Shocker in Westwood: Brea Olinda 44, Mater Dei 38

Brea did it – they took on the dragon and they won. The matchup that everyone had been waiting for all year was surprisingly one-sided, as the Wildcats dominated the number one-ranked team from beginning to end, and handed them their first loss of the season when all was said and done.

Senior guard Jonae Ervin lead all scorers with 18 points in a gutty performance that saw her do everything from drive to the basket for the layup to steal the ball to sink crucial free throw shots. Ervin told that “this is the game to prove we are the better team, and we proved it.”

Indeed. She was named MVP of the game.

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Both teams looked nervous to start the game, as a veritable turnover fest ran for the entire first quarter and most of the second. But what did it for Brea was their defense. Though shorter and smaller than the physical Monarchs, the Wildcats played suffocating defense and double-teamed Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis on every possession. The sophomore sensation was held to just four points on the day.

Brea sophomore guard Alexis Perry takes it up the right side.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Janier Olukemi line up for a free throw shot.

Brea celebrates the victory…….

……and keeps celebrating.

A subdued Mater Dei prepares to accept their second-place award.

Mosqueda-Lewis and Alexyz Vailotama approach the medal stand.

I ended up sitting in front of the former attendance secretary at Brea (25 years before retiring a long time ago), whose crew was pretty amusing. They were gracious about their opponents, and the husband of her friend said with a shrug, “Brea will enjoy it now, because Mater Dei will be untouchable for the next several years.”

He’s right. Mosqueda-Lewis and Vailotama are both sophomores, and another of their top players – Jordan Adams – is only a freshman. Once they get some more playing experience under their belts this summer and next year, it will be lights out for other teams.

Both Brea and Mater Dei have great team composure. There were times on both ends where referees made calls players disagreed with, and several kids had their mouths open to say something, or their faces scrunched up into anger, but then they put themselves in check. I respect that; they’ve had good coaching.

Former secretary waxed on about Brea Coach Jeff Sink – not on the court but in the classroom. She said he is a heckuva history teacher, and doesn’t hesitate to break something or rip something up to make a point. This doesn’t surprise me.

“And the kids learn!” she said.

She and I were walking down the stairs when Sink came, and hugged her right next to me. I thought about saying something, since he’d posted on this blog, but…..naw. It was his moment.

On to Arco Arena Friday for the Wildcats.


  1. Quality analysis as per usual. It was a big win for us at Brea. As for the turnovers – the stage, the hype, the consequences and the emotions inherent in this game were enormous. I have coached in the Socal Regional finals nine times and only once has my team played with the composure on offense that it exhibited during the regular season. The rims seem to shrink and jump shots fall short. We are talking about young kids after all and dealing with pressure is experiential. I liked our position all year. Mater Dei had to carry the banner of being number one for months. That is difficult. We were able to hide in the shadows effectively. Coach Kiernan did a wonderful job bringing along his talented young players. And you are right when you say the future is bright for Mater Dei. Although I believe that Brea will have excellent teams for the next few years at least. The game was a defensive struggle as I anticipated. The deeper you go in the playoffs no matter the level (from the NBA down to age group AAU play) you must be able to defend in the paint and score in the half court. That is just the nature of the beast. Hats off to all the girls from both Mater Dei and Brea for handling such a hyped game with class. And finally you should have introduced yourself as I am now reading your blog frequently because you actually write cogently and with a degree of dispassion that is often absent from other blogs.

    Thanks for your love of women’s basketball – the Crazy Coach Sink….

  2. Hey Crazy Coach Sink,

    I just sent you an email, but I’ll say it here too: thanks for your comments and your readership. I especially appreciate you calling me cogent and dispassionate – the ultimate compliment for any journalist. The knee-jerk immaturity apparent on many message boards and blogs is disheartening, so I’m glad you don’t see that here.

    Good luck Friday. Show them that Southern Cali is the place to be.

    (And next time I’ll say hello)


  3. Considering you say Brea double teemed Lewis it’s interesting that she did have 16 field goal attempts. As far as Sinks comments – Brea were ranked where they should have been – MD were overhyped and did not show in their schedule that they deserved any of it. Sometimes people get carried away with who they think should be telling them the absolute truth like coaches with state championships and forget that these coaches win because they have talent, without the talent it would be a different story.

  4. Anonymous 1, when a top-ranked team loses, people like yourself like to say they were overrated. How about if they just had a bad game at the wrong time? Maybe they were tired at the end of the season like I’m seeing in so many college and high school teams right now? It happens. Mater Dei is a great team. So is Brea. End of story.

    Anonymous 2, why don’t you sign your name to comments like that.

  5. The socalled # 1 team according to maxpreps, and #3 team according to ESPN just lost to the #30 team who played a tougher schedule and you are saying they were not over rated – whats your argument. Secondly please explain how a team with 18 players on their bench is tired – now thats funny!

  6. Sue don’t pull a Nelson. Now I don’t think theres any argument that Mater Dei were overated – and guess what it was Nelson himself on Hoopgurlz that started that hype, along with their player, it’s a shame really as it actually will hurt them in the long run.

    As far as the recruiting – MD is so obvious I can’t believe anyone would try to defend them.

    Brea are just as bad whether you want to believe it or not, FYI 1 of their freshman were playing for la Mirada and Sonora in the summer of their freshman year and then suddenly show up at Brea in season – Brea happened to be playing in the same summer league. Sink is known for allowing young club teams play in his summer league thats where he got Hartman, Perry and Wallace. Both Rodgriguez and Ervin were from La Habra. You can understand why the Brea parents get upset – but you can also understand why they can’t put their names to any of this as their kid would’nt even play the seconds they are getting now and Halpin their principal is on the CIF exec board. Also just look at Inglewood someone made CIF follow thro and they gave them forfeits but guess what let good old cheating Inglewood play and they won – so what message is sent – cheat and you win!!!

  7. Overrated – possibly, because numerous great teams play in weak leagues, which inflates their sense of how good they are. Then tourney time comes and poof. High school coaches have less control over their schedules than college coaches.

    Defense – I’m not defending anyone here. It’s quite possible that both MD and Brea Olinda recruited before this season. I haven’t done an investigation so don’t know. But I agree that a lot of recruiting does take place. Inglewood is a good example.

    The only way to stop it is to be the squeaky wheel. Get a big big group of parents togehter and take it to the CIF. Then they’d have to listen to you.