Search:

Mater Dei wins twice, makes final in Vegas

FOR OCVARSITY.COM

LAS VEGAS – Mater Dei found itself in an interesting spot during its quest to reach the final of the inaugural Jerry Tarkanian Tournament.

First, the Monarchs had to go through 6-foot-9 sophomore Ivan Rabb and Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland.

That was easy, as Mater Dei (9-0) buried the Dragons (5-1), 67-46, to advance to the semifinals against Our Savior New American of Centereach, N.Y.

The difference between the first and second games Friday?

While O'Dowd featured one gifted 6-9 athlete, the Pioneers brought a front-line that ran 6-9, 6-8 and 6-7.

In what Coach Gary McKnight described as his teams' toughest test to date, Mater Dei defeated Our Savior, 55-39, behind 15 points from Stanley Johnson to advance to the final of the Tarkanian Classic.

McKnight was most pleased with how his team was able to keep up its energy is the second game of a doubleheader.

"The kids bounced back and played two games in one day," he said. "They were two different types of teams. This morning (against Bishop O'Dowd) they were taking charges, and this team is long and tall and blocked shots."

Halfway through the opening half against Our Savior (4-1), the Monarchs found themselves tied at 12, but a quick 9-0 run gave Mater Dei its confidence back.

The Monarchs went into the break with a 23-17 advantage.

Mater Dei took control in the second half with a 17-4 run capped by a 3-pointer from Chris Nealy and a coast-to-coast layup from Jordan Strawberry.

The spurt gave Mater Dei a 38-21 lead, and that was enough cushion to coast into tonight's championship game against Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas.

The 55 points scored by the Monarchs is their lowest output of the season, but McKnight agreed that it's a positive that his team showed it can win a slow-paced game.

"The kids worked hard," he said. "It's still preseason and we're still trying to get better. We have a long season ahead of us and we just have to keep working and get better."

Seven Mater Dei players scored, including Elijah Brown, who finished with 13 points.


See archived 'Sports' stories »
 
Ads by Google


Varsity sites:
LA
|
IE
|
SoCalVarsity.com
ADVERTISEMENT 
Search Players


ADVERTISEMENT 
Volleyball:

Orange Lutheran 22, Mater Dei 25 - 2nd Set - Completed

Basketball:

Mater Dei 69, St. Mary's of Stockton 76 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Volleyball:

Mater Dei 15, Santa Margarita 17 - 5th Set - Completed

Baseball:

Santa Margarita 0, Pacifica 4 - 7th Inns - Completed

Lacrosse:

Esperanza 10, Newport Harbor 11 - 00:00 2nd Period - Completed

Volleyball:

Saddleback Valley Christian 25, Laguna Hills 21 - 4th Set - Completed

Baseball:

Cypress 5, Los Alamitos 3 - 7th Inns - Completed

Basketball:

Chaminade 44, Mater Dei 48 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Basketball:

El Dorado 46, Brea Olinda 50 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Baseball:

Newport Harbor 0, Los Alamitos 4 - 7th Inns - Completed