Girls BB: NorCal Open & D1 Finals

Mitty super sophomore Haley Jones wasn’t the Monarchs’ top scorer in Saturday’s NorCal Open final, but her all-around skills were evident to all. Photo: Willie Eashman.

There was no more magic for Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa as the run by the No. 7 seed Cardinals in the NorCal Open Division came to a crashing halt in a 24-point loss to No. 1 seed and No. 1 state-ranked Archbishop Mitty. The Monarchs will now travel to Sacramento for attempt to win first Open Division state title. In D1, there will be no travel for McClatchy of Sacramento after it won second NorCal D1 championship on Saturday in three years.

RELATED: Girls SoCal Open & D1 Finals | Boys SoCal Open & D1 Finals | Boys NorCal Open & D1 Finals | Other Boys Regional Division Finals | Other Girls Regional Division Finals

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Leavey Center Feels Like Home
For No. 1 Archbishop Mitty

The Cal-Hi Sports and nation’s top ranked team looked every bit the part on Saturday at the Leavey Center on the campus of the University of Santa Clara.

Northern Regional Open Division top-seeded Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) broke it open after a 13-13 tie in the first quarter with a 20-5 run to win 78-54 over a young and game Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa.

Karisma Ortiz of Archbishop Mitty and Avery Cargill of Cardinal Newman battle for position during NorCal Open Division championship. Photo: Willie Eashman.

The bottom line is that Mitty (28-2) was just too deep for Newman and once the Monarchs asserted themselves there was little doubt as to the outcome.

St. Mary’s-bound Madeline Holland led four Monarchs in double-figure scoring with 20 points and nine rebounds with two assists. Super sophomore Haley Jones added 15 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Danielle Guglielmo had 14 points on 4-of-7 from three-point range, Nicole Blakes chipped in with 1O points, and although she only had eight points Karisma Ortiz led the Mitty press and added six rebounds, six assists and three steals.

“Our depth has been a critical component and because of it we had the right tempo and controlled the ball. Plus, our pressure got to then tonight,” Mitty head coach Sue Phillips said.

Mitty caused 20 turnovers and only committed 12, plus the Monarchs out-rebounded Newman 37-27. The Monarchs also had 22 assisted baskets to only seven for the Cardinals.

“In terms of depth, they’re basically a college team,” Newman head coach Monica Mertle said.

For Cardinal Newman (30-4), which advanced to its first Open Division regional finals with wins against No. 2 seed Carondelet of Concord and No. 3 seed Pinewood of Los Altos Hills, it got 19 points and nine rebounds from University of Portland-bound Lauren Walker and 12 points from Maiya Flores.

The Cardinals won last year’s CIF Division IV state championship but for Mertle and her girls this was an even bigger achievement.

“What these girls have accomplished far surpasses last year,” Mertle said. “To step up and not be satisfied with a divisional championship and to go this far in the Open Division when a lot of people overlooked us makes me incredibly proud of this team.”

With the victory, Mitty wins a record 12th Northern Regional championship in a record 20th appearance.

“It was a total team effort. Everyone played well but there’s always room for improvement,” Holland remarked.

How much Mitty can improve going into a matchup with Clovis West for the CIF Open title game next Saturday at the Golden 1 Arena is a bit of a question since the last two games against Stockton St. Mary’s in the semifinals and now against Newman the Monarchs have looked almost unbeatable.

“Right now I wouldn’t say we’re unbeatable but we’re pretty tough,” Phillips remarked.

It shouldn’t be hard for Phillips and her staff to motivate their players, either. Mitty is still looking for its first Open Division state title, although one of Phillips’ previous state title teams (when the Monarchs went 31-0 in 1999 and won the D1 state crown) was State Team of the Year. Plus, the opponent next week, Clovis West, and the Monarchs went to overtime when the two met to decide the Iolani tourney title in Hawaii back in early December. Both teams also went to the Nike TOC in Arizona where Mitty suffered its two losses and where the Golden Eagles won the whole enchilada.

McClatchy girls meet the media after Saturday win. Photo: @cifsjs/

Division I:
McClatchy (Sacramento) 46,
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 34

Second-seeded McClatchy (Sacramento) overcame a big first-half scoring drought to post a victory over Oak Ridge in the CIF Northern Regional Division I title game on Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center on the campus of Santa Clara University.

Courtesy Clark led McClatchy (31-4) with a double-double 12 points and 12 rebounds and Richelle Turney also had 12 points. Kamryn Hall added nine points, five rebounds and four assists, and Utah-bound Jordan Cruz chipped in with eight points, four assists and four steals.

The Lions led 19-9 midway through a second quarter in which neither team could seem to buy a basket but after leading 14-7 after the first quarter the Lions only scored five points in the next 13:30, and after a 15-0 run by Oak Ridge they faced a 24-19 deficit.

From there, however, the McClatchy defense stiffened and the offense started to click.

“It was agony. The girls wanted to put us coaches through agony,” McClatchy head coach Jeff Ota responded humorously with respect to the long drought. “But our defense was phenomenal and the girls showed they have heart.”

Third-seeded Oak Ridge (23-11) got a double-double 10 points and 11 rebounds with three blocks from Kassidy DeLapp.

It was the third meeting this season between the two teams and adds to a 59-43 victory in the Trojan Toss-up and a 62-54 win in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals by McClatchy over Oak Ridge. After that second game, the Lions lost to Open Division team St. Mary’s of Stockton in the section final. They were eligible to be in the NorCal Open Division themselves, but a loss to St. Ignatius of San Francisco caused last year’s D3 state champs from Sacred Heart Cathedral to be nabbed for the eighth and final NorCal slot.

McClatchy won its second CIF Northern Regional title and now meets Windward (Los Angeles) for the CIF Division I state championship on Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Golden 1 Arena in Sacramento. The Lions topped Serra (Gardena) in the same divisional state final two years at Cal’s Haas Pavilion.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbendlmost

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