Mater Dei turns back Chino Hills in overtime

Chino Hills guard LaMelo Ball pulls up for a shot over Mater Dei's Michael Wang and Matthew Weyand (21) during the first half Friday night.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world with its televised car chases, the Oscars, the Grammys and Chino Hills basketball.

By 4:31 p.m. on Friday afternoon, all 10,258 seats at USC’s Galen Center had been sold for a high school basketball doubleheader, proving the Chino Hills effect is in full force.

The NBA game between the Clippers and Spurs down the street at Staples Center deserved second billing on a night when the Southern Section Open Division semifinals brought together four of the nation’s top teams. Chino Hills, in particular, has attracted a following that keeps selling out gyms no matter the size and no matter the location.


On Craigslist, two courtside seats that were originally priced at $40 were offered for $500 each. Fans who don’t like driving in traffic to downtown Los Angeles made the trip, because many wanted to see Chino Hills and the Ball brothers, LaMelo and LiAngelo.

For pure entertainment value, the doubleheader more than lived up to the hype.

Santa Ana Mater Dei (31-1), a 48-point loser to Chino Hills last season, took advantage of its new 7-foot-1 center, Bol Bol, and came away with an 83-80 overtime victory over the Huskies (29-2) in a wild game that had fans on their feet and screaming in the fourth quarter.

That was after Bishop Montgomery (26-2) pulled off an upset, knocking off No. 1-seeded Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, 70-63.

Bishop Montgomery will play Mater Dei for the Open Division title next Saturday at Honda Center. Sierra Canyon and Chino Hills will have to wait for rematches in the state playoffs.

Chino Hills shot 30.6% with virtually no inside game because of Bol, who arrived at Mater Dei from Kansas in January. He finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. LaMelo Ball, who had 28 points, made only eight of 33 shots and brother LiAngelo, who scored 26 points, was nine for 32. Ofure Ujadughele had 14 points and made four three-pointers for the Huskies. Eli Scott had 21 rebounds.

Mater Dei received 25 points from Justice Sueing and 17 points and nine assists from Spencer Freedman, whose ballhandling prevented the Huskies from getting turnovers.


LaMelo Ball had a chance to deliver victory at the end of regulation, but his long three-point try was way off. And that was Chino Hills’ problem all night. He made eight threes, but the misses finally were too much to overcome.

In the first game, Jordan Schakel scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for Bishop Montgomery, making three consecutive three-pointers to enable the Knights to gain separation from Sierra Canyon.

Knights defeat Sierra Canyon

His three-pointer at the top of the key as the 35-second clock sounded with four minutes left was the dagger, giving the Knights a 57-51 lead.

“That was probably the most amazing feeling of my basketball life,” Schakel said.

Ethan Thompson contributed 21 points, David Singleton had 11 points and sophomore Gianni Hunt made some clutch baskets and finished with 10 points.

Marvin Bagley III had 28 points for Sierra Canyon (27-2).

“We played all year for this moment,” Coach Doug Mitchell said.


Twitter: latsondheimer


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