This Was a Long Shot for Mater Dei Guard Quinn

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Trailing Long Beach Poly by two points late in the Southern California Regional Division I championship game Friday, Jason Quinn of Mater Dei took a shot that he hadn't intended to take and didn't believe he could make.

Dribbling around the perimeter with fewer than 10 seconds remaining, Quinn couldn't get a pass to David Boyle or Andy Karich, so he tried to get his defender, Rod Hannibal, to foul him as he attempted a shot near the baseline.

"The play never really got set up as planned, so it was really kind of helter-skelter," said Quinn, The Times' Athlete of the Week. "When I felt contact, I just threw it up."

Simply explained. But the significance of Quinn's three-point basket that gave the Monarchs a 46-45 victory and sent them to the state championship game goes far beyond simple. Just ask Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight.

"It will go down in the history of Mater Dei as 'The Shot,' " McKnight said. "That's all we will call it. He double-pumped and side-stepped him and just threw it up with two hands."

Quinn, a point guard, rarely scores much in Mater Dei's balanced offense. He averaged about six points during the regular season and led the team with 6.7 assists.

"I usually get one or two shots a game," Quinn said. "It depends on what presents itself."

But against Poly he scored eight points in the final 2 minutes 36 seconds, including the Monarchs' last six of the game. With 36 seconds remaining, Quinn hit a three-pointer that cut Poly's lead to 44-43.

"He's had some real clutch games," McKnight said. "He had 18 in our semifinal win over Ocean View (in the Tournament of Champions). He's hit some big three-pointers for us too.

But none as big as "The Shot," a basket that still seems improbable to Quinn after watching a tape of the game on cable television Sunday.

"I've watched it three or four times times today," Quinn said. "I still can't believe it."

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Kent Dowding of Orange Lutheran pitched a no-hitter and struck out 14 as the Lancers defeated Serra, 12-0, in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday. He had a home run and four RBIs in the second game.

Jason Quinn

Mater Dei High School

* Position: Guard

* Height, Weight, Class: 5-11, 190, Senior

* Last Week: Quinn made two three-point shots in the last minute, including a desperation shot with 1.8 seconds remaining in Mater Dei's 46-45 victory over Long Beach Poly Friday in the Southern California Regional Division I boys' basketball championship.

* Season: Quinn averaged six points and seven assists.

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