Seldom-used guard Paul Nolan led a second-quarter rally that helped Mater Dei High School defeat Ocean View, 66-53, Saturday night in Huntington Beach.
Nolan, a 6-foot-3 senior, came off the bench to spark a somewhat lethargic Mater Dei team that was playing its sixth game in the past 11 days. He scored nine points and missed only one shot as the Monarchs won for the 18th time in 19 games.
Nolan broke his ankle before the start of the season and didn't fully recover until the Orange Holiday Tournament in late December.
"He went from being the sixth man last summer to our ninth player because he got so far behind," Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight said. "I think he wanted to show the coach he could play, that he was tired of sitting."
Ocean View (10-6) was in control for most of the first half despite playing the final six minutes of the second quarter without starting guards Greg Evans and Ryan Martin. Evans and Martin each had three fouls and went to the bench.
The victory was Mater Dei's second of the season against Ocean View, coming off a 68-55 victory in the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions in December. It was also the fifth time in six games spanning seven seasons that McKnight has defeated Jim Harris.
Ocean View's fine effort came up short because Mater Dei made nine of 13 shots in the final quarter. Harris said forward Darren Ernst played the best game of his career, scoring 21 points and getting 14 rebounds.
"He couldn't go another step with six minutes left," Harris said. "That was the best game of his life. We had guys come in and do a great job. It was a well-played game by and large, but Mater Dei's depth always seems to be the difference.
"Their players are so competitive within their own team. They know if they aren't, they'll lose their jobs."
Mater Dei played without sixth man Danny O'Neil, who was on a football recruiting trip to the University of Oregon. The Monarchs also were coming off an emotional victory over Artesia, the top team in Los Angeles County, Friday night.
Ocean View was hampered by the inability of 6-8 center Marcel TenBerge to play at 100%. TenBerge broke his finger in a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly this month. Saturday he played sparingly, scoring two points.
In the Olympic League:
Whittier Christian 78, Whitney 60--Leading 37-34 at halftime, Whittier Christian used its fast break and man-to-man defense to outscore Whitney 21-7 in the third quarter. Ruben Oronoz scored 23 points and Joe Konstantarakis added 21 for Whittier Christian (8-7, 4-1). Joel Whittaker, Charles Whang and Jason Taylor each scored 14 for Whitney (1-4 in league play).
Santa Margarita 48, Brethren 34--Brethren, which came into the game 4-0 in league play, overcame a 23-15 halftime deficit to tie the score with about seven minutes left. Then Santa Margarita went into a spread offense and closed the game out with a 15-1 run, during which 11 points came on free throws. Center Jeff Layne had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Santa Margarita (5-9, 2-3). Teammate Mike Carpenter added 13.
In the South Coast League:
Dana Hills 64, San Clemente 43--Dana Hills held a 13-4 lead at the end of the first quarter and was never threatened. Brett Blauvelt scored 13 for the host Dolphins (14-4, 2-1) and Keith Barnett added 12. Eddie Morgan and Todd Anderson each scored 12 for San Clemente.