The second coming of Mater Dei vs. Etiwanda was the most highly anticipated matchup of the year for more reasons than one. Mater Dei was looking for their third consecutive CIF State Championship appearance and only the Eagles stood in their way.
Etiwanda knocked off the Monarchs to claim the CIFSS Championship, and a rivalry was born. Tonight, Mater Dei was victorious in dominating fashion and advanced with a 60-37 win.
Mater Dei Wins vs Etiwanda: Game Highlights
In the first matchup Etiwanda showed up ready and played relentless defense. Mater Dei was held to 51 points in the first meeting, and after a 13-11 first quarter score in tonight's game, the tone was set for another defensive battle.
The first quarter was fairly even in all facets of the game, but a second quarter barrage from senior Jordan Strawberry helped Mater Dei build a 29-17 lead.
Strawberry hit three triples in the first half and finished with 13 of Mater Dei's 29 points to go along with 3 boards and 3 dimes.
Unlike the previous game where Etiwanda hit 6 of 6 threes in the first half, the Eagles were 0 for 6 from distance going into the third quarter.
Stanley Johnson opened up the second half as a changed man. After scoring 4 points in the first, Johnson hit four consecutive three-pointers and Mater Dei closed out the third quarter with a 47-27 lead.
The Monarchs began the fourth period cold and held a 47-30 lead with 5:53 left in the game.
Defensively, Mater Dei was a much different team from the first contest. Monarchs players swarmed to every loose ball and were dominant on the boards.
In the end, Mater Dei proved to be too much for Etiwanda and their experience playing in the big game left the Monarchs with a 51-33 lead with 3:30 in the final period.
Mater Dei will head into Sacramento for the 2013 CIF State High School Basketball Championship and they're looking for a three-peat.
Johnson finished the game with a game-high 25 points, while Jordan Strawberry's consistent play and 17 points proved to be the difference for the Monarchs in the win.