After dispatching the vaunted Long Beach Poly girls’ basketball team in the quarter-finals of the CIF-SS Division 1AA playoffs last week, the road to a repeat title doesn’t get easier for Samohi.

Like Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei enters Tuesday’s game at the Anaheim Arena nationally ranked and favored. That does little to dissuade Head Coach Marty Verdugo from abandoning his ever-present optimism.

“We are as good as any team in the nation,” Verdugo said of his battle-tested Vikings. “We just have to come out with confidence.”

This will be a rematch for these teams with Mater Dei getting the better of Samohi earlier this season. Despite having lost, Verdugo said that the second time around should be different.

“We tried to play too fast last time,” he said. “We just have to control the tempo and stop their runs.”

The game is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday in Anaheim.

daniela@smdp.com

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