Powerhouse Mater Dei too much for DP

Mater Dei's Xavier Johnson elevates for an uncontested dunk on Friday. Johnson scored 22 points. (James Sinclair Photos)

The top-ranked boys basketball team in CIF Division I-AA, Mater Dei, paid a visit to Sovine Gym on Friday night and handed Dos Pueblos a 75-43 drubbing, but a Chargers squad that came out looking timid was able to turn things around after halftime and hold its own.

“We didn’t come out as strong as we should have in the first half. We played a little bit scared, you know, but in the second half we really picked it up and played Charger basketball,” said DP post player Jackson Burke, who scored eight points and pulled down nine rebounds.

It’s easy to get intimidated against the mighty Monarchs, who are loaded with long, versatile players who seem comfortable in any position on the floor. The windmill dunks and alley-oops, which had the crowd buzzing, may have also affected DP’s confidence. The Chargers (3-3), however, have played the Monarchs (6-0) for the last six years and know the routine.

“We don’t expect anything less. It was pretty tough for the post players and me, but it prepares us better for the next games and for league,” said Burke.

Dos Pueblos' Robert Cid drives against Jordan Strawberry

Jay Larinan scored a game-high 12 points and had eight rebounds for the hosts, while Robert Cid scored 10 with three 3-pointers. The Monarchs were led by 6-7 guard/forward Xavier Johnson’s 22 points, with 18 more coming from 6-5 guard Katin Reinhardt. Mater Dei features just one player under 6-3 on its 17-man roster.

The Chargers failed to score until Larinan drove to the hoop and picked up an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:20 to go in the first quarter, which ended with the visitors up 20-5. A minute-and-a-half earlier, Mater Dei’s David Brown threw an alley-oop to a soaring Johnson, who slammed down what would have been a SportsCenter top-play even for NBA standards. The Monarchs stayed dominant in the second quarter, and for good measure Johnson hit a buzzer-beating jumper to make it 41-13 at the intermission.

Burke hit back-to-back jump shots early in the third that cut the deficit to 23 at 43-20 with 5:40 to go. Cid nailed a leaning trey with nine seconds to go in the quarter, but it was far too late for any kind of comeback. Shaqquan Aaron threw down a textbook windmill dunk early in the fourth, but DP responded as Larinan hit a 3-pointer and Burke took a charge.

The Chargers open Channel League play against Ventura at home on Friday.


Mater Dei…20  21  20  14 — 75

Dos Pueblos…5  8  19  11 — 43

MD — Stalzer 9, Reinhardt 18, XJohnson 22, Brown 9, Aaron 4, Strawberry 3, SJohnson 7, Cook 2. Totals 29 10-16 75.

DP — Conner 4, Miranda 6, Cid 10, Larinan 12, Burke 8, Lauten 3. Totals 13 2-5 43.

3-point goals — MD 6 (Brown 2, Reinhardt 2, XJohnson 1, Stalzer), DP 4 (Cid 3, Larinan 1). Total fouls — MD 12, DP 15.