1. The rematch between Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei wasn’t nearly as scintillating as the first meeting between the Trinity League schools in which OLu scored a 59-56 upset.
Xavier Johnson scored 23 with 10 rebounds and Mater Dei rolled, 84-61. It was all about the first quarter, in which Mater Dei scored the first nine points and took a 19-point lead.
“He’s extremely talented inside and outside” Coach Gary McKnight said of the junior, one nine players in his top 10 who aren’t seniors.
Johnson also made a point of talking up 6-5 freshman Stanley Johnson, who had nine points and 10 rebounds: “He’s making a statement, and he’s just a 14-year-old kid.” In all likelihood, the victory assured Mater Dei (20-2, 6-1)—ranked second in Southern Section Division I-AA—a 23rd consecutive league title while Lutheran (17-6, 5-2) probably will finish second; good news for OLu, the Lancers remained No. 1 in Division IV-AA rankings.
2. Like Mater Dei, Aliso Niguel got a chance to avenge a loss from earlier this season but wasn’t nearly so lucky. Aliso (21-2) lost for the second time to Mission Viejo, 59-39, in a nonleague game.
Whereas Mater Dei decided its victory in the first quarter, Mission Viejo decided its 23rd consecutive victory in the fourth. The Diablos (23-0) trailed by a point but outscored Aliso, 24-5, over the final eight minutes. Isaac Neilson, Mission’s 6-10 center, scored 11 points but just as importantly got Aliso’s Spitler twins in foul trouble. Daniel and Phillip Spitler both fouled out in the fourth quarter the result of trying to limit the big man’s contribution. Junior James Cramer led Mission with 17 points.
3. Camryn Crocker scored 11 points and Los Alamitos did its part in making a stride for the Sunset League title on Friday. The Griffins scored a 42-36 victory over Huntington Beach, which had previously shared first place with Edison. Victory came via a third quarter in which Los Al outscored the Oilers, 8-0. That’s right, Huntington Beach failed to score in the third quarter. HB plays at Edison on Wednesday with a chance to redeem itself, and Los Alamitos plays host to Edison on Feb. 8. Even though Edison (21-1, 5-1) currently is alone in first place, a game ahead of Huntington Beach (16-7, 4-2) and Los Alamitos (16-7, 4-2), the Chargers aren’t out of the woods yet.
4. The top two ranked teams in Division I-AA girls basketball teams played each other on Saturday in what could be a preview of that Southern Section championship game. Top-ranked Edison scored a 46-32 nonleague victory over Troy. Edison sharpshooter Bonnie Samuelson scored 17 points, well off her average of 24.5, but more than half of what was necessary to beat Troy. The game was tied at 23-23 in the third quarter when Samuelson and her sister, Karlie Samuelson, took over and scored 18 of Edison's next 24 points.
5. Mater Dei demolished a team that usually is one of the better programs in the Southern Section with a 74-36 nonleague victory over Bishop Montgomery. Not only did the Monarchs (19-1) double-up on the score, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis almost outscored Bishop Montgomery by herself: She scored 32.