LA North & LA South: St. Anthony girls grind out win over Montclair Prep in D-V

ONTARIO – Easy baskets and points were hard to come by in the CIF Southern California Division V girls basketball regional championship between St. Anthony of Long Beach and Montclair Prep.

But St. Anthony found a way to pour in some easy layups in the second half and pounded out a 48-41 win over Montclair Prep.

“We started finishing,” said St. Anthony coach James Anderson. “If you’re finishing, that makes a big difference.”

St. Anthony’s Kendall Cooper finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a physical game that included a Montclair Prep player getting hit in the face and ending up with a bloody nose.

“They’re a real good team and we knew it was going to be a fight,” Anderson said. “It was more scrappy, it was tight and we had to fight. I like this win more than the first one.”

St. Anthony beat Montclair Prep to win the CIF Southern Section Division 5A championship. St. Anthony won by 10 points and had an 11-point lead at halftime in the Division 5A championship game.

In the Division V Southern California regional final, Montclair Prep had a one-point lead at halftime and St. Anthony didn’t start pulling away until the end of the third quarter.

The St. Anthony girls basketball team went on a 14-2 second-half run to build an 11-point lead en route to winning the CIF Southern California Division V regional championship over Montclair Prep.

St. Anthony went on an 8-2 run to close out the third quarter and go up by five points, 35-30. With 27.4 seconds left in the third quarter, Montclair Prep’s Chantel Dooley was hit in the face, resulting in a bloody nose.

Dooley, Montclair Prep’s leading scorer and rebounder and the lone senior on the team, sat on her team’s end of the court for several minutes as safety personnel tended to her. She sat out the final seconds of the quarter and the first couple minutes of the fourth quarter.

She returned at the 6:09 mark of the fourth quarter and was fouled twice. She made three of four free throws and helped cut St. Anthony’s lead to seven with just under three minutes to play in the game.

St. Anthony took advantage of its height, dumping the ball inside to Paris Lamar and Cooper, both listed at 6-foot-4. Lamar scored all four of her points in a two-minute span to end the third quarter. She also had nine rebounds.

“It made a big difference,” Anderson said. “I told them we got to get the ball inside. I think we made a good adjustment.”