Mater Dei's Andee Velasco (11) steals the ball away from Orange Lutheran's Jessica Nowicki in Friday's game.
See more photos from this game in the OCVarsity Hot Shots slideshow.

Mater Dei shows power, whips No. 3 Orange Lutheran


There isn't a gap between Mater Dei and the rest of the girls basketball teams in Orange County.

It's more like a chasm.

The top-ranked Monarchs dominated No. 3 Orange Lutheran, 72-32, in a Trinity League game on Friday night at Orange Lutheran High.

Mater Dei (16-0, 3-0), ranked No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and in the nation by USA Today, has now beaten No. 2 Troy and No. 3 Orange Lutheran (16-2, 2-1) by a combined 76 points.

"They didn't just beat us and Troy, they've beaten teams that were ranked top 10 in the country," said Lancers coach Tom Howard, whose team is ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 2A. "That's something that's maybe easy to forget. People shouldn't forget that.

"They are a team that's really well coached. I don't think (Mater Dei coach) Kevin (Kiernan) gets enough credit and his staff and the job they do."

OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball games

Orange Lutheran had a brief 2-0 lead before Mater Dei put together a 29-0 run to bury the Lancers early in the second quarter. The Lancers didn't make their first field goal until Sydney Jacobs' basket with 5:13 left in the half.

Stanford-bound Karlie Samuelson attacked the basket and hit 3-pointers from outside for 19 points in the first half. She finished with 21 points.

Mater Dei's press created a ton of turnovers and kick-started the transition game for some easy baskets. Sophomore point guard Andee Velasco dished out seven assists and freshman Jayde Woods scored 19 points.

Sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson buried three consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with 21 points.

"Tonight was the first night that our press was a weapon," Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan said. "We've been working on it and trying to get better at it. We feel is we could add that to what we've been doing it will help us down the road. And tonight was the first time we turned people over a lot in the press. I thought we did a great job."

No one in Orange Lutheran's lineup finished with more than seven points.

In the Pacific Coast League:

Irvine 69, Northwood 65: Brittany Lambeth scored 20 points to help the visiting Vaqueros (11-6, 2-0) knock off the Timberwolves (13-4, 0-2), ranked No. 5 in Division 3AA. Danielle Munson had 26 points and 15 rebounds for Northwood.

In the Freeway League:

La Habra 58, Sunny Hills 40: Allyson O'Brien scored 33 points, including three 3-pointers, to lift the visiting Highlanders (12-6, 1-2) over the Lancers (10-9, 1-2), who got 25 points from Madison Cruse.

In the Century League:

El Modena 55, Esperanza 53: Alexis Enriquez had 13 points and five assists and Yasmine Yancey had 11 points to help host Vanguards (5-15, 1-5) win their first league game since the 2009-10 season.

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