Southern California Regional semifinals
Mater Dei: The Monarchs (29-3) looked like the Monarchs are supposed to look. After being flat in the first round, despite a 20-point win, Mater Dei showed intensity and character in battling through a nine-point deficit to Loyola going into the fourth quarter. Xavier Jones scored 30 and Katin Reinhardt 17, but often overlooked senior David Brown hit the shot that tied the score at 67 and then added a couple of free throws. It's a team sport, and in a 72-70 victory, Mater Dei played like one.
Foothill: Peninsula (30-2) turned in its best team performance of the year and scored a 63-49 victory. The Vikings were ripe to be beaten because Morgan Reese was sick, but timing is everything; Reese's teammates stepped up and Foothill got stepped on. Rob Filley had 21 points for Foothill, which held a 31-28 lead at halftime but had trouble scoring after Peninsula switched to a zone defense for the second half. Still, Foothill (23-9) has its first round victory over Mission Viejo to carry it it through the off-season.
Orange Lutheran: A first half to remember, for all the wrong reasons, put Orange Lutheran in a 40-15 hole against La Verne Lutheran. The Lancers rallied and pulled to within 62-54 with 3:33 left in the game, but could get no closer in a 75-58 loss. Gabe York scored 21 and James Douglas 20 for the Southern Section Division 4AA champion. Payton Banks scored 13. Douglas is one of two seniors on the team, along with Scott Baron, who is graduating.
JSerra: The third-place team in the Trinity League — behind Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran — very nearly advanced to the regional semifinals but instead lost to fifth-seeded Visalia Central Valley Christian, 81-69, in overtime. It was tough way to go out for the Lions because over the the last 12 minutes, including the four in overtime, they were outscored 34-16. They were outscored 16-4—as the winner made 12 of 16 free throws—in overtime. Trenton Coggins scored 34 for JSerra (16-15).
Mater Dei: The Monarchs (31-1) won the game but may have lost point guard Jordan Adams for the next round. She dislocated her shoulder. Though she was able to pop it back in, the injury and soreness left Coach Kevin Kiernan worried. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 16 in the 57-41 victory over Santa Monica, and Kiki Alofaituli scored 11 with 13 rebounds in her most extensive minutes of the season; she got the minutes because of Alexas Williamson's emergency appendectomy on Monday.
Brea Olinda: The Ladycats dropped to No. 3 in the national rankings—Mater Dei is No. 1 and Jacksonville (Fla.) Potter's House is No. 2—but took another step toward a rematch with Mater Dei by scoring a 66-55 victory over Rancho Cucamonga. Jeanier Olukemi scored 13 and Ana Kim 11 for Brea (31-1), which had been the nations top-ranked team for most of the season, before a loss to Mater Dei in the section 1AA finals..
Troy: The fifth-seeded Warriors (28-5) got 16 points from Gabby Hanson but fell to Narbonne, 52-47. Troy had beaten Narbonne (31-4) in the first week of the season, 55-49. It's a good run by Narbonne so far, having beaten Edison and Troy—the two Division 1A finalists—but it faces Mater Dei next.
Anaheim Canyon: Despite playing at home, the third-seeded Comanches (24-9) got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Christina Salvatore and still lost, 64-54, to San Diego Westview.
Orange Lutheran: The Lancers (26-6) broke open a two-point game at halftime to take another step toward the state finals and extend their winning streak to nine games with a 57-47 victory over San Diego Mt. Miguel. Krissy Karr scored 24 for OLu, while Jesse Spittel scored 14 and Natalie Luzar 10.
JSerra: The Lions (13-19) were beaten by top-seeded La Jolla Country Day, 58-39, though Samara Hanna scored 12 and Julia Kenefick 11.