The state basketball games this past weekend were full of excitement, heart-break, triumph and sadness. Many of the games came down to the wire, while other games were decided by the fourth quarter. Two of the most anticipated games of the weekend were the brand-new Open Division games featuring the two best boys and girls hoops teams in the state. The girl's game was between Bishop O'Dowd and Windward of Los Angeles, and the boy's match-up was between Archbishop Mitty and Mater Dei from Santa Ana.
Bishop O'Dowd and Windward played once before this season in the Oak's Christian Tournament. Windward came out on top with a final score of 58 to 43, beating the Dragons by 15. Bishop O'Dowd knew that they were going to have to play their best ball in the state game if they were going to have any chance of beating the undefeated Windward Wildcats. The first half of the game was close, both teams were physical and their defense was strong. However, after the half it was the Bishop O'Dowd Dragons who had momentum on their side. It was a team effort with four Dragon players scoring double figures. Asha Thomas, Ariell Bostick, Breanna Brown, K.C. Waters and Oderah Chidom accounted for 58 of the O'Dowd 60 points. Bishop O'Dowd played its best game in the most important game of the season, winning their first ever CIF Open Division game.
The second Open Division game came down to the fourth quarter. Archbishop Mitty entered the game as the two time defending Division II champions, while Mater Dei came in as the two time defending Division I champs. Mitty and Mater Dei traded baskets throughout the first half, and mid-way through the third quarter Mitty took a two point lead. However, in the fourth quarter Mater Dei's Junior Stanley Johnson proved to be to much for the Mitty Monarchs. Johnson scored 26 points, drilled five 3-pointers on the night and had 12 rebounds. Johnson also received help from James McGee, Jordan Strawberry and Elijah Brown. The Mater Dei defense played strong until the very end and became the first team in California history to win three straight large-division titles.
The Open Division games lived up to the hype and it was exciting to see the top team's in the state match-up against one another. We now move on to Spring sports, and will soon crown the top teams in the Bay Area in softball, baseball, lacrosse and boy's volleyball.
You can see highlight's from all the state games tonight at 5 P.M. and throughout the week on Comcast SportsNet California.