Relentless Matadors win Diamond Division of 13th Annual West Coast Jamboree. Other division winners include Moraga Campolindo and San Jose Valley Christian. By Harold Abend.
Miramonte of Orinda may not have a 6-footer on its roster, but despite a decided height and size disadvantage, and having to go up against one of the premier junior players in the nation, the Diamond Division host Matadors still took care of business in a 72-57 title game victory over defending CIF NorCal Division IV champion Salesian of Richmond.
With the victory, Miramonte (11-1), a Division III school for CIF state basketball play, served notice it is a team to be reckoned with in this year’s new format for the CIF state playoffs. Since last year’s team lost in the CIF NorCal Division III finals, it could be nabbed for the new Open Division bracket for this season, but since there is a limit of just four from the CIF North Coast Section there’s also the possibility that the Matadors could stay in Division III.
The Matadors were persistent and determined on defense, and pushed the ball up the floor the entire 32 minutes of the contest.
“This is a huge win for our program,” Matadors’ head coach Kelly Sopak told Cal-Hi Sports. It validates that Miramonte will be a contender again this season, and it also validates to our kids that if we are relentless and play the entire game all out on both ends of the court, we can play with anybody.”
The Matadors will begin league play with a lone loss in the Nike TOC to a Windward (Los Angeles) team that just defeated previous state No. 1 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland), 58-43, in the championship game of the Oaks Christian Tournament in Westlake Village. Despite the Windward loss being a 68-43 final score, Miramonte was in the game for three quarters until a big run opened it up.
“I could have played to minimize the Windward loss,” Sopak remarked, “but I figured continuing to attack, and staying in our game against a team with some of the top players in the country could only help us against teams like Salesian and in the playoffs.”
Miramonte junior Carly Gill led the way against Salesian with 19 points, three assists and three steals. She also played stellar defense. For the 5-foot-5 guard’s efforts, which included a nine-point, five-assist outing in an 80-41 first-round rout of Palo Alto, and 14 points (four three-pointers) in a semifinal 68-36 crushing of Sacramento Christian Brothers, Gill was named the David “Scoop” Jackson Diamond Division Most Valuable Player Award winner.
Senior backcourt teammate Megan Reid had 10 points, eight rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks before fouling out with 3:36 left. Coupled with a 16-point, six-assist effort against Christian Brothers, Reid was named All-tournament and the Jim Capoot Diamond Division Memorial Award winner, given to the player that best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship and inspirational play Capoot demanded from his players.
Capoot, the coach of a Vallejo team that captured to 2009 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title and a Vallejo police officer, was killed in the line of duty in November of 2011.
Sabrina Ionescu, a 5-foot-10 freshman, had three solid games, including 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals against Salesian. She was named All-tournament along with 5-foot-11 senior Breanna Alford (seven points and 12 rebounds in title game), and freshman sharpshooter and solid defender Keanna Delos Santos.
Salesian (9-3) got a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds (three assists, three steals) from Mariya Moore, but after playing in foul trouble most of the game, she fouled out with 5:25 remaining.
The ESPN No. 7 ranked forward and No. 18 overall player from the Class of 2014 was named the MVP from the second-place team.
Joining Moore as All-tournament selections from Salesian were 6-foot-4 junior center Zoe Correal (13 points and 10 rebounds in title game), and speedy sophomore point guard Kian McNair.
In the Diamond Division third place game, Kennedy (Sacramento) got a 25-point, 11-rebound performance from Utah State-bound 5-foor-10 guard/forward Lynette Johnson in a 55-41 win over cross-town Christian Brothers.
The Emerald Division, also played at Miramonte, was a Peninsula versus East Bay affair won by Moraga Campolindo, 54-47, over a stubborn Burlingame squad.
Junior Ashley Ewing led Campolindo (11-1) with a game-high 24 points, and was named the division’s MVP after going for 20 and 27 points in the first two games. Also making All-Tournament was Lauren Hickey. The Cougars’ senior had 19, 19 and 18 points in the three games, respectively.
For Burlingame (10-1), senior guard Dana Michaels made All-tournament after making 17 three-pointers in the division’s three games. Her best effort was 35 points, with nine 3-pointers, in a 70-42 semifinal win over Paradise.
The Ruby Division, played at Oakley Freedom, was won by a young Valley Christian of San Jose. The Warriors defeated Vallejo Jesse Bethel, 52-50, in the championship game.
Valley Christian (8-4) features Ronika Stone, a 6-foot-3 freshman that is already on the radar screen of major D1 colleges for her volleyball prowess, but also looks to have the skills to play basketball at the next level as well.
Encinal (8-3) of Alameda won the Agate Division with a 52-16 victory over host Antioch.
Eureka (7-5) took home the Amber Division at Lafayette Bentley after a hard fought 57-55 win over Windsor, in an all-Redwood Empire affair.
The Coral Division held at Antioch was won by Bishop Manogue of Reno (10-0) after the Miners defeated Concord Clayton Valley, 62-51, in the championship game.
Point Arena (11-4) defeated host Bentley, 49-34, in the title game of the Garnet Division.
In an all CIF Sac-Joaquin Section final, it was Stockton McNair (13-0) defeating Sacramento Florin, 57-54, in a back-and-forth Gold Division championship.
The Jade Division at Pleasant Hill College Park saw Sacramento Bradshaw Christian (9-2) in an easy 52-29 victory over Madera.
Host Valley Christian of Dublin (10-2) got 22 points from senior Izzy Ayad in a 63-59 victory of International (San Francisco) in the Onyx Division title game.
American of Fremont (10-2) had little trouble with Escalon in a 59-13 Pearl Division championship game victory.
Arcata (9-2) handled Branson of Ross, 48-30, in the Sapphire Division title game.
Freedom defeated Drake, 62-58, to win the Topaz Division. Elsa Ross scored 21, Jailyn Brown pulled down 18 rebounds and had 10 points, and Cyndee Kinslow controlled the glass with 15 rebounds and five blocks.
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