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No. 1 Mater Dei rolls into Beach Bash final

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

NEWPORT BEACH – Top-ranked Mater Dei beat Corona del Mar, 73-39, Friday night in a semifinal of the Corona del Mar Beach Bash Tournament at Corona del Mar High.

The Monarchs will play Compton in the final tonight at 8:30.

Mater Dei’s worst four minutes of the season came in the first four minutes of the game. The Monarchs started out with five straight misses from the floor and two misses from the line.

The Sea Kings found their stroke early, draining their first three shots.

“They started out hot, kind of woke us up,” Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight said. “We better get out and guard these guys, or we’re going to get into trouble.”

Mater Dei found its rhythm late in the first quarter, and it took an 18-12 lead. Ten of those points came from senior center MJ Cage, who finished with a game-high 17.

The Monarchs took over in second quarter, going into the half with a 45-23 lead.

Both sides’ subs got plenty of playing time in the second half.

McKnight praised the depth of his team.

“Two years ago, we won the national title, and we didn’t have any depth at all,” he said. “This year we’ve got 10 guys who can full-out play and a few more who were right there.”

Senior forward Matt Cvrtlik led the Sea Kings with 11.

The only freshman on either roster was Corona del Mar’s Dennis Rodman Jr., son of the former NBA player, who scored 10 points off the bench, the second-highest total on the team.


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