ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS

Elijah Brown leads Monarchs to Open final

Son of former Lakers coach Mike Brown has 33 points. Game ends with controversial sub.

Elijah Brown, Kamari Hunter

Mater Dei's Elijah Brown drives to the hoop under pressure from Long Beach Poly's Kamari Hunter, right, in the second half of the CIF Southern California Open Division semifinal basketball playoff game at Mater Dei High School Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Mater Dei won 83-63. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times) (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / March 12, 2013)

When Mike Brown was hired as Lakers coach two years ago, he brought his teenage son, Elijah, with him from Cleveland.

In 2013, it's Elijah making the headlines in Los Angeles, becoming one of the best high school basketball players in Southern California. He scored 33 points Tuesday night in leading Mater Dei past Long Beach Poly, 83-63, in a CIF Southern California Open Division semifinal game at Mater Dei.

The Monarchs (32-2) will play Etiwanda on Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario to decide the regional champion and a trip to Sacramento.

Brown, a 6-foot-4 senior who's committed to Butler, was on target against the Jackrabbits (28-4). He made a three-point bank shot at the end of the first quarter. He made a three-point shot in the third quarter when Poly was rallying. And he made 12 of 15 free throws on a night Poly's top two players, Roschon Prince and Jordan Bell, fouled out in the fourth quarter.

"He had some really great moments," Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight said.

Prince ended his standout four-year career at Poly by scoring 25 points and finishing with nearly 2,500 points in his career. Bell had 12 points. Stanley Johnson supported Brown with 21 points.

The night ended with controversy. Poly Coach Sharrief Metoyer decided to insert into the game ineligible junior forward Kameron Chatman with 1:12 left. Chatman was forced to sit out this season in a ruling by the Southern Section that he was ineligible after moving from Oregon and having followed his travel ball coach, Metoyer. He would have become eligible Saturday.

Poly players wore black T-shirts reading, "FreeKam." By knowingly playing an ineligible player, Metoyer was ignoring the CIF ruling and could face punishment. Afterward, Metoyer said he made the decision on his own in support of Chatman, his godson.

Thom Simmons, a spokesman for the Southern Section, said in a text message, "If an ineligible player was used in that contest, we will be discussing that with the school at our earliest possibility."

Top-seeded Etiwanda rolled to a 56-46 victory over Westchester, as Jordan McLaughlin scored 30 points.

In Division I, Trey Mason scored 23 points and Thomas Welsh 20 in Loyola's 93-71 victory over Crenshaw. Santa Monica defeated San Diego Mission Hills, 51-34.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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