TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS : Undefeated Mater Dei Routs Capistrano Valley
Mater Dei turned what was supposed to be a battle between the county’s two best boys’ basketball teams into a rout Friday in the Tournament of Champions at Ocean View High.
Mater Dei held a 19-point lead going into the fourth quarter and rolled to a 69-55 victory over Capistrano Valley in a semifinal game moved to 4 p.m. to accommodate Mater Dei football fans.
The Monarchs will meet the City Section’s top-ranked team, Westchester, in the championship game at 8:30 tonight.
Mater Dei (7-0) won despite a day of distractions created by its football team, which beat the nation’s top-ranked team, Eisenhower, 35-14, in the Division I championship game Friday night at Anaheim Stadium.
“I was surprised that we got such a good effort this early in the season considering all the excitement that’s been going on today on our campus,” Coach Gary McKnight said.
If the Mater Dei basketball players had football on their mind, they certainly didn’t show it.
The Monarchs opened a 34-23 lead with 6 minutes 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter after forward Marmet Williams made his third consecutive basket.
By the end of the third quarter, Mater Dei led, 51-32, when guard Kamran Sufi scored on a layup at the buzzer.
Capistrano Valley (5-2) played in Thursday night’s semifinals against Lakewood without two starters, point guard David Sedgwick and forward Mike Moore, and its sixth man, Aaron Rhoades, who had the flu.
Sedgwick and Rhoades returned to the lineup on Friday, but both were less than 100%. Capistrano Valley’s most effective weapon all season, three-point specialist Tom Airey, was hardly a factor despite finishing with 18 points.
Airey connected on only four of 12 three-point shots and had problems getting open to attempt a three-pointer from his favorite spot near the baseline or from the top of the key.
Williams and teammate Reggie Geary each scored 16 points for Mater Dei. Geary ran the Monarchs’ fast break effectively and missed only five shots.
“Reggie’s had some very good games this year, but on this team, he isn’t going to score 20-25 points a game like a Brandon Jessie at Edison,” McKnight said. “But if you look at the box scores, he’s up there in rebounds, assists and steals. He’s the total package.”