SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It’s safe to say that Shabazz Muhammad is at the top of UNLV’s — and just about every other college’s — wish list this year. And while Muhammad was his usual spectacular self on Monday, it was the lights-out performance by another recruit at the Hoophall Classic that had plenty of Runnin’ Rebels fans salivating.
UNLV-bound Katin Reinhardt was downright unconscious, draining a tournament-record-tying nine 3-pointers en route to 35 points and an 88-50 win for Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) over Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.).
While Christ the King came in with hopes of slowing Reinhardt, the senior guard knew early on that Monday could be a special night.
“Usually when I start the game with a dunk, that gets my legs going and me in a rhythm,” Reinhardt said. “So after I got that dunk in the first quarter, I felt like, ‘OK, this could be big.’”
Stanley Johnson also came up big, snatching 15 rebounds to help the Monarchs control the boards and capitalize on second-chance opportunities.
On the other hand, Christ the King, just two days removed from a tournament in Missouri, looked the part of a jet-lagged squad. The Royals were beaten early and often in transition by Mater Dei and shot just 26 percent from the field.
Omar Calhoun tried to keep the Royals in it, but an off night (8-for-22) from the UConn recruit and a third quarter that saw the Royals get outscored 27-7 ultimately did them in.
“We saw some effects of Mater Dei,” Royals coach Joe Arbitello said when asked if the long flight affected his team. “I saw Reinhardt play before and he played really well tonight, too. We were just a step slower than them. But losses like this can happen. We know we can compete.”
The Monarchs, ranked No. 22 in the POWERADE FAB 50, improved to 16-2 on the year.
Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.