Knights advance to CIF state championships: Bishop’s School girls basketball team to take on Harvard-Westlake in LA

The Bishop’s School Knights girls basketball team may have hit a speed bump on their way to the CIF state championships, but they are still steadily on the road to the title. The Knights took on Mission Hills High School for the San Diego CIF Open Division championships March 4, but fell 65-47 against the San Marcos-based Grizzlies. But, because of their successful season record, Bishop’s will still proceed to the 2017 CIF State girls basketball championships.

“Saturday just wasn’t our game,” said Coach Marlon Wells of the March 4 match-up. “We jumped out and had an early lead (16-14 Knights at the first quarter), and we knew we needed to do that and keep that to stay in the game. We played six girls on a rotation and Mission Hills plays 12, so while we jumped out in front, they began rotating and got fresh legs out there. It wore us down. And at the third quarter, they just exploded (it was 47-33 Grizzlies at the end of the third quarter).”

But those six played hard, with Destiny Littleton scoring 31 of the Knight’s 47 total game points, and Alessandra Aguirre and Madison Chang scoring eight a piece. “They all played hard, but it just wasn’t our night,” Wells said.

Hoping for a better outcome March 10, the Knights take on Harvard-Westlake High School from Studio City, near Los Angeles. “They are similar to us in that they play about six girls also, so I like our chances. But they are tough. Open Division is best of the best. And our girls are happy to be in this position, but every team we face is going to be tough,” Wells said. Harvard-Westlake is ranked 12 nationally and 5 in the state against Bishop’s 107 national placement and 21 in the state.

To prepare, he said the team watched game tapes of their opponents and will strategize accordingly. “(Harvard-Westlake) has good team chemistry and we are going to do what we can to throw them off balance. We’ll use light pressure then back up into half-court defense and make them work at every possession,” he said.

But, he said, each team has a different set of strengths and they will need to approach each one individually. “Our school is small and some of the other schools that qualified to play are six times the size of ours, so they have a bigger pool of athletes to draw from (and a larger roster). For us, this is the 34th game we played this season, for our core girls, that’s a lot.”

The Bishop’s School Knights take on Harvard-Westlake in the first round of CIF state championships 7 p.m. Friday March 10 in Los Angeles. Regional semi-finals and finals continue the week of March 13, with opponents and locations to be determined.