Mater Dei's Gary Franklin, left, is fouled by Chino Hills' Chris Quam, center, as he tries to shoot during Monday's Southern California Regional first-round game. Mater Dei won, 88-55.<br><a href=""><b>READ THE STORY.</b></a>

Mater Dei back on track with blowout (video)

Mater Dei back on track with blowout (video)
Two days after a stunning loss, the Monarchs roll over Chino Hills, 88-55, in the first round of the state playoffs.

SANTA ANA - The Mater Dei boys basketball team wanted to put the disappointment of losing Saturday's CIF-SS Division I-AA final behind it, and that's what happened Monday night.

The Monarchs (31-1) got little resistance from visiting Chino Hills in their Division I CIF Southern California Regional first-round game, as they won, 88-55.

Mater Dei, the third seed, will play host to Fairfax of Los Angeles in the second round tonight immediately after the Mater Dei girls team plays a regional first-round game.

Fairfax, a L.A. City Section semifinalist, defeated Edison of Fresno, 70-49 in a first-round game Monday.

The Mater Dei girls game starts at 6, with the boys following at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The Monarchs suffered their first loss of the season Saturday, 71-56 to M.L. King of Riverside.

"It was a tough game Saturday and we didn't play very well," Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight said. "The kids rebounded tonight and played a lot better."

Tyler Lamb and Travis Wear scored 19 points apiece. Gary Franklin and David Wear added 18 and 16, respectively.

"It was a good game to play to get our confidence back," Franklin said. "Coming out against MLK (M.L. King), we didn't play as well.

"But playing against a team like this, we were able to play well and get things going again."

Chino Hills scored the first three points of the game, but Mater Dei answered with a 20-0 run. The Monarchs led, 26-7, at the end of the first quarter and 45-28 at halftime.

The Monarchs stretched the lead to 53-32 in the third quarter.

"We had to regroup and get back to playing Mater Dei basketball," Franklin said. "We had to take back what's ours."

The Monarchs shot 56.3 percent from the field in the first half and 58.1 in the second. Travis Wear made all nine of his shots and David made 6 of 8.

Faced with the prospect of playing four games in six days, McKnight substituted often in attempt to keep his players fresh.

Franklin played the most minutes (23) of any of the starters.

This is third consecutive season Mater Dei has lost in a CIF final. The previous two seasons it has managed to win CIF state titles. Those titles came in Division II, however. They are now competing in the ultra-competitive Division I, where there will be greater challenges than the one Chino Hills presented.

"Since I've been coaching at Mater Dei, I have not seen a bracket as tough as this one," McKnight said. "From top to bottom and now from second round on, it is big-time basketball."

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