Mater Dei turns it up in second half for boys basketball win

NEWPORT BEACH — Mater Dei’s boys basketball team was losing to Corona del Mar by five points at halftime.

The Monarchs outscored the Sea Kings by 20 in the third quarter to take the lead and went on to an 82-63 win Friday in a semifinal of the Beach Bash tournament at Corona del Mar High.

Mater Dei (6-1), No. 1 in the OC Varsity boys basketball top 25, plays No. 17 Trabuco Hills (4-1) in the tournament championship game Saturday at 4 p.m. at Corona del Mar.  The game was moved up three hours so Mater Dei basketball players and supporters can attend the Mater Dei football team’s CIF State championship game Saturday evening at Cerritos College.

Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight, in his 37th season coaching the Monarchs, did not deliver an angry halftime speech to his team that was losing to the No. 25-ranked Sea Kings 39-34 after two quarters.

“We were 4 for 23 (shooting) from four of our starters,” said McKnight who got career win 1,113 Friday. “That was one problem.”

Mater Dei junior guard Aidan Prukop was not a problem. He was 5 for 9 in the first half for a team-leading 13 points.

Sophomore point guard Devin Askew made only 1 of 7 first-half shots.

It was an Askew three-point play early in the third quarter that put Mater Dei ahead to stay 40-39. Askew would score 11 points in the quarter and seven in the fourth to finish with a game-high 21 points.

“We came out soft in the first half,” Askew said. “We had the energy in the second half and turned it up.”

Prukop finished with 17 points including five 3s. Ryan Evans, a junior guard who transferred from Santa Margarita, scored 15 on five 3s.

Corona del Mar junior John Humphreys, just a couple of weeks removed from the football season for which the outstanding receiver is sure to receive All-CIF and All-Orange County rewards, led the Sea Kings (4-2) with 13 points. Jake Hamilton added 11 points and Jack Stone contributed 10 points for Corona del Mar.

The Sea Kings play Pacifica Christian in the third-place game Saturday at 7 p.m. at Corona del Mar. Edison plays Compton in the consolation championship game Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Corona del Mar.

Also in the Beach Bash:

No. 17 Trabuco Hills 51, No. 9 Pacifica Christian 48: The Mustangs (4-1) scored only three points in the third quarter but managed to beat the Tritons (7-3) at Corona del Mar and advance to the tournament championship game in which they will play O.C. No. 1 Mater Dei on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Corona del Mar.

Mustangs senior guard Kelvin Cabrera scored 20 points including six 3-pointers. Aryan Telle scored nine points on three 3s and Trevor Hotmer scored 10 with seven rebounds for Trabuco Hills.

“Our coach told us before the game we had a shot at winning this game,” Cabrera said “and we came out and played our best.”

Solomon Davis, a 6-7 senior, led Pacifica Christian with 18 points and nine rebounds.

No. 12 Edison 63, Eaglecrest of Colorado 61: Kaden Headington paced the Chargers (6-3) with 22 points and Aiden Garnett chipped in 17 points in a consolation semifinal.

Compton 71, Crean Lutheran 68: Gum Majak scored 20 points and Aiden Gilbert added 19 points for the Saints (4-4) who lost in a consolation semifinal.


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