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Thursday, March 10, 2011
LA South and Orange County: Mater Dei 57, Santa Monica 41

By Martin Henderson

SANTA ANA — They are now ranked No. 1 in the nation, but the distinction doesn't come without a little bit of pain. Mater Dei shooting guard Alexas Williamson underwent emergency surgery on Monday for appendicitis. On Thursday, starting point guard Jordan Adams dislocated her shoulder.

It popped back in, but now she's a question mark for the Southern California Regional semifinals.

What wasn't a question mark was the outcome of the quarterfinal. Mater Dei turned in a terrific defensive performance and rode it to a 57-41 victory over Santa Monica.

It was the third time this season the Monarchs (31-1) have beaten Santa Monica.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 16 points and eight rebounds and Alexis Vaioletama had 13 points and eight rebounds. Kiki Alofaituli had 11 points and 13 rebounds in her most extensive performance of the season.

"Kiki had a huge game," said Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan of the Arizona State-bound Alofaituli, who tore ligaments in her ankle 11 months ago. "She's starting to feel comfortable. She's a big-time player, we just have to get her ready after the injury."

But the big question revolved around the junior Adams who had eight points, five rebounds and three assists.

"You could tell it was bothering her," Kiernan said. "Right now she's dealing with soreness. She's  a tough girl."

The Monarchs don't have a natural replacement for Adams, who came out of the game in the third quarter. "We can play Kaleena a little at the point," Kiernan said. "It takes away from our inside game, but you've got to do what you've got to do. We'll see if we're ready for it."

The Mater Dei defense was ready. It held Santa Monica (23-11) to just 12 points at halftime building a modest 22-12 lead, but then added to it in the third. The lead was 22 points in the fourth quarter before some late three-point baskets tightened the score. Moriah Faulk led the Vikings with 20 points.

"We played really well on defense, but offensively we're a mess," Kiernan said. "We felt we had a big advantage inside but we didn't take advantage of it."

Mater Dei, trying to repeat as a state champion, will play Narbonne, which defeated Troy, 52-47.