Rosary (12-8) and Coach Rich Yoon snapped Mater Dei’s 90-game winning streak in the Trinity League, a run that dates back to 2007-08, Coach Kevin Kiernan’s first season at Mater Dei.
And the Royals broke a 28-game losing streak to Mater Dei (16-2), including league, playoffs and tournaments. Rosary’s previous victory against the Monarchs was on Jan. 19, 2006.
“It’s incredible,” said Byon, a sophomore guard who scored 10 points in the fourth period. “I know they’ve been winning every league game and for us to finally stop that streak, it’s just amazing.”
Rosary handed Mater Dei — ranked eight in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings– its first league loss since Jan. 15, 2008.
The Royals lost three times to the Monarchs last season but went on to capture the CIF State Division I title. They won Tuesday without standout Kate Goostrey, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Mater Dei also features two transfers from Rosary, including sophomore standout Soleil Montrose, who scored seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter.
Rosary charged to the finish with a 17-5 run. Rodriguez snapped a 50-50 tie with a 3-pointer in from the corner off an assist by Byon with four minutes left in the fourth. The LMU-committed Rodriguez followed with a contested, running jumper in the key to extend the lead to 55-50 about a minute later.
A scoop layup with a finger-roll touch by Byon narrowly beat the shot clock and extended the lead to 57-52 with 1:42 left. Rodriguez followed with another 3-pointer off an assist by Avinger coming out of a Rosary timeout.
“Since we played them last season, I always said we ‘re going to come back and beat them,” Rodriguez, a shooting guard who scored 12 points in the fourth. “I know how hard we work and how much effort we put in practice.”
Point guard Asia Avinger sparked Rosary by scoring 10 of her 15 points in the first half. Rosary also received key contributions from Caylee Santos (9 points) and Bryn Boznanski (4 points).
But it was the duo of Rodriguez and Byon who combined to score all 22 points for Rosary in the fourth period.
“They were aggressive, they were confident, and they hit big shots,” Yoon said of his team. “I’m really proud of the kids. They played so hard. … I’m not surprised but I’m very happy we’re at this point.
“I think our team is very talented. We’re constantly getting better. That’s the big thing.”
Byon also had five assists while Rodriguez added three steals. Avinger grabbed seven rebounds and had two steals.
Meaali’i Amosa led Mater Dei with 11 points and two early blocks.
The Monarchs’ bench outscored the Royals’ bench 18-0 but Rosary won the turnover ratio. The Royals forced 17 turnovers and held Brooke Demetre to six points. The Stanford-committed junior grabbed seven rebounds.
Mater Dei led 50-48 before Rosary began its finishing kick.
“Rosary deserved to win in every way – they out-played us, they out-coached us,” said Kiernan, whose squad plays at Rosary on Jan. 23. “They’re just a bad matchup for us. We got to find a way to guard them better. … We just had them trouble guarding them off the bounce and they made big shots.”