O.C.: Mater Dei wins showdown

After taking a 15-point lead in the first quarter, Mater Dei held on to win the Maxpreps Holiday Classic Friday in Cathedral City near Palm Springs.

The Monarchs, ranked No. 8 nationally by ESPNHS, scored a 76-69 boys' basketball victory over No. 26 Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln in a game that pitted West vs. East. Mater Dei took a 21-10 lead into the second quarter but never got closer than five points.

It's a good win for Mater Dei, although Coach Gary McKnight said he wasn't pleased with his team's play and it could use some practice time instead of so much game time. Last week they played in Florida at the City of Palms Classic

Mater Dei (13-1) won behind tournament MVP Katin Reinhardt. The UNLV-bound guard scored 20 points and held highly regarded sophomore Isaiah Whitehead (12 points) to a basket in the first half when Mater Dei made its decisive move.

Stanley Johnson, a 6-foot-7 freshman for the Monarchs, was an all-tournament selection who scored 19 points and had eight rebounds.

Earlier in the tournament Mater Dei defeated Burbank, Los Angeles Dorsey, La Canada Flintridge Prep and Henderson (NV) Foothill. The closes game came in the quarterfinals against Flintridge, a 58-54 victory.

Mater Dei opens Trinity League play Jan. 4 at Santa Margarita.