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Reinhardt returns to push Mater Dei past Loyola
SANTA ANA – Mater Dei's Katin Reinhardt returned to action Tuesday night and he did so with style.
Reinhardt, who missed Mater Dei's second-round game against Mission Viejo due to a broken right thumb, was back in the starting lineup with his hand taped against Loyola of Los Angeles in the CIF Southern California Regional semifinal.
He missed his first two shots, but that didn't slow him. He finished with 21 points (8 of 12 from the field, 4 of 6 on 3-point field goals) and added 10 rebounds to help the Monarchs (32-2) to a 75-63 home victory over the Cubs (26-6).
The victory was the 19th consecutive for the Monarchs this season and advanced them to Saturday's regional final against Bullard of Fresno at 8 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
Bullard defeated Long Beach Poly, 54-52, in the other semifinal.
"My hand feels sore, but I have to ice it and stay on top of it and not take any days off with icing and doing therapy," Reinhardt said. "That's the best thing I can do for it right now and make sure it doesn't swell up.
"I had to tape this thing up as best as I can so I could go out play. It means a lot because I felt like I would let my teammates down if I didn't play."
Reinhardt's trouble with his hand occurred in the first-round game of the regionals against Crescenta Valley, as he went scoreless in 16 minutes.
He said he didn't like sitting out last week's game.
"He came out in practice (Monday) and said he felt good," Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight said. "I said, 'I guess he can play.'
"It was nice to have him. There were so many reports going on and I couldn't tell. He said he started to feel better and he said we're going to tape it up hard and give it a shot."
With Reinhardt back in the fold, the Mater Dei big three dominated the games. Xavier Johnson led the Monarchs with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Stanley Johnson had 17 and 11.
Mater Dei outrebounded Loyola, 44-27.
"I thought he and X (Xavier Johnson) did a tremendous job," McKnight said. "Stanley (Johnson) really played well, too."
Loyola led, 49-48, entering the fourth quarter. That was its last lead.
The Cubs missed their first eight shots and the Monarchs took advantage, going on a 7-0 run to take a 55-49 lead, and they never looked back.
This was the second meeting this season between the two teams and third in the past two years. Mater Dei defeated Loyola, 61-58 in the CIF-SS Division 1AA semifinals Feb. 28.
Mater Dei also defeated Loyola in last year's Southern California Regionals, 72-70, in a second-round game.
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