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Mater Dei's Katin Reinhardt is Times' player of the year

BOYS' BASKETBALL

The 6-foot-5 senior was at his best in the biggest games.

April 07, 2012|By Eric Sondheimer
  • Mater Dei's Katin Reinhardt, who finished with 30 points, glides in for a layup agianst Sheldon's Kyiron Thomas in the Division I state championship game.
Mater Dei's Katin Reinhardt, who finished with 30 points, glides… (Steve Yeater / Associated…)

Whether healthy or sick, injured or fit, Katin Reinhardt of Santa Ana Mater Dei found a way to make an impact.

There was the 35-point performance with nine three-pointers on national television against New York Christ the King in mid-January.

There was the 17-point first-quarter outburst with five three-pointers against unbeaten Bellflower St. John Bosco in late January when he was running a 102-degree temperature during the day.

And there was the 30-point performance against Sacramento Sheldon in the state championship game when he made a Division I-record six three-pointers despite wearing a soft cast to protect the injured thumb on his shooting hand.

Because of his ability to play his best when his team needed him most and the immense improvement in many facets of his game this season, Reinhardt has been named the boys' basketball player of the year by The Times.

The 6-foot-5 senior who's headed to Nevada Las Vegas led Mater Dei to a 34-2 record and championships in the Trinity League, Southern Section Division 1AA, Southern California Regional and state Division I. He averaged 18.6 points.

"Very few people can shoot like him," Coach Gary McKnight said. "He has range. I think he's got a chance to play in the league [NBA] someday because of the way he shoots."

He became a complete player this season, emerging as a team leader and court facilitator when needed, stepping up to play exceptional defense while always being ready to unleash his devastating outside shot.

"The whole coaching staff has taught me so much," Reinhardt said. "They've taught me to be an all-around player."

McKnight has coached Mater Dei for 30 years, and he'll savor the performance of Reinhardt in the Division I victory at Power Balance Pavilion.

"It was incredible," McKnight said. "Shooting in that arena is not easy. For him to just walk into the gym and shoot like that . . . I was shocked to see how many points he had."

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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