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KEVIN SULLIVAN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Mater Dei's Jayda Adams draws a foul on Orange Lutheran's Gloria Bates as she scores on a short shot.

Mater Dei taps into support system to beat Orange Lutheran

STAFF WRITER

Playing in their gym and supported by their fans, Orange Lutheran’s players went bucket for bucket with Mater Dei in the opening 12 minutes of a clash between two of the county’s top girls basketball teams.

The energy the Lancers opened the night with slowly faded as the half neared, due largely to the number of bodies the Monarchs brought in from the bench.

Star forward Ally Rosenblum put up 20 points, but it was the contributions of eight additional scorers that enabled No. 1 Mater Dei to stay atop the Trinity League standings with a 62-48 win over No. 5 Orange Lutheran on Thursday.

Seven players scored for the Monarchs in the second quarter, igniting a 12-2 run over the final four minutes of the half that put Mater Dei ahead, 36-22, at the break.

“I thought our bench was huge today, they really gave us a lift,” Monarchs coach Kevin Kiernan said. “Maya McArthur gave us a lift. Sarah Rahon hit a couple of threes. We keep telling them, strength in numbers is our theme this year.”

The two highest-ranked Trinity League squads traded leads eight times over the first quarter and a half, and the Lancers (16-4, 2-1) were ahead with six minutes left in the second.

A pair of 3-pointers by Rahon on consecutive possessions put the Monarchs on top for good. With 10 of its 18 bench points coming in the second, Mater Dei (19-2, 4-0) quieted the crowd and took a 14-point lead into intermission.

“We have troubles sometimes handling adversity,” Kiernan said. “We’re learning how to deal with it. The maturity of the team is getting better. And If we’re going to be good, we have to mature as a group.”

Rosenblum and her fellow post presence, Emma Torbert, dominated the paint and scored 11 quick points in the third as the Monarchs’ lead ballooned to 20 points.

Orange Lutheran was able to cut its deficit to 12 points with four minutes to play. Jessi Matson (15 points) and Taelor Griffin (14) battled all night and led the way for the Lancers.

In the San Joaquin League:

No. 4 Fairmont Prep 48, No. 6 Orangewood Academy 45: The visiting Huskies (15-4, 2-0) needed a combined 30-point effort from Cierra Hall and Tristen Rollon to escape with a win over the Spartans (14-4, 0-1).

Orangewood held a 21-20 lead at the half, but Fairmont claimed a two-point edge by the start of the fourth quarter. Jaqueline Saucedo finished with 11 points for the Spartans.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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