Las Vegas was the site Tuesday night for a championship basketball game between two unbeaten high school teams from Southern California, Chino Hills and Santa Ana Mater Dei.
It was the first meeting between the two schools since Chino Hills won by 48 points in a playoff game last season. The Monarchs were not intimidated this time, engaging in a back-and-forth, fire-away strategy with the running Huskies.
In the end, Chino Hills had too much Ball power, as in LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball. LiAngelo Ball scored 25 points and LaMelo Ball 21 as Chino Hills defeated Mater Dei, 84-73, to win the Platinum Division of the Tarkanian Classic.
Chino Hills is 11-0 and has won 46 consecutive games after going 35-0 last season. Mater Dei dropped to 11-1. LiAngelo Ball and Eli Scott of Chino Hills were named tournament co-MVPs. Scott had 19, 13 and 16 rebounds in his last three games.
Chino Hills led by as many as 10 points in the first half before leading at halftime, 36-31. Mater Dei had issues with turnovers. The Monarchs got as close as three points before Chino Hills pulled away in the second half.
Justice Sueing had a big game for Mater Dei, scoring 27 points.
Chino Hills looks like a strong contender to No. 1 ranked Chatsworth Sierra Canyon for supremacy in the Southern Section Open Division.
It’s a great start for first-year Coach Stephan Gilling, who has adopted the tactics of former coach Steve Baik with a fast-paced attack. And it shows that Chino Hills hasn’t lost much even though last year’s star, Lonzo Ball, has moved on to UCLA.