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December 21, 2012

Tarkanian Classic, Day 3: Mater Dei continues to roll

LAS VEGAS - The opening game of the third day of the Jerry Tarkanian Classic tournament at Bishop Gorman High School featured a quarterfinal matchup between Centereach (N.Y.) Our Savior New American and Redondo Beach (Calif.) Redondo Union.

Our Savior defeated Redondo, 59-50, to advance to the 6 p.m. semifinal game against Mater Dei.

Redondo won a thrilling 60-58 contest on Thursday over Modesto (Calif.) Modesto Christian with a buzzer-beating layup to advance to the quarterfinal game. The Sea Hawks also benefitted from 39 points on 15-of-26 shooting by junior guard Ian Fox.

The size differential between the Pioneers and Redondo was an apparent factor from the beginning, as the Redondo guards found it difficult to penetrate and score over the towering front line of Our Savior.

The Pioneers frontcourt starts with four-star, class of 2015 Cheick Diallo at 6-feet-9; next is 6-foot-8, class of 2014 forward Michael Nzei; and finally, Our Savior has the lengthy and athletic 6-foot-7, class of 2016 forward Kassoum Yakwe.

Diallo scored just four first-half points, as he was sidelined by foul trouble, but the Pioneers were able to take a nine-point lead into the break.

Diallo scored nine of his 13 points in the second half, and his timely baseline dunk put an end to a potential Redondo comeback.

Mater Dei 67, Bishop O'Dowd 46

The highly-anticipated showdown between five-star, class of 2014 recruit Stanley Johnson of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei and five-star, class of 2015 forward Ivan Rabb of Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd ended in yet another Monarch blowout.

Mater Dei used a strong second half and 23 points from Johnson to cruise to a 21-point victory.

Despite leading 31-19 at the break, the pace of the game didn't favor Mater Dei. While the Monarchs look for a fast-paced, up-and-down type game, O'Dowd is methodical on the offensive end.

The Monarchs were able to push the pace in the second half, and used a 22-6 run over six minutes to push their lead to 30 points.

Mater Dei continues on its road to the potential championship matchup with Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, but will have to go through Our Savior first.

Devin UglandDevin Ugland
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst

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