No. 1 Mater Dei cruises in Real Run Classic

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Daggers usually aren’t administered until late in the fourth quarter. However, that wasn’t the case on Saturday at Long Beach City College.

With under 10 seconds to play in the second quarter of the matchup
between Mater Dei and Country Day, the Monarchs forced a turnover. The
ball was quickly pitched ahead to sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson who was
all alone in the front court.

Samuelson took the feed and as time expired in the first half swished a deep three pointer from the right wing to give Mater Dei a 32-22 halftime lead, signaling the beginning of the end for the No. 20 team in the state in a 70-52 Mater Dei win.
“That was a huge momentum swing,” said Country Day guard Kelsey Plum of Samuelson’s buzzer beater. “They had a run but that really hurt us going into halftime.”

The deep three was the 19th point of the night for Samuelson and the Monarchs rode the wave of that momentum into the second half.

Mater Dei (14-0) started the third quarter on an 8-2 run and outscored Country Day (6-6) 21-13 in the quarter to take an 18-point lead into the fourth quarter.

“We knew going into the fourth we just had to keep doing what we were doing and we’d win it,” said Samuelson, who had a team-high 26 points. “The third quarter helped us get the win. It was pretty much the deciding factor.”

When it wasn’t younger sister Katie Lou, it was the older Samuelson, Karlie, doing the damage for the Monarchs as Country Day had a tough time trying to locate the dead-eye shooters.

“They can just shoot and we didn’t find the shooters,” Plum said. “Katie Lou is ridiculous and so is Karlie.”

The Monarchs, who are considered the No. 1 team in the nation in some polls, dismantled the Torreys despite being shorthanded.

Head coach Kevin Kiernan was sick and not in attendance. Longtime assistant Pete Bonny stepped in as the interim head coach. They were also without starting guard Peyton Langston, who’s been out since Dec. 22 with a concussion.

Bonny, who won six league championships and a CIF title as the head coach at Marina, is no stranger to being the head man in charge and Langston had a clear view of Bonny in action as he sat in the head chair. 

“He does what he always does,” said Langston, who’s expected to return to action next week. “He’s a good coach. He always coaches us in the practices and everything so it wasn’t awkward or anything.”

For the Torreys, it’s yet another loss to one of the top teams in the nation. Despite 30 points from Plum, they were no match for the Monarchs. This year’s team is going through its growing pains with fresh faces after a 32-1, state-title-winning season a year ago.

Meanwhile, Mater Dei, winners of the Tournament of Champions in Arizona earlier this season, remains in the national conversation with the convincing win.

“Arizona was tough,” Karlie said. “We didn’t know we were going to win that but we did so we want to keep it up.”

Girls Basketball
Whitney (Cerritos) 57, St. Joseph (Lakewood) 44
Millikan (Long Beach) 63, Gahr (Cerritos) 43
Lynwood 41, St. Anthony (Long Beach) 34
Mark Keppel (Alhambra) 61, Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga) 55
Centennial (Corona) 60, J.W. North (Riverside) 50
Alemany (Mission Hills) 62, The Bishop’s School (La Jolla) 49
St. Bernard (Playa Del Rey) 63, Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 43
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 70, Country Day (La Jolla) 52

Boys Basketball:
Serra (Gardena) 64, Inglewood 57