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Mater Dei goes bust against Las Vegas powerhouse

STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA – The visitors had blown the game open well before the 3:30 mark in the fourth quarter, but their effort indicated otherwise.

With her team, Centennial of Las Vegas, leading by 30 points, Samantha Thomas put up a shot from beyond the arc that ricocheted in the direction of the Bulldogs bench. Rather than letting the ball sail out of bounds, Justice Ethridge raced toward the sideline and threw her body over a row of teammates in a desperate attempt to keep the play alive.

That hustle highlighted the athleticism and sheer relentlessness Centennial showcased in its dominant 70-45 win over No. 1 Mater Dei in the Nike Extravaganza on Friday night at Mater Dei.

The 25-point margin was the most lopsided defeat Mater Dei has suffered in Kevin Kiernan’s nine-year tenure as coach.

“They’re legit,” Kiernan said of the Bulldogs, ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps. “We saw them in Phoenix and they deserve their ranking. After the first quarter, they took it to us.”

The Monarchs (23-3) and Bulldogs (24-1) were knotted at 18 after the opening period. Centennial went on to score the first 12 points of the second quarter, and maintained a double-digit lead for the final 14 minutes of the second half.

The Bulldogs sank 10 3-pointers and scored 33 points off of 26 turnovers by Mater Dei.

Ally Rosenblum was the lone Monarch to finish in double figures. The senior center scored six of her 13 points in the first quarter.

“We’ve got to grow up,” Kiernan said. “You’re only young for so long before you got to be accountable to start playing really well.

“I think we have the talent, but we got to mature a little faster, I guess.”

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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