Mar 05, 2017
By John M. Sherrard
(Walnut, CA) With a furious second-half surge the defending state champion Mt. SAC Women's Basketball team defeated Mt. San Jacinto College, 71-65, Saturday night at the Mountie Gymnasium, to return to the CCCAA State Championships next weekend.
The Mounties trailed, 55-54, entering the fourth quarter, but after sophomore forward Allyah George made a layup with just under a minute elapsed for the 56-55 lead, the outburst began.
"It was like a dream," said George, who was a part of the championship team last year. "Nobody wanted to go home in the playoffs."
Mt. SAC began the final quarter with an 11-3 run and never trailed again.
The third-round victory marks the 11th consecutive year Mt. SAC has advanced to the state championships. Mt. SAC defeated South Coast Conference rival East Los Angeles College last season for the title.
Mt. SAC won its first title in 2004, followed by a three-peat from 2006-08 and back-to-back championships in 2012-13.
The No. 1 seed Mounties will aim to capture a record eighth title for the most all-time in the state of California and will face No. 4 North seed Foothill College (23-8) on Friday at Las Positas College in Livermore. Game time is 1:00 pm.
This is the first year since 2010 that the state championships has had an elite-eight format as the last six years only four teams advanced to the finals.
With the win the Mounties improved to a state-best 30 wins against only two losses.
"It was a great game," said Mt. SAC coach Brian Crichlow, who earned his 200th win earlier this season. "This was a mark of true champions. We had three girls who played last year that were in and out of the rotation and they knew it was now or never. They did a great job of keeping their composure."
"We held them to 30 points under their average, which was huge."
The Eagles had been averaging 92 points per game for the season.
Leading the way in scoring was a quartet of Mt. SAC players in double figures which was led by sophomore forward Kali Jones (5-8 FT, blk., steal) and George (7-11 FG, 7 RB, steal) with 15 each.
Jones also had a game-high 13 rebounds, followed by sophomore guard Caira Benton's 12 boards.
Benton (5-8 FG, 2-3 FT, 5 assists, blk.), who was recently named to the All-State team, and sophomore guard Maddeline Dopplick (3-6 3PM, 2 assists) added 12 points apiece.
Dopplick, who played last season at Sacramento State, gave the Mounties their largest lead of the game, 65-57, with 3:17 left in the game with a 3-pointer.
"I've never truly been part of a winning program," Dopplick said. "It's great, it's what Mt. SAC does is win championships.
"As for the fourth quarter, it was crunch time and it was our time."
The Mounties trailed, 37-31, at the half but turned up the offense in the third and fourth quarters with a 40-point second-half output against only 28 points from Mt. San Jacinto.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630