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Dominguez runs past Mater Dei

; From Times Staff Reports

The bench isn’t long enough to accommodate all of its players. Turns out, the Mater Dei boys’ basketball team wasn’t deep enough to beat Compton Dominguez either.

Top-seeded Dominguez took advantage of Mater Dei’s shallow reserve pool Saturday night in the Southern Section Division I-AA final and ran the second-seeded Monarchs into the ground with a 63-60 victory at the Honda Center.

Mater Dei stayed with its six-man rotation, something it used in a narrow semifinal win over Long Beach Wilson, and the outcome was 17 turnovers and less-than-stellar shooting.

“I’ve got to go with the horses,” said Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight.

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McKnight’s “horses” include 6-foot-10 twins Travis and David Wear, who have committed to North Carolina, and 6-8 forward Andy Brown. The three are active post players, but hardly agile enough to keep up with the Dons. Brown scored 16 points to lead Mater Dei, but made just six of 15 shots, and the Wears combined for 26 points on nine of 21 shooting from the field. Gary Franklin, a sophomore point guard playing in his first section championship, also seemed overwhelmed by Dominguez, missing 11 of 14 shots and committing six turnovers.

“I don’t think I handled the ball as well as I could,” Franklin said. “I could have been more smart and used my body.”

Dominguez Coach Russell Otis was aware of Mater Dei’s short bench, but thought the Monarchs held together pretty well. He said the Monarchs’ biggest edge was their zone defense, but once the Dons took the lead, Mater Dei was forced to change its strategy.

“Once we got the lead, they had to extend their defense,” Otis said.

Justin Cobbs does more than score points for Torrance Bishop Montgomery. He also talks a pretty good game.

As the Knights prepared to play Ontario Colony in the Division II-AA final, the 6-foot-2 junior guard was quick to remind teammates about the height advantage owned by Colony’s 6-8 senior center, Michael Bostic.

“Justin has been talking more than anybody, saying ‘They have a 6-8 guy, he might dunk on you,’ ” said Bishop Montgomery teammate Aaron Ware.

The Knights held Bostic to nine points in the 60-45 victory. No Colony player reached double digits, including Tyler Lamb, who had nine points on three-for-19 shooting. Cobbs, who played travel ball against Lamb in elementary school, is looking forward to reminding Lamb of his performance.

“Probably tomorrow I’ll get on him and tell him he shot 3 for 19,” Cook said.

How inflexible was Moreno Valley Rancho Verde’s defense during the Division II-A final?

Palmdale Knight had difficulty just passing the ball to its leading scorer, 6-8 senior wing Paul George, leading to 21 points off turnovers in Knight’s 62-51 defeat at the Honda Center.

“It was tough even getting Paul coming off a screen clean,” said Knight Coach Tom Hegre. “They didn’t switch screens, they just fought through them.”

George scored seven of Knight’s first nine points, then went scoreless the rest of the half as the Mustangs built a 15-point lead. “He can shoot if you leave him open,” Rancho Verde junior guard Mike Snaer said of George. “All I had to do was get up on him and it was over after that.”

Well, not completely. George scored 22 points in the second half.

-- Dan Arritt

Ontario Colony was the only school participating in this weekend’s championships that had to figure out how it would ship its fans to two basketball title games.

With the girls’ team playing in Long Beach at 11:15 a.m. and the boys’ playing in Anaheim at 2:15 p.m., it was up to Frank DiCrasto, Colony’s assistant principal, to figure out fan and team transportation.

“We chartered a bus and, luckily, we made it [to the Honda Center] on time to see the boys,” DiCrasto said. “The girls’ game got over around 12:30 p.m., so we had time to make the drive.”

The girls beat rival Ontario Chaffey, 57-53, to claim the fourth divisional sports title in the school’s seven-year history. The boys lost, 60-45, to Bishop Montgomery.

-- Austin Knoblauch


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