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Boys' basketball: Mater Dei repeats as Open Division champion

Boys' basketball: Mater Dei repeats as Open Division champion
Mater Dei players celebrate their 71-61 victory over Bishop O'Dowd in Saturday night's state Open Division championship game at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. (Darryl Washburn /)

Not only does Mater Dei have perhaps the best player in California, it also has the best team.

On Saturday night, the Monarchs proved that where it counts: on the court. Mater Dei won its 11th state title, its fourth in a row and its second straight in the Open Division with a 71-61 victory over Bishop O'Dowd, a team the Monarchs edged 63-59 at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas in December.

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Arizona-bound Stanley Johnson led the charge with 25 points, eight assists, three steals and two blocks and his spectacular two-handed dunk early in the second quarter ignited a 10-4 run that put Mater Dei in front.

"We played them already so we knew what they were going to do," Johnson said. "I knew I was going to be doubled and we knew we had to contain Ivan [Rabb]. I don't really think about dunking but if it's there I'll take it."

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M.J. Cage added 16 points and eight rebounds and Isaiah Juarez had 11 points as the Monarchs (35-0) completed an undefeated season. Paris Austin had 23 points and Rabb had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the Dragons (28-5).

Mater Dei's victory capped a perfect day for Southern California schools, who went 6-0 Saturday and 8-4 overall in this year's 12 state final games. Total attendance for the two-day event was 14,490.

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