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Brooke Demetre was Mater Dei’s leader in all aspects of game

Brooke Demetre drives during a game this past season.
Brooke Demetre, a McDonald’s All-American, developed an all-around game to become the leader for Santa Ana Mater Dei and The Times’ girls’ basketball player of the year.
(Nick Koza)

Great players know how to lift up teammates, and Brooke Demetre of Santa Ana Mater Dei is certainly a great player. She’s a McDonald’s All-American and a four-year starter who signed with Stanford.

If you need to know what she does for a team, you only needed to be in the Corona Centennial gym for the Southern Section Open Division girls’ basketball championship game.

The previous game, she scored eight points in the semifinals. The team needed her to focus on stopping Studio City Harvard-Westlake center Kiki Iriafen.

For the championship game against Centennial, the Monarchs needed her to score, and that’s what she did, finishing with 28 points in an 83-80 overtime victory. Yet it was the final play of the game in which she didn’t score that will be most memorable for Mater Dei fans.

With the clock ticking down in the first overtime, Demetre got the ball at the top of the key. You’re supposed to want your best player to take the final shot to deliver victory. Instead, Demetre passed the ball to a wide-open Nalani White, who made the game-winning three. It was not only a demonstration of unselfishness but confidence in your teammates.

“I was looking for my shot, but Nalani had the best shot,” Demetre said. “I trusted her. I gave it to her.”

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For her leadership, all-around skills and ability to impact any game, Demetre has been selected The Times’ girls’ basketball player of the year.

She averaged 17.1 points and 6.3 rebounds for the 21-1 Monarchs. Over four standout seasons, the 6-foot-2 Demetre transformed herself into an all-round player, able to play inside or outside, dribble, score, rebound and play defense.


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