PLEASANT HILL, CA – The Platinum Division championship of the West Coast Jamboree 20th Anniversary tournament, the tournament’s top division, had some twists and turns. However, in the end it was Mater Dei-Santa Ana winning its second Platinum Division title in three appearances with a thrilling 43-42 victory over defending CIF Open Division champion Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth in an all Southern California title game on Monday night at College Park High.
Defense was the name of this game as only two Mater Dei girls and one from Sierra Canyon were in double-figure scoring.
Sharpshooting junior guard Alyssa Frescas led Mater Dei with 12 points, with one NBA-range three-pointer, and freshman guard Caia Elisaldez added 10 points, including the team’s final six points.
Sierra Canyon got a game-high 17 points from senior guard Vanessa Smart including five three-pointers as she was the only player on the court that really found any shooting rhythm.
Mater Dei (13-1) went out to a 6-0 lead and got it to 18-11, but Sierra Canyon closed the first quarter with a 7-2 run to trail 20-18 at the end of one.
Sierra Canyon (12-3) continued the run into the second quarter and got its biggest lead of the game at 27-24, but a three-pointer and a free-throw by Monarchs sophomore transfer Soleil Montrose, who became eligible on Monday after sitting out, gave Mater Dei a lead it never relinquished. Montrose (nine points) had another big basket when she connected at the third quarter buzzer on an NBA-plus range three-pointer that gave Mater Dei a 31-27 lead entering the final period.
Mater Dei got the lead to 41-34 on two free throws and a basket by Elisaldez, but after a three-pointer by Smart cut it to 41-39, Elisaldez scored on a drive to the basket with eight seconds left to make it 43-39, and that made a three-pointer at the buzzer by Ashley Chevalier only make the game look closer.
The game’s big stars, Stanford-committed 6-3 junior Brooke Demetre of Mater Dei, and the Sierra Canyon senior guard duo of Duke-bound Vanessa De Jesus and Texas-signed Chevalier, did very little scoring wise as each team was able to lock down the other team’s top players.
Demetre was only able to muster a single basket in the first quarter but she did have eight rebounds, a steal and an assist. Because of her overall play in the three games Demetre was awarded the David “Scoop” Jackson MVP award for the Platinum Division.
Chevalier had six points (four rebounds, three steals), and De Jesus had seven points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Because of her play during the tournament coupled with solid character and demeanor on the court, De Jesus was honored with the Jim Capoot Memorial Award given to the player in the division that best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship and inspirational play that Capoot demanded from his players. Capoot, the former coach of Vallejo, was killed in the line of duty as a police officer for the Vallejo Police Department
A player that made a big impression in a game where defense was at a premium was Meaali’i Amosa. The 6-1 junior forward controlled the paint and finished with 12 rebounds to go with eight points. Amosa was named All Tournament along with Frescas.
Chevalier made the all-tourney team along with Boise State-committed Alexis Mark who had six points.
Part of the reason the game was a defensive battle is because Mater Dei Coach Kevin Kiernan and Sierra Canton Coach Alicia know each other pretty well since Komaki played for Kiernan when he was at Troy-Fullerton and was on his staff at Mater Dei before getting the job at Sierra Canyon.
“Being a young team tonight’s win was good for our confidence,” said Kiernan, who notched career coaching win No. 788 with the victory. “I thought our defense played better at the Jamboree than at the Iolani Classic, a big improvement.”
“The kids played hard and worked hard but we still need to work on our full court pressure,” continued Kiernan. We have not been able to do it much this season and with our depth we should be able to press more.”
The Monarchs now add the West Coast Jamboree Platinum Division title to the championship two weeks ago at the Iolani in Hawaii, and with a championship in the Battle at the Beach at Redondo Union-Redondo Beach, Mater Dei is three for four in major tournaments. Their only loss is in overtime at the Troy Tournament to Long Beach Poly, and the Jackrabbits are projected to be No. 1 in the next Cal-Hi Sports state rankings.
Next up for Kiernan and his girls is a game on Thursday with Orange Lutheran-Orange to open Trinity League play and then a match-up with Nevada No. 1 Centennial-Las Vegas on Saturday at the Monarchs own Matt Denning Nike Hoops Classic.
Sierra Canyon has a Saturday date at home with upstart Cathedral Catholic-San Diego.
Mitty Coach Sue Phillips joins the 700-win club
Mater Dei denied Mitty Coach Sue Phillips win No. 700 when they won the Monarchs versus Monarchs Platinum Division semifinal battle on Saturday, but St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda could not turn the trick in the third-place game as Mitty rolled to a 75-39 victory.
According to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book Phillips is only the fifth coach in state history to reach the 700-win milestone and the second from the CIF Central Coast Section behind Brain Harrigan who has 703 career wins at St. Rose-San Francisco 1982-1990 Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco 1991-2009 and St. Francis-Mountain View 2011-2017.
“I’m definitely grateful to be in elite coaching company but coaching milestones are not my end game,” Phillips said. “Assisting my players to reach greater heights beyond what even they think is possible and striving to be the best version of myself for the person next to me is my purpose.”
Junior Sydney Bourland led Mitty (8-3) with 15 points and nine rebounds to make the All-Tournament team. Fellow junior Olivia Williams also made all-tourney and added 10 points and eight rebounds. Noemie Bariteau had 14 points off the bench.
St. Joseph Notre Dame (6-2) was led by sophomore Randi Harding off the bench with 14 points. Senior Malia Mastora was named All-Tournament and added seven points.
Clovis North comeback takes Consolation championship
Trailing 44-37 with just under two minutes remaining Clovis North-Fresno (13-3) scored the game’s final eight points to pull out a 45-44 victory in the Platinum Division Consolation championship.
Long Beach State-bound Clovis North senior Savannah Tucker led all scorers with 19 points to make the All-Tournament team. University of Denver-bound senior Rowan Hein and sophomore Asha Sra added 10 points apiece.
Pt. Loma Nazarene-signed Liz Chambers led Cardinal Newman (11-2) with a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds. UC Santa Barbara-bound Anya Choice made the all-tourney team and added seven points and seven rebounds.