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Mater Dei flustered, falls to Cajon in regional title game
LONG BEACH – Their miscues were uncharacteristic gaffes.
Traveling violations. Stepping on end lines. Failing to switch on ball screens.
As those blunders added up, so too did the deficit Mater Dei was facing.
The Monarchs trailed by double digits two minutes into the first quarter Saturday morning, and never quite found their footing in a lopsided loss, 51-30, to Cajon in the Division II Southern California Regional Championship game at Long Beach State.
A year after winning the regional’s Open Division crown on the same court, the Monarchs (27-6) saw this season’s campaign end in frustration.
After using their size advantage to get to the final, the Monarchs saw senior center Ally Rosenblum held to a season-low six points on 3-of-7 shooting, the first time she was held to single digits this season.
“Our game plan was to not let them get the ball inside or catch the ball in the middle,” Cajon coach Mark Lehman said. “Our bigs did a nice job there, and our guards did a super job sagging down, getting in front of the low post, getting in front of the high post. I’m super pleased with the way they played.”
Post touches, which Mater Dei thrived on this season, were nonexistent against Cajon’s 1-3-1 zone. The Monarchs settled for jumpers as a result, chucking up 22 3-pointers.
Junior guard Jayda Adams buried her first 3-pointer 45 seconds after the opening tip, but missed all 11 of her shots from behind the arc after that.
Mater Dei shot 19 percent (4 of 21) from the field in the first half, and finished at 27 percent for the game.
Cajon’s Tyla Turner buried three 3-pointers in the game’s opening five minutes. The Cowgirls closed the first quarter on an 11-0 run, and led 20-5 after eight minutes of play.
Cajon led, 28-11, at the break, and grew its lead to 24 points in the fourth quarter.
“If you want to win a game here, it’s easy baskets,” Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan said. “We didn’t make our baskets around the rim, didn’t make our short shots around the basket and didn’t shoot the ball well from 3. Twelve of 44 (shooting), not many adjustments you can make for that.”
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