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Serving the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley and Surrounding Communities

Winnetka Bullets Basketball Academy


2009 California

State Basketball Championship Recaps

Friday-Saturday, March 20-21, 2009
ARCO Arena , Sacramento


WESTCHESTER (Los Angeles) def. McCLYMONDS (Oakland) 49-31

Dominique O’Connor led a balanced Westchester of Los Angeles attack with 14 points as the Comets defeated McClymonds of Oakland, 49-31, to win their fifth California boys’ Division I championship.

The top two teams in California didn’t exactly dazzle with fundamentals in the high-flying, physical game, as neither team ever got into a flow offensively -- in great part due to the defensive effort by both. In the end, though, Westchester (35-2, No. 1 in the state) was able to convert more of its opportunities than McClymonds (29-2 and No. 2 in the state).

Dwayne Polee Jr. had nine points and 10 rebounds for Westchester, while Damon Powell led McClymonds (29-2) with 12.

The Warriors had to battle for every shot attempt, and though they played solid defense on their end, the Comets were able to get out and run often enough to lead 24-11 at the break.

Mack came out with more energy in the third quarter, and cut the lead to seven, 26-19, but an O’Connor steal and a Jordin Mayes jumper ended that run and started a 7-0 Westchester burst that all but decided the game.

Sportsmanship Award: Deshun McCoy, Westchester; Christopher Jackson, McClymonds


POLY (Long Beach) def. MONTE VISTA (Danville) 57-33

Long Beach Poly used its depth and balance to win its fourth straight girls’ Division I state title, and tie a Calfornia record for most consecutive championships. The victim this time was Monte Vista of Danville, which fell 57-33.

The Jackrabbits (32-3) got 12 points from Ta’Nitra Byrd and 10 more from 6-3 Monique Oliver, but nine different players scored for Poly, and 11 had rebounds.

The Mustangs (29-3) jumped out to 6-1 and 10-7 leads, and Poly didn’t lead at all until 6:22 remained in the second quarter. The Jackrabbits carried only a two-point advantage into the locker room.

Niveen Rasheed topped Monte Vista with 16 points, but unlike Poly, there wasn’t much help. Only one other player made more than one basket, and thus the Jackrabbits were able to focus on Rasheed.

Monte Vista stayed close through the first two minutes of the third quarter by outrebounding Poly, and also refusing to buckle under the Jackrabbits’ defensive pressure. The Mustangs hung back in a zone and dared Poly to make outside shots -- and the Jackrabbit starters responded by going one for 13 from the field in the first half.

But Poly broke the game open early in the third quarter, going on a 15-3 run to turn a 21-20 lead into a 36-23 advantage. Oliver made some unlikely contributions to that outburst, hitting a three and handing out two assists, but coach Carl Buggs had called a timeout during the run to make sure that Poly’s posts got plenty of touches, and the move paid off. Byrd hit three free throws during that span, and Monte Vista never threatened thereafter.

Sportsmanship Award: Jazzmine Shirley, Long Beach Poly; Alexandra Whalen, Monte Vista


EISENHOWER (Rialto) def. ROCKLIN 73-61

Andrew Bock scored 17 points to lead Eisenhower of Rialto past Rocklin, 73-61, in the boys’ Division II state championship game.

Bock finally quieted a raucous Rocklin crowd with an impressive display of ballhandling and clutch shotmaking. Three other Eagles finished with 11 points -- Alex Varner, Nicholas Carter and Bryan Bock.

Brandon Lane had an impressive triple-double for Rocklin (33-3), with 27 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, but the senior missed 13 of his 21 shots and turned the ball over five times. Anthony Romero had 17 points for the Thunder, connecting on three of six three-pointers.

Eisenhower (32-3) broke open what was a close game with an impressive third quarter -- stretching a 31-27 halftime lead to a 53-38 margin with 20 seconds left in the period. But the Thunder battled back, mostly at the free throw line, while the Eagles relied on Bock, who made play after play to keep Eisenhower in control. Rocklin got within eight, 61-53, but a long Carter three-pointer with 1:50 left locked down the Eagles’ first-ever state title.

Sportsmanship Award: Nicholas Carter, Eisenhower; Cody Kale, Rocklin


BREA OLINDA (Brea) def. CARONDELET (Concord) 68-45

Brea Olinda now stands alone. The Ladycats won their ninth California title, defeating Carondelet of Concord, 68-45, in the girls’ Division II title game. That trophy moves Brea past the Crenshaw boys, who have eight state trophies.

