Video: Highlights of Mater Dei point guard Spencer Freedman
Freedman fought off foul trouble to help lead the Monarchs to their 23rd section title on Friday.
One team had history on its side. The other had plenty of panache.
In the end, history prevailed as Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
defeated 19th-ranked Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)
55-53 in the CIF
Southern Section Open Division title at Cal State Long Beach on Friday
had 15 points, Spencer Freedman
, fighting off foul trouble, added 13 and Harrison Butler
12 for Mater Dei (24-6), which won its 23rd Southern Section crown.
Sierra Canyon (25-5), which has four sons of former NBA players in its starting lineup, got 18 points from K.J. Martin
and 12 by Cassius Stanley
A three-point play by Freedman gave Mater Dei a 52-44 lead with 4 minutes left before Sierra Canyon charged hard. Martin, the son of Kenyon Martin, finished off an 8-0 run with a bucket to tie it at 52, before Freedman made a tough bucket to give Mater Dei a 54-52 lead with 36 seconds left.
Martin made one free throw, Freedman missed two and the score was 54-53 with 23 seconds left. Sierra Canyon couldn't connect, and Aidan Prukop
made one free throw for Mater Dei to go up 55-53 with 8.7 seconds left.
Sierra Canyon had chances in the final moments but couldn't connect like it did last week when it moved into the national rankings buoyed by a double-overtime win over defending state Open Division champion and then fifth-ranked Bishop Montgomery (Torrance), ended its 41-game win streak.
Both teams will advance to next week's CIF Southern California regional, almost assuredly in the top Open Division. Those pairings will be announced Sunday.