Los Angeles Preps: Archbishop Mitty

J.W. North girls fall short in title game

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
9:09
PM PT


SACRAMENTO – If John Wooden was considered the Wizard of Westwood, Leonard De Coud might be the Wizard of Riverside.

De Coud turned a four-win team into a CIF state title contender in a matter of months. The J.W. North girls' basketball team came within a basket of winning the Division II state title at Power Balance Pavilion on Friday.

Archbishop Mitty won the CIF State Division II girls' basketball championship, 56-54, surviving a second-half, 3-point barrage from J.W. North. After the game, De Coud said his girls are not a one-season wonder.

“This is a win for this program,” De Coud said. “We will be back here next year. Count on it.”

J.W. North (30-6) hit five 3-pointers in the second half after going 0-for-4 in the first half. Akilah Martin drained three 3-pointers and scored 11 points for J.W. North. Her 3-pointer with 3:50 to play in the third quarter gave J.W. North a 29-28 lead, its first since the first quarter.

The Huskies had a 1-0 lead in the first quarter before Archbishop Mitty built a 9-4 edge. J.W. North trailed until the third quarter, but Archbishop Mitty never led by more than five points in the first half and let J.W. North hang around.

“We ran our offense,” De Coud said. “We got out of sync of what we normally do on offense.”

Archbishop Mitty (28-5) was up 22-19 at halftime. Neither team shot well in the first half. J.W. North was 8-for-25 (32 percent) from the field in the first half. Archbishop Mitty was 10-for-32 from the field, taking seven more shots, but making only 31 percent of them.

Emily Dinger opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to give Archbishop Mitty a six-point lead, 25-19. But Brittany Crain answered right back for J.W. North with a 3-pointer. The two teams exchanged the lead four times before the end of the third quarter.

Archbishop Mitty started the final period with a two-point lead, 36-34, and maintained it through a high-scoring fourth quarter.

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CIF state girls basketball finals preview

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
4:05
PM PT
Division I

Mater Dei of Santa Ana vs. Berkeley

Mater Dei (34-1) meets Berkeley (27-2) in the Division I championship game for the second year in a row. Mater Dei won last season's game, 59-47. For Mater Dei, this will be the Monarchs’ fifth trip to the CIF state final. They are in search of their third straight championship. UCLA-bound Nirra Fields, the Gatorade state player of the year, scored 20 points against Long Beach Poly in the Southern California Regional final. Berkeley is making its record-setting 11th appearance in the CIF state championship game. Elisha Davis, who’s headed to Arizona State, scored 17 points and made four 3-pointers, against Kennedy of Sacramento in the Northern California Regional final.

Division II

J.W. North of Riverside vs. Archbishop Mitty of San Jose

J.W. North won only four games last season. Now the Huskies from Riverside (31-5) are one win away from a state championship. First-year coach Leonard De Coud guided J.W. North to its first state championship appearance in school history. The Huskies beat Santa Ana Foothill, 57-49, in the Southern California Regional final. Priscilla Brooks led J.W. North with 17 points against Foothill. Archbishop Mitty (27-5) is making its ninth appearance in the CIF state championship game and its first since 2008. Kelli Hayes scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds against St. Mary’s from Stockton in the Northern California Regional final.

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SACRAMENTO -- The glass slipper fit, but the clock had to strike midnight eventually.

Fontana Summit's surprise run ended Friday night, as the SkyHawks fell to San Jose Archbishop Mitty, 53-50, in the CIF State Boys Division II basketball championship at Power Balance Pavilion. Summit had made it out of the Southern California Regional as the No. 10 seed and in just its fifth year as a varsity program.

"This is the best group of kids you would want to coach," Summit coach Steven Hickey said. "We as a staff are so proud of these guys. It hurts, but I'm still proud of them."

Summit (28-8) had the ball trailing by one with 18.7 seconds left, but an errant pass by Dorian Cason led to a Mitty (32-2) bucket. Montigo Alford missed the tying shot at the other end, giving the Monarchs their first state title.

"It felt amazing," Mitty forward Aaron Gordon said. "There are no words to express how good that felt. ... I had an out-of-body experience when that ball went over (Alford's) head."

Gordon, one of the top sophomore prospects in the nation, had 17 points and tied a CIF State title-game record with 21 rebounds. Mitty survived despite the fact that Gordon did not score in the final 12 minutes as he battled foul trouble.

Summit (28-8) scored the game's first seven points before Mitty capped the opening quarter on a 9-2 run. Gordon had 13 points and 12 rebounds in the first half alone, guiding the Monarchs to a 26-19 lead at the break. About the only thing he did wrong was pick up a technical foul for smacking the glass after thunderous two-handed dunk.

The SkyHawks opened the second half on a 10-3 spurt to tie it up and hung tough for the remainder. They went into the fourth quarter down three and finally pulled even with 30 seconds left on a lay in by Quinton Lilley. Cason had a game-high 19 to go along with 14 boards. Summit would have been in trouble if not for its 11 free throw makes in the second half. They missed all 17 of their three-pointers.

"I love my guys," Hickey said. "They can't all go in."
CIF STATE BOYS DIVISION II

At Power Balance Pavilion, Sacramento

Matchup: Fontana Summit (28-8) vs. San Jose Archbishop Mitty (31-2), Friday, 8 p.m.

How they got here: Summit: beat Narbonne, 72-70 (OT); Ventura, 66-45; Peninsula, 79-74; San Diego Lincoln, 74-69 to win the Southern California Regional.

Archbishop Mitty: beat Casa Grande, 71-43; Las Lomas, 70-61; Woodcreek, 67-44 to win the Northern California Regional.

Key Players: Point guard Montigo Alford willed Summit to a comeback effort against San Diego Lincoln, scoring 15 of his team-high 18 in the second half. The SkyHawks have more options, including Darrick Arnold, Devon Alexander and sixth-man Cameron Lewis. Mitty's Aaron Gordon, the brother of former UCLA forward Drew Gordon, is ESPNU's eight-best prospect for the class of 2013.

What to expect: As the top-seeded team in the Northern California Division II Regional, Archbishop Mitty was supposed to be in this position. The Monarchs have been here twice before, in 2007 and 2008. They lost to Santa Ana Mater Dei both times. It's a different story for Summit. No one expected the SkyHawks' flight to Sacramento after they received a No. 10 seeding for the Southern California Regional. The odds were even greater last week at Galen Center, where Summit faced off against one of the state's best teams in Lincoln. So can the surprising SkyHawks, in only their fifth year as a varsity program, do it again?

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