State's two active winningest coaches square off in Mater Dei vs. Harvard-Westlake matchup

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Posted by Erik Boal on January 12, 2020 at 04:52:27:

For the first time in state girls basketball history, two coaches each with 700 career victories went head to head Saturday when Mater Dei prevailed 59-55 over Harvard-Westlake in the marquee game of the Best of the West Showcase at West Torrance High.

Mater Dei (18-2) helped the state's all-time winningest girls basketball coach, Kevin Kiernan, earn career victory No. 793.

Harvard-Westlake coach Melissa Hearlihy, who ranks No. 3 all-time at 750 wins, trails only Kiernan and retired Buena coach Joe Vaughan, who has 761 career victories.

Alyssa Frescas had 17 points for Mater Dei, which secured its second straight victory following Tuesday's 65-55 loss to Rosary Academy (13-8) that snapped the Monarchs' 90-game Trinity League winning streak.

Stanford commit Brooke Demetre added nine points and Soleil Montrose contributed seven points for Mater Dei, combining to score the final seven points in the last three minutes to help the Monarchs secure the victory.

Harvard-Westlake (12-7), which last faced Mater Dei in 2017 when it held on for a 59-58 win in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Open Division playoffs, rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit Saturday to tie the score at 44-44 entering the fourth quarter.

Kiernan now has wins over the next two active winningest coaches in state history this season. Mater Dei rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit in the West Coast Jamboree Platinum Division semifinals to defeat Archbishop Mitty 47-41, denying coach Sue Phillips her 700th career victory Dec. 28.

Phillips has since improved to 703-130 and ranks third among active coaches behind Kiernan and Hearlihy, in addition to being tied for fourth all-time overall. Kiernan is 793-102, Vaughan is 761-112, Hearlihy is 750-274 and Brian Harrigan, who concluded his career in 2017 at Mountain View St. Francis, is 703-241.

Poway's Jay Trousdale is in position to become the sixth girls basketball coach in state history to reach 700 career victories this season. Trousdale is 693-260 with the Titans (14-6) having eight regular-season games still remaining.

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