Junior guard Kelsey Harris led the way for the Ladycats, scoring 25 points as Brea (33-2) won its 27th straight game (including a 44-38 victory over previously number one in the nation Mater Dei of Santa Ana). The Ladycats came into the game ranked third in the U.S., and did nothing to detract from that lofty status. After Carondelet took a 4-3 lead with 6:48 to go in the first quarter, it was all Brea thereafter. It was 37-18 at the half, and the Cougars never got closer than 15 points in the final two periods.

Sophomore Erica Payne led Carondelet (29-4) with 18 points and eight reobunds, but the Cougars’ offense was stymied by the harassing Brea defense, and Carondelet managed to shoot just 29 percent from the field while turning the ball over 25 times.

Brea-Olinda has been a California power since the 1980s. The Ladycats won four straight championships from 1991 to 1994, and three straight from 1998 through 2000. They have lost twice in the title game, in 1990 and 2007. Carondelet took the championship in 2004, but lost in 2006.

Sportsmanship Award: Kelsey Harris, Brea Olinda; Alyssa Flores, Carondelet


OCEAN VIEW (Huntgington Beach) 62-55

Nate Gartrell scored 23 points and Kevin Greene set a rebounding record as Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco held off Ocean View of Huntington Beach , 71-62, to win the Division III boys’state championship.

Jerry Brown had an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Irish (29-4), who won their first state title. Greene sparked Sacred Heart Cathedral to a 57-35 edge on the boards with his 20 rebounds, which broke a 24-year-old Division III title game record set by Mike Doyle of Folsom in 1985.

Anthony Brown led Ocean View (27-8) with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but Billy Keller was the only other Seahawk in double figures with 11.

Ocean View fell behind 10-0 to start the game, and trailed by 11 at halftime. By the start of the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were down by 17, 48-31. But their pressure defense, which caused 27 Irish turnovers, helped them cut the margin to six in the final two minutes.

Sportsmanship Award: Billy Keller, Ocean View; Jerry Brown, Sacred Heart Cathedral


ST. MARY'S (Stockton) def. INGLEWOOD 71-62

Afure Jemerigbe scored 21 points as St. Mary’s of Stockton won its fifth state title by beating Inglewood, 71-62, in the girls' Division III state championship game.

Alle Moreno added 21 for St. Mary’s (31-3) and Chelsea Gray had 14. The Rams used their trapping, pressure defense to force 36 Inglewood turnovers, which offset a 54-36 deficit on the boards.

Tayler Champion led Inglewood with 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Hazel Ramirez scored 13. The Sentinels’ official record for the season is 19-17 due to a series of early forfeits, but on the floor, they were 31-5.

After some early sputtering, St. Mary‘s broke a 13-13 tie and went on a 37-12 run en route to a 50-25 lead. After that, however, Inglewood battled back, and outscored the Rams 29-12 to get within 12. Unfortunately for Sentinels’ fans, there were only 53 seconds left at that point, and St. Mary’s was simply too far ahead.

Sportsmanship Award: Tayler Champion, Inglewood; Ali Gibson, St. Mary's



SALESIAN (Richmond) def. BISHOP MONTGOMERY (Torrance) 65-64

Kendell Andrews’ buzzer-beating layup capped a dramatic Salesian of Richmond comeback, and gave the Pride a 65-64 win over Bishop Montgomery of Torrance in the boys’ Division IV state championship game.

Bishop Montgomery, which led 59-50 with 4:37 to go in the game, had a chance to push its lead to three with 7.6 seconds left, but leading scorer Justin Cobbs missed the front end of a one-on-one. Salesian’s Desmond Simmons grabbed the rebound on the baseline, and the 6-6 junior began dribbling up the court. He lost control of the ball at the top of the key at Salesian’s end of the court, and the ball rolled to Jabari Brown in the left corner. Brown took one dribble toward the middle and then spotted Andrews alone under the basket, and Andrews put the ball in off the glass as the horn sounded.

Simmons finished the game with 31 points and 19 rebounds for Salesian (31-4), which won its first state championship. Brown added 14 to go along with the game-deciding pass. Andrews had just six points, but converted when it counted most.

Cobbs led Bishop Montgomery (28-5) with 24 points and Michael Panaggio scored 13, but the Knights were hurt by their inability to rebound.

Salesian had a 44-28 edge on the boards, including 20 offensive rebounds.

