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CIF State girls final preview: Mater Dei vs. St. Mary's

STAFF WRITER

CIF STATE GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Open Division

Mater Dei (31-2) vs. St. Mary’s of Stockton (33-1)

Where, when: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Fan info: Tickets are $16 general admission; $10 (seniors and students with valid ID), $10 children. Parking: $10.

Live coverage: Time Warner Cable SportsNet or Time Warner Cable Community; live streaming on TWCCommunity.com

Outlook: St. Mary’s not only has a tendency to run, they’ve made a habit of running teams out of the gym. The Rams are averaging 87 points a game this season, nearly 20 more than Mater Dei’s average of 68 points per outing. Monarchs coach Kevin Kiernan admitted his squad will be at a disadvantage from an athletic standpoint later on tonight, but you can never count out the team with the best player in the country on its side. Katie Lou Samuelson should bounce back from her 2-for-13 shooting performance in last Saturday night’s regional final against Chaminade. With the Gatorade National Player of the Year struggling to find her stroke, seven other Monarchs chipped in with buckets, helping Mater Dei reach its first state championship game since the 2012 season. Tempo will determine who claims the 2015 Open Division crown. St. Mary’s has eclipsed the 100-point mark on six different occassions this season and would love to see an up-and-down game that’s played in the 80-point range. Mater Dei, on the other hand, has scored more than 90 points just twice in 33 outings this year. If the Monarchs can slow down the pace of the game and make it a halfcourt affair, don’t be surprised to see Mater Dei make the trek back to Santa Ana with a state title in hand.

KENNY CONNOLLY

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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