying to do things the right way, and carry ourselves the right way — that’s huge for us.”
Thompson said the strong night from Cid was important to help him shake off a couple of recent lackluster performances.
“Cesar Cid played a real good game tonight. He’s our point guard. He makes us go,” Thompson said. “We just came back from the Beaumont Tournament where we finished fourth — we made it to the semifinals — and he had a couple of rough games, so he wanted to come out and really focus today and really show his leadership, and I think he did a great job.”
For Desert Mirage, Rigo Guzman led the Rams with 11 points, and had all five first-half points for the Rams.
Indio (4-2) plays Central at the Imperial tournament at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Desert Mirage (2-1) plays its next game at 6 p.m. Thursday at Coachella Valley.