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Two Titles Are Twice as Nice

Prep basketball: Bishop Montgomery becomes fourth school to win boys' and girls' state championships in the same season.

March 19, 2000|GARY KLEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SACRAMENTO — It was a doubly good Saturday afternoon for Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the state basketball championships at Arco Arena.

The Bishop Montgomery girls' team defeated Petaluma, 57-45, and the school's boys' team beat Pleasanton Foothill, 73-56, in back-to-back Division III finals.

Bishop Montgomery became the fourth school to win boys' and girls' state basketball championships in the same year. San Anselmo Drake won both Division II titles in 1982, Ripon Christian did it in Division V in 1988 and 1994, and Atherton Menlo achieved the feat in Division V in 1989.

"There's been a lot of excitement on campus [about the possibility of dual titles]," senior forward Tamara Quinn said after the girls' victory. "There hasn't been a lot of talk, but there has been a lot of pride."

State titles are nothing new for Bishop Montgomery's girls, who won their third championship in five years.

This, however, is the first state title for the boys' team, which also won its first Southern Section title a few weeks ago.

"It feels like a process to get to this point," said Doug Mitchell, who is in his 11th season as boys' coach. "We've been knocking on the door. It's good to finally get here."

Bishop Montgomery's girls rolled through playoff opponents before meeting Petaluma, which made it close for most of the game. Bishop Montgomery led, 26-24, at halftime and, 45-40, with 5:50 left.

The Knights extinguished the threat with a basket by Melinda Loeru and two by Lauren Ervin to put Bishop Montgomery ahead, 51-40, with 3:22 remaining.

Ervin, a freshman center, scored 18 points and had 15 rebounds to lead Bishop Montgomery (29-3). Freshman guard Noelle Quinn and sophomore guard Brittney Thomas each added 11.

"I was expecting them to be awesome, and they were," said center Kristina Blair, who scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds for Petaluma (30-7).

Bishop Montgomery's boys were not similarly tested.

The Knights took a 10-0 lead and never looked back, forcing 23 turnovers en route to the victory.

Junior guard Derrick Craven scored 16 points and twin Errick Craven added 15 for Bishop Montgomery (28-5).

"You stop one of them and you still have the other one to worry about," Foothill guard E.J. Costello said of the Cravens.

Costello led Foothill with 21 points.

Senior center Brian Pruitt had 14 points and junior guard DeVaughn Peace 10 for Bishop Montgomery.

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