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BOYS' BASKETBALL / DIVISION I-A PLAYOFFS

Same Faces, Similar Outcome as Mater Dei Beats Mission Viejo

March 01, 1997|DAN ARRITT | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

ALISO VIEJO — Mater Dei completed South Coast League Part 2 much the same way it completed the first series. Now the Monarchs can begin the real playoffs.

Behind Mike Vukovich's 15 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks, Mater Dei blew into the semifinals with a 79-47 victory over Mission Viejo in a Division I-A boys' basketball game Friday night at Aliso Niguel High.

The Monarchs will host Lancaster Antelope Valley on Tuesday.

Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight says he was just happy to see some new faces.

"It's like playing the South Coast League over again," McKnight said. "It's almost like winning league and then having a postseason tournament."

"I think it's real difficult for both schools because you like to see more schools going on in the playoffs," he said. "When they play each other like this, it's tough on both teams, and it's like that in a postseason tournament."

Mater Dei welcomed back starting point guard Kevin Augustine, who had missed the Monarchs' single-digit victory over Dana Hills on Tuesday after injuring his knee in the opening round against El Toro.

Augustine scored 25 points, including nine on three-pointers, and handed out six assists before hobbling off early in the fourth quarter. "Somebody kneed him, he'll be all right," McKnight said.

Top-seeded Mater Dei (28-2) didn't waste any time against the Diablos. The Monarchs jumped to 15-3 lead after the first quarter, holding Mission Viejo to only one field goal in 11 attempts.

The Monarchs took only five shots to Mission Viejo's 15 in the second quarter, but Mater Dei sank 12 of 13 free throws to take a 36-13 lead into the half.

Mission Viejo (18-11) got no closer than 19 points during the third quarter, and Augustine's second three-pointer of the quarter increased the lead to 56-31.

"I thought defensively we really came out and executed very well," McKnight said. "We have five seniors, and a lot of them have played varsity since their freshman year, so I think there is a lot of experience out there."

The Monarchs held Mission Viejo to 33% shooting from the floor, including 19% in the decisive first half. The Diablos also hurt themselves at the line by missing 17 of 28 free-throw attempts.

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