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Saturday, March 24, 2012
Mater Dei wins ninth CIF state title

By Tim Haddock



SACRAMENTO -- Hometown favorite Sheldon put up a good fight, but there was no denying the Mater Dei boys' basketball team its record-setting ninth CIF State championship.

Mater Dei pulled away in the fourth quarter and beat Sheldon from Sacramento, 66-48, at Power Balance Pavilion on Saturday night.

Sheldon kept it close with clutch free throws and key 3-pointers, but eventually ran out of steam against the top team in the state and the ESPN Los Angeles rankings.

Mater Dei went on an 11-3 run to start the fourth quarter and built its first double-digit lead of the game.

Katin Reinhardt hit a 3-pointer, nailed a couple of free throws and dropped in a breakaway layup during the fourth-quarter run. He made six 3-pointers and set the CIF State Division I record for 3-point baskets in a game. He scored 30 points, was 6-for-12 from 3-point territory and 11-for-17 from the field.

“He can do that,” Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight said. “He can do that any time.”

The Mater Dei players pretty much took control of the game in the second half despite having Xavier Johnson foul out in the third quarter. He was upset after getting called for his fourth foul and started yelling obscenities on his way to the bench.

One of the referees gave him a technical foul for his foul language and Johnson had to sit out the rest of the game.

It didn’t matter though. Mater Dei built an eight-point lead in the third quarter before pouring it on in the fourth.

Mater Dei (34-2) outscored Sheldon, 33-21, in the second half. The Monarchs led by six points at halftime, 33-27.

Reinhardt scored 16 points and made four 3-pointers in the first half. Sheldon’s Kyiron Thomas nearly matched Reinhardt with three 3-pointers.

Sophomore Stanley Johnson scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds for Mater Dei.

“He’s a man,” McKnight said. “He’s a sophomore and he’s built like a brickhouse. He’s gifted in so many areas.”

Thomas finished with 12 points for Sheldon (29-6). D’erryl Williams led Sheldon in scoring with 13 points. Nate Iese had 12 rebounds and scored six points.

The Mater Dei boys matched the Brea Olinda girls for the most CIF state titles. Both schools have won nine championships.

The Crenshaw boys are 8-0 in CIF state finals appearances. Mater Dei is 9-4 in CIF state championship games.