By John M. Sherrard
(Livermore, CA) The Mt. SAC Women's Basketball Team reached the top of the California Community College Athletic Association world Sunday afternoon with their record eighth state title.
The No. 1 Seed Mounties (33-2), who were playing in their sixth consecutive championship game, scored early and often en route to a decisive, 75-54, victory over No. 3 North Seed College of the Siskiyous (31-2) at Las Positas College.
The North No. 3 Seed Eagles came into the game as the top scoring team (95 points per game) in the state and riding a 29-game win streak.
"Eight championships means that there were a lot of people who contributed to this," Mt. SAC coach Brian Crichlow said.
Crichlow has been with the Mt. SAC program through all previous seven titles (2004, 2006-'08, '12-'13, '16), the last seven as head coach.
"There were a lot of young ladies that have come through the program," Crichlow said. "Coach (Laura) Beeman started it and I'm just carrying the torch.
"It's a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment from a lot of people. There was a lot of people that helped establish the winning culture here (Mt. SAC)."
The Mounties tied Ventura College last season with seven titles after they defeated East Los Angeles College.
With the best game of her college career, guard Maddeline Dopplick (11-20 FG, 5 RB, 2 asst., 2 steals) dropped 30 on the states' top-scoring team and sophomore forward Aliyah Dickson (5-9 FG, 4-6 FT, 4 RB, 2 steals) had 14 points.
Including in her scoring frenzy was a season-high eight 3-pointers on 15 attempts.
"This (championship) just means that I'm part of the Mt. SAC legacy now," said Dopplick, who has signed with Seattle University and was named to the All-Tournament team.
"There is no better feeling than that. I came here to Mt. SAC knowing that I was one-and-done and might as well go out with a bang."
The sophomore did just that as she connected with four long-range baskets in each half.
Dopplick, who had 69 3-pointers on the season, played her freshman year at Sacramento State.
Mt. SAC sophomore Caira Benton (8 reb, 3 steals), who was also a member of last years' championship team, was named MVP of the state tournament.
Benton, who was recently named to the CCCAA First-Team, All-State scored a team-high 16 points in the semifinal win over Ventura on Saturday and 12 points and 10 rebounds in the quarterfinal win over Foothill.
"I was very excited and didn't know I would get the award," said Benton. "It's very good to be part of the history of this program and continue to help coach 'B' (Crichlow)."
Mt. SAC, by far, was the more physical team under the boards and its smothering defense almost completely shut down the Golden Eagles' high-scoring offense.
The Mounties out-rebounded COS, 52-33, with 6-3 sophomore forward Kali Jones (8 points, steal, 2 blks.) bringing down 14 boards (5 off, 9 def). Jones, who will play at Kansas State next season, was named to the CCCAA All-Tourney team and also was chosen to the CCCAA Third-Team, All-State.
"It's a great, great moment that I haven't had since high school," said Jones. "We knew they were a shooting team and knew we had to go inside and when they collapsed inside we had it throw it back out."
After a 15-10 first-quarter lead, the Mounties built up a 15-point advantage at the half.
They pushed it to 18 points by the end of the third quarter, 63-45, followed by an exclamation point basket by Dopplick with a driving layup for a 23-point lead, 73-50, with just over a minute remaining.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.463.