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No. 1 Mater Dei captures title in Bill Kristinat Classic

STAFF WRITER

FOUNTAIN VALLEY – The cast of characters is new and the sample size is limited, but at least early on, the results have been the same for Mater Dei’s girls basketball program in the post-Katie Lou Samuelson era.

With Ally Rosenblum, Jayda Adams and Emma Torbert all finishing in double figures, the top-ranked Monarchs knocked off Huntington Beach, 59-36, to win the Bill Kristinat Classic on Saturday afternoon at Fountain Valley High.

The win secured Mater Dei (9-0) its second tournament championship in as many weeks, and served as a tune-up for the team’s upcoming trip to Phoenix for the Nike Tournament of Champions, which begins Thursday.

“Defensively we’re doing a heck of a job,” said Monarchs assistant coach Jesse Vargas, who filled in for an ill Kevin Kiernan. “We’re not giving up any easy baskets, and teams are having to put up shots from deep. If we keep doing that, we’re going to be all right.”

With a pair of rim protectors in Rosenblum and Torbert – each over 6-feet tall – no team has had any luck scoring on Mater Dei in the paint.

Huntington Beach (5-1) took 20 shots from beyond the arc in the final. While the Oilers started off hot, making four of their first six attempts, they finished just 6 for 20.

Rosenblum dominated in the post, scoring 16 of her game-high 20 points in the first half. The senior’s post game opened the floor for the rest of her teammates, namely Adams, who hit three wide-open 3-pointers from the top of the key in the first two quarters of play.

Mater Dei jumped to a 16-5 lead by the 3:15 mark in the first quarter, and led by double digits the rest of the way. The Monarchs took a 41-17 edge into halftime.

Adams scored all 10 of her points by the half, while Torbert scored a few buckets in the second half to also finish with 10.

Samantha Gray led Huntington Beach with 17 points.

“This was a good tournament for us,” Oilers coach Russell McClurg said. “We upset a couple good teams in St. Anthony and Santa Margarita… I think it proves we can play with pretty much anybody.”

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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