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January 3, 2013
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei's first Trinity league game against San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra proved to be its toughest test to date.
Not only were the Monarchs playing on the road, but they came face-to-face with a much improved JSerra squad with a rabid fan-base behind them.
After scoring just three points without a field goal in the first half, five star, class of 2014 recruit Stanley Johnson scored 16 second half points to lead the Monarchs to a 53-47 victory.
JSerra's constant ball pressure and stout half-court defense seemed to have Mater Dei back on its heels from the opening tip, but the Monarchs were able to stay within striking distance despite scoring a season-low 19 first half points.
Johnson's slow first half was indicative of the Monarchs opening 16 minutes as a team, with Mater Dei trailing 20-19 heading into the half - the first time the Monarchs have trailed at the break all season.
Both teams came out in the second half with the same intensity, as Johnson began to take control with two straight buckets to open the second half.
Mater Dei and JSerra headed into the fourth quarter tied at 36 apiece.
Monarchs sharpshooter James McGee opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer, which was answered by a three-point-play on the other end from San Diego State signee Jamal Aytes (11 points, 13 rebounds)
After a Mater Dei turnover, JSerra recaptured the lead on a jumper from three star, class of 2014 point guard Johnnie Vassar (15 points), giving the Lions a 41-39 lead with 4:23 to play.
Mater Dei (15-0) went on a 14-8 run, including four free throws from McGee down the stretch to keep its undefeated record intact.
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst
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