BOYS’ BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS : Mater Dei Completes Rout After Cotton Loses Control


A run-of-the-mill Mater Dei rout turned a bit mean Friday night, with the flash point being the ejection of Monarch forward Schea Cotton.

Cotton berated and bumped an official in the third quarter.

Lost among the elbows and shoves was the Monarchs’ 77-46 victory in the Tournament of Champion semifinals at Ocean View High School.

Even without Cotton, the Monarchs (5-0) had more than enough to handle--and even manhandle at times--the Seahawks (6-4). Both sides got in as much contact as they could in the final 1 1/2 quarters.


“We’ve played some physical games, but nothing like that,” Monarch guard Kevin Augustine said.

Mater Dei took control with a 16-0 run early in the second quarter to take a 33-14 lead. It was as good as the Monarchs, and Cotton, have looked his season.

Cotton had 19 points by halftime, including two highlight reel dunks. The Seahawks had no one who could stop him or even slow him down. But that ceased to be a problem with 5 minutes 22 seconds left in the third quarter.

Cotton appeared to be checked hard by Ocean View’s Erik Petersen. Cotton was knocked to the ground, but, instead of going after Petersen, he went after referee Mark Wexler.

Shaun Jackson, Mater Dei center, stepped between the two and tried to restrain Cotton, who then bumped Wexler with his shoulder. Cotton was ejected.

“He was ejected for the abusive language, not the contact,” Wexler said. “I don’t think the contact was intentional.”


The incident was being handled by Rich Kollen, the head official assigner for Orange County. Kollen said Mater Dei officials would discipline Cotton and possibly hold him out for the first quarter of tonight’s championship game against Tustin.

Speed Castillo, head of the officials association, said he will talk with Southern Section Commissioner Dean Crowley today to determine what action, if any, should be taken.

Under Southern Section rules, a player who attacks an official can lose eligibility for his career. Both Wexler and Kollen said they did not believe the contact deserved that penalty.

Cotton was not available for comment.

“It was an unfortunate incident,” Monarch Coach Gary McKnight said. “I’m going to have to review the tape. I’ll have to get with school officials and then have a talk with Schea.”

The intensity picked up after the incident. Both teams pushed and shoved their way to the finish.

“It was just an Ocean View-Mater Dei game,” Ocean View Coach Jim Harris said. “We respect each other so much that we go at it.


“Gary had a young kid who lost it a little and I had a player who took a cheap shot and I sat him down.”

Mater Dei extended its lead after Cotton’s ejection.

Jackson scored 15 points, making all seven of his shots. Clay McKnight, who was zero for three in the first half, made four three-pointers in the second half and finished with 14 points.

Ocean View, which shot 34%, had no one to counter.

In other games:

Tustin 62, Los Angeles Westchester 53--David Lalazarian scored 28 points, making eight of 10 shots from the field and 11 of 17 free throws, for Tustin (8-1) in the other semifinal. He also had nine rebounds.

Los Alamitos 71, Los Angeles Manual Arts 67--Jeremy Vandervoet scored 23 points and had 14 rebounds to lead Los Alamitos (7-2). Ali Ton had 14 points and nine assists for the Griffins.

Travis Reed scored 24 for Manual Arts (2-6).