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Look: Watch Mater Dei win record 24th Southern Section boys title, 66-53 over Etiwanda in D1 finals at Honda Center

On a youthful squad, senior Zack Davidson scores 27 points as the Monarchs break all-time section record for boys basketball championships

Zack Davidson said he wasn't going to be denied. He and his Mater Dei boys basketball teammates teammates are normally in the Southern Section's highest division. 

The Monarchs weren't picked for the Open this year, but it didn't deter them from winning another section title. 

  • VIDEO ABOVE FROM BRIAN KIMOTO

Davidson, a 6-foot-8 senior headed to Montana, scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 66-53 CIF-SS Division 1 championship win Saturday at the Honda Center. 

It was the 24th SS title for the Monarchs, which broke the record for most section crowns for any boys basketball team in California. According to Steve Fryer of the Orange County Register, Mater Dei was tied with Edison-Fresno of the Central Section with 23 each. 

It made for a joyous celebration for coach Gary McKnight, who is already the state's winningest coach. His team improved to 27-6 and McKnight has 1,241 according to the Cal-Hi record book, against just 133 losses. He's won section titles in five different decades. 

The Monarchs cashed in at the foul line, making 24 of 30, compared to just 5-for-8 for Etiwanda (25-5), which got 17 points by Curtis Williams and 16 from Jimmy Baker. 

Freshmen Luke Barnett and Brannon Martinsen combined for 21 points. But most of the damage was done by Davidson, who made eight of 12 from the floor and 11-for-13 from the line. 

"I've waited for years to do this," Davidson told Fryer, recounting three seasons of coming up short. "When I was on the bus ride here there was nothing that was going to stop me from not feeling that way again. Winning is cool, but there's nothing worse than losing." 

Photos below from Brian Kimoto

Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232613
Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232612
Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232616
Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232614
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Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232617
Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232618
Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232619
Mater Dei boys 66, Etiwanda 53 2023 CIF-SS D1 final Brian Kimoto022520232620