Los Angeles Preps: John Krossa

Mission Prep loses in state final again

March, 24, 2012

SACRAMENTO -- In March 2008 Jenna Dunbar and Bri Harvey sat in this arena and watched Mission Prep, the school they would attend the next year, play for a state title. Walking into the arena they recalled specifics like their parking spot and the seats they occupied that day.

Unfortunately the outcome would match their memories as Mission Prep lost the CIF Division V state championship game 70-64 to a young, spry Brookside Christian squad on Saturday morning at Power Balance Pavilion.

“I have no regrets … I know none of the girls behind us have any regrets, I know [coach John] Krossa has no regrets,” said Dunbar, who scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds. “We are so blessed to be in this position and we gave it all we had.”

Mission Prep, which was riding a 29-game winning streak, was able to take advantage of the Knights’ physical style early, routinely drawing whistles in the first half -- at one point late in the second quarter the foul disparity was 8-1.

“Early on we weren’t doing a good job of plugging lanes,” Brookside Christian coach Que Ngo said.

Brookside Christian (30-4) opened things up in the third quarter as sophomore guard Tiara Tucker, who entered with a 26-point scoring average, asserted herself. Tucker scored on three consecutive possessions, drawing and-1 fouls on the latter two to open a 51-36 lead midway through the quarter. Tucker led all scorers with 28.

The Knights, much like Mission Prep, had grown accustomed to blowout wins winning its regional playoff games by an average of 20 points, took a 60-45 lead when freshman guard Ariana Vaughn beat the buzzer with a deep 2-pointer.

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Mission Prep takes Div. V regional title

March, 17, 2012

ONTARIO -- Mission Prep’s Jenna Dunbar started with the hot hand in the CIF Southern California Regional final against Rolling Hills Prep.

Her teammates, Kaylee Williams and Bri Harvey finished strong in Mission Prep’s 62-41 win over Rolling Hills in the Division V girls final at Colony High School on Saturday.

Dunbar scored 13 of her team-high 21 points in the first half. She scored in the lane and hit three 3-pointers in the first half.

Williams scored 10 of her 16 points in the second half and Harvey scored 13 points in Mission Prep’s first CIF Southern California Regional Division V championship since 2008.

“It’s a special group,” Mission Prep coach John Krossa said. “This is such a great group of girls.”

Krossa won his second CIF Southern California Regional championship with San Luis Obispo's Mission Prep (32-1). Mission Prep won back-to-back Division V championships in 2003 and 2004. The Royals went to three Division V championship games in a row in 2006-2008.

Dunbar scored 10 points in the first quarter and led her team to an 18-13 lead. She was 5-for-9 from the field in the first half and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the game. She also had seven assists and five rebounds.

Mission Prep led, 30-24, at halftime. Mar-Jana Phillips led Rolling Hills (21-5) with 15 points in the first half and scored 11 of her team’s 13 points in the first quarter.

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Fast start lifts Mission Prep girls in 5AA

March, 3, 2012

SANTA ANA -- By the time Villanova Prep scored its first points in Saturday's CIF-SS Division 5AA championship game at Mater Dei High, more than five minutes into the contest, top-seeded Mission Prep had already opened up an 11-0 lead on the Wildcats.

The halftime score between the two teams? 28-17, Mission. And the final score? 56-45, Mission. The 11-point margin held throughout, with Villanova's late start damaging its chances significantly and allowing Mission to take home the win -- and the title.

For 27 of the 32 minutes in the game, the two schools played to a tie, essentially. But the first five minutes ended up being the deciding factor, even as Villanova tied the score at 38-38 in the second half. As Mission Prep coach John Krossa explained it afterward, his Royals were only able to withstand the Wildcats' runs because of the early lead they staked themselves to.

He said he kept telling that to Jenna Dunbar, the team's leading scorer, who missed much of the fourth quarter after fouling out but was the driving force to the Royals' 11-0 run.

And Krossa never doubted the outcome.

"I don't want this to sound cocky, but I really felt like we were always going to win," Krossa said.

Mission guard Kaylee Williams scored a game-high 22 points, which tied a season-high and doubled her season average. She shot 6-of-9 from the field, 2-of-2 from 3-point range and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. Forward Bri Harvey added 18.

Dunbar had just four points and five fouls in 17 minutes.

For Villanova (23-7), from Ojai, senior forward Natalie Miotti had 15 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Samantha Watson added 14 and senior Emily Mactee scored 10. The Wildcats shot just 21 percent from the field in the first half and 31 percent for the game.

Mission Prep (29-1), from San Luis Obispo, recently switched back to CIF Southern Section after two decades in the Central Section. This is the first title the Royals have won since coming back to the Southern Section.