That advantage helped the Pride pull ahead by 10 in the first half, but Bishop Montgomery went on a 17-0 run spanning 5:07 of the second and third quarters to turn the tables. The Knights led by 10 heading into the fourth period, and a Panaggio three gave the Southern Californians their 59-50 lead early in the last quarter. But Simmons scored nine points in the last 4:36, and set the stage for Andrews’ game-winning shot.

Sportsmanship Award: Michael Pannaggio, Bishop Montgomery; Devon Montgomery, Salesian



Ebone Henry capped a 10-point Mater Dei of Chula Vista comeback in the final 3:36 of the fourth quarter with a series of big shots as the Crusaders edged Modesto Christian, 54-51, in the girls’ Division IV state championship game.

With Mater Dei (30-3) down by three with 1:13 remaining, Henry (11pts, 11 rebs) completed an old-fashioned three-point play with a free throw that tied the game, and then hit two free throws with 27 seconds left to give the Southern Californians the lead for good.

Mater Dei’s Jhazmine Lynch led all scorers with 18 points, and Soulijah Evans added 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Chula Vista school won its first state title.

Brandi Henton had 14 points and nine rebounds for Modesto Christian (27-8). Taryn Garza finished with 13 points and Danielle Thompson had 10 for the Central Valley school.

Modesto Christian controlled the game early, taking an 11-10 lead in the first quarter and jumping out to a 12-point halftime margin. Mater Dei made several runs at the lead in the third period, but Modesto Christian had an answer -- until the steady Mater Dei pressure finally wore down the Northern California representative.

After Lauren Lucchesi gave Modesto Christian a 49-39 lead, Henry started the comeback with a pair of free throws. Lynch then scored six points in just over a minute to cut the margin to one, but Lucchesi calmly made two more free throws to stretch the lead to 51-48 with 1:36 left.

Sportsmanship Award: Kamela Jackson, Mater Dei Catholic; Taryn Garza, Modesto Christian


 WINDWARD (Los Angeles) def.
ST. JOSEPH NOTRE DAME (Alameda) 69-53

Darius Morris and Anthony Stover had too much power for St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda as Windward of Los Angeles rolled to a 69-53 victory in the boys’ Division V state title game.

Morris finished with 25 points, four assists and a game-high eight rebounds while Stover controlled the paint with seven blocks to go along with 14 points. Sophomore Wesley Saunders had 21 points for the Wildcats (29-6), who won their first California championship.

Malcom Washington added with six points and six assists for the Windward.

Sophomore Jacari Whitfield led St. Joseph (26-9) with 13 points, Dominic Lippi scored 12 and D’Angelo Hutton added 11, but the Pilots couldn’t match Windward on the boards, as the Wildcats had a 41-20 rebounding edge.

Windward took control of the game from the start, jumping out to a 10-0 lead as Stover had three impressive blocks in the first 2:10. He had five in the first half, which forced the Pilots to rely on outside shots -- which weren’t dropping. St. Joseph shot just 23 percent in the first 16 minutes, while the Wildcats hit on 60 percent of theirs.

This was the first state title for Windward, while St. Joseph lost for the third time in the championship. The Pilots, though, won Division I California titles in 1991 and 1992, when Jason Kidd was the point guard.

Sportsmanship Award: Malcolm Washington, Windward; Jacari Whitfield, St. Joseph Notre Dame


PINEWOOD (Los Altos Hills) 55-47

Shelley Gupilan scored 22 points as Bellarmine-Jefferson of Burbank completed a 34-1 season with an 54-47 win over Pinewood of Los Altos Hills in the Division V girls’ state championship.

Gupilan’s cousin Margeaux added 13 points, including back-to-back three-pointers at the end of the first that extended Bell-Jeff’s lead to 31-20 at the break. Though Pinewood rallied in the fourth quarter, the final margin was the closest the Panthers could get.

Lindsay Nickel scored 16 points for Pinewood (31-5) and Hailie Eackles had
15 to go along with 10 rebounds. The Panthers had won three previous state championships, in 1999, 2005 and 2006, but could never get comfortable against Bell-Jeff’s full-court pressure. Pinewood turned the ball over 22 times and shot just 28 percent -- and made only six of 28 three-pointers.

The Guards’ only loss was to Montclair Prep on Dec. 30, by a 63-62 score, and they finished the season on a 20-game winning streak.

Sportsmanship Award: Elizabeth Hawthorne, Bellarmine-Jefferson; Lindsay Nickel, Pinewood

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