Mater Dei shuts down No. 6 JSerra in second half


SANTA ANA — Nirra Fields finished with 24 points and Jordan Adams added 20 points as No. 1 Mater Dei defeated No. 6 JSerra, 70-46, in a Trinity League game Saturday night at Mater Dei High.

Though Fields had 20 of her points in the first half, the Monarchs (18-2, 4-0) only led, 33-30, at the break.

After a Jenna Morris free throw cut the lead to two shortly after halftime, Mater Dei went on a 15-2 in the middle of the third quarter. The Monarchs pulled away mainly on the strength and plasticity of their defense.

“We stopped trapping,” said Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan of how his team was able to shut down the Lions.  “We played full-court defense, but instead of double-teaming and giving them open looks, we took the trap off and we pressed man-to-man.”

Unable to find a rhythm in the second half, JSerra scored just 16 points and did not make a 3-pointer.

“We were giving up too many open threes,” Kiernan continued. “They were beating our traps and presses for open threes and in the second half those threes were gone.”

JSerra coach Mary Rossignol was pleased with the way the Lions (17-3, 3-1) played in the first half.

“We stuck exactly to our game plan defensively," Rossignol said. “We came out with a lot of energy, lots of intensity. We made runs, they made runs. We played together as a team."

Late in the third quarter JSerra closed the gap and went into the fourth down only, 51-41. But as the game wore on, the Lions were unable to keep up.

“Adams and Fields are great players, and come the second half they took over,” said Rossignol. “We tried to take it possession by possession, but in the second half Mater Dei’s experience took over.”

August Touchard and Samara Hanna each scored 10 points for the Lions.

The Monarchs are now in sole possession of first place in the Trinity League.

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