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Mater Dei keeps charging to the basket

01/20/2014, 9:36pm PST
By Steve Brand, Special to the U-T

'Attack' is the key word for Crusaders' offense.


Mater Dei Catholic senior Kandiss Barber (shown in a game last season) had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Crusaders' win over Mission Hills on Monday.

Kandiss Barber uses one word over and over when discussing Mater Dei Catholic girls basketball — attack.

It applies to the Crusaders in general and definitely to her game as No. 4-ranked Mater Dei went on the offensive in the second half to score a 59-49 victory over No. 7 Mission Hills on Monday in the I Have a Dream Showcase at Horizon Christian Academy.

“The difference between this team and last year is we attack the basket more,” said the 5-foot-11 University of Hawaii signee who scored 21 points and collected 10 rebounds. “I always look to attack.”

Mission Hills (9-6) had no answer for her slashing inside moves and it was a good thing she did attack, especially in second quarter when Barber scored all eight Crusaders points as the Grizzlies closed to within two at the break after trailing by as many as nine.

But when Barber added eight more in the third quarter, she got some help as Olusola Smith chipped in seven points, playing aggressively inside.

Kayla Rooks’ 15 points led Mission Hills, but that was countered by Smith’s 14.

Mater Dei Catholic (10-5) has lost only to Mt. Carmel in the county, opting to play tough teams on the road.

“We wanted to toughen up our schedule, but in the end it’s going to help us,” said coach David Monroe, “as long as we continue to attack.”

There’s that word again.

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