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Mater Dei finds way past Huntington Beach
SANTA ANA – Navigating the ball past half court proved to be problematic at times for Huntington Beach’s ball-handlers. On a number of occasions, the Oilers couldn’t advance the ball past their own free throw line against Mater Dei’s hounding full-court pressure.
With the Monarchs struggling to connect on anything outside the paint in the first two quarters, though, Mater Dei took only a four-point edge into halftime.
But when their jumpers finally started falling in the third quarter, the Monarchs proved to be too much for Huntington Beach.
Behind senior forward Cydni Lewis’ team-high 24 points and a third quarter that saw Mater Dei outscore the visiting Oilers by 15 points, the Monarchs claimed a 65-46 victory over Huntington Beach in a CIF Southern California Regional Division II second-round game at Mater Dei High.
The Monarchs will host Valencia of Valencia in Tuesday’s regional semifinals at 6 p.m.
Despite a game-high 31-point showing from Huntington Beach senior Frankie Wade-Sanchez, the Oilers' season concluded with a 22-9 record.
“We knew we had to take away Frankie, I don’t think we did – she played a really good game – but we made her work,” Monarchs coach Kevin Kiernan said. “We just wanted to tire them out. We’ve kind of had to re-invent ourselves over the last couple of weeks because Madison (Johnson) and Emma (Torbert) are out the rest of the year.
“We’re pressing more, a little more guard-oriented. The defense held them in the first half and then Jayda (Adams) got it going in the third quarter.”
The Monarchs (22-8) took a 28-24 lead into the break. Twenty-two of Mater Dei’s 28 first-half points came on layups or buckets from the post. Nicole Freeman’s 3-pointer midway through the first quarter was the lone jump shot the Monarchs connected on in the opening 16 minutes.
After an 0-for-5 start from the field, Adams drilled three shots from distance in the first four minutes of the third quarter. The Monarchs outscored the Oilers, 26-11, in the quarter, and led by 22 points before the fourth.
Adams finished with 12 points, Freeman scored 16 points and Kendyll Toomey chipped in with 10.
Wade-Sanchez was the lone Oilers player in double figures. Mater Dei held Kaylyn Nakaji to six points.
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