OAKLAND — After her final basketball game as a high school player, Terri Mann signed autographs and let out a huge sigh of relief.
"I'm tired of playing at this level," Mann said. "I need some new, harder stuff. It's time to move on."
Mann's last game was a relatively easy one, as Point Loma defeated Grant of Sacramento, 60-44, in the Division I girls' state championship Saturday night at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Arena.
"That's four, baby," an exuberant Mann, who had 30 points and 25 rebounds, told a crowd of well-wishers after the game. Point Loma (34-0) has won state titles four straight years.
Point Loma, ranked eighth in the nation in the most recent USA Today poll, won the Division II title in Mann's freshman season and has swept the Division I championship the past three seasons.
Grant, which lost to Point Loma, 56-50, in last year's final, finished at 32-2.
"If there is a better player than Terri Mann, I want to know where she is hiding," Point Loma Coach Lee Trepanier said. Point Loma is 122-1 since Mann began playing for the Pointers. Their only loss came last season against Pasadena Muir.
Mann said she is more than ready for college basketball now. She is considering such schools as Western Kentucky, USC and San Diego State.
Senior forward Liza Carrillo, who has figured prominently in Point Loma's success this season, said title No. 4 was important to her.
"This is the best one," she said. "The others were just another game, but this was my last one, and I played a bigger role in it." Carrillo finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
Mann tried for 32 points when she approached the professional three-point line and began to set for a shot with 24 seconds to play. Trepanier jumped to his feet and told Mann it was Carrillo's turn.
"I was going to let (Mann) take it, but I reminded her that it was Liza's turn," Trepanier said. "It was Liza's (18th) birthday, and so it was her turn. On Terri's birthday, I let her take her shot." Mann's shot came in the final three seconds of Point Loma's victory over Mount Carmel, when Mann sank a 30-footer. The buzzer prevented Carrillo from making her shot Saturday.
Grant controlled the game only briefly, in the first four minutes of play. The Pacers used their speedy offense, a staple of the Grant game plan for the past 20 years, to gain a 10-5 lead.
Point Loma then controlled the pace by moving guards Lois Guillory and Monica Filer to the outside and waiting 20 seconds before shooting. At that slower pace, the Pointers were able to pass inside to Mann or Carrillo, and Filer (eight points) was hitting from the top of the key.
Grant never regained its pace.
"If the score was in the 70s or the 80s, I figured Grant might win," Trepanier said. "If it was in the 50s, I knew we would win. Terri is going to make any team adjust. Teams that plan to play us man-to-man are in for a rude awakening."
Grant Coach Felix Duncan said before the game that it would be Point Loma that would move out of its man-to-man defense early in the game. Point Loma never changed to a zone, but Grant did in the final minutes of the first quarter and remained in its zone for most of the game.
Point Loma outscored Grant, 10-2, to take a 17-12 lead going into the second quarter.
In the final four minutes of the first half, Point Loma outscored Grant, 12-2, for a 35-20 lead at intermission.
Duncan said the difference was Grant's poor shooting. The Pacers, who average over 50% from the field, shot 24.3%. Point Loma shot 38.1% (45.7% in the first half).
"This is the worst percentage we have shot all year," Duncan said. "LaTonya (Wilson, normally Grant's top shooter) did an excellent job on defense, but that took away from her shooting opportunities."
Wilson finished with 10 points and 5 rebounds. Chris Ellis, who covered Mann most of the night inside the key, finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
When asked what it will take to win a fifth consecutive state title--one without Terri Mann--Trepanier said: "A miracle. I thought this was a miracle."