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Mater Dei (29‑7)

Santa Ana, CA


Top Players

  • 6-8 SOPH Brannon Martinsen
  • 6-2 SR Brady Karich
  • 6-5 SR Scotty Belnap (UTAH TECH)

Monarchs At A Glance


High school basketball’s winningest active coach Gary McKnight brings Mater Dei to its 10th City of Palms Classic – with a 26-10 tournament record, two championships (2006, 2008) and three third-place finishes on his Fort Myers resume. He has a young-but-promising group that returns four of its top five scorers, including 6-8 SOPH Brannon Martinsen (12.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg as a freshman). The Monarchs’ balanced attack also features 6-3 JR Owen Verna (10.2 ppg), 6-3 SOPH Luke Barnett (9.9 ppg) and Utah Tech commit 6-5 SR Scotty Belnap (7.8 ppg) – plus three-year starting point guard 6-2 SR Brady Karich (3.4 ppg, 5.1 apg) and transfer Brandon Benjamin (22.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.2 apg at Anaheim Canyon), the Orange County Player of the Year as a sophomore. … Mater Dei has won one national championship (2014), 11 California state crowns, 24 CIF Southern Section banners and 39 of 41 league titles since McKnight took over in 1982. His 1,243 career victories (134 losses) rank first all-time in California and third nationally. During the McKnight Era, nine of his players have gone on to play in the NBA.