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Bishop Montgomery Has What It Takes to Win

Times Staff Writer

The crowning moment of Noelle Quinn’s high school career couldn’t have been more pronounced.

With two starters on the bench in early foul trouble, Quinn’s legacy rode on her ability to be herself. The UCLA-bound guard was vintage Noelle as she finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds and six assists to lift Torrance Bishop Montgomery to a 49-43 victory over San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral in the state Division III girls’ basketball championship game on Saturday at Arco Arena.

It’s the sixth title in eight years for Bishop Montgomery (27-7), which became the fourth team to win four in a row and the first to do it in the same division.

“By that happening, with those players getting in foul trouble, it put it on [Quinn],” said Coach Lisa Cooper of Bishop Montgomery. “If she wanted to walk away with a win, it was going to come down to her, not only because of her experience and her leadership, but she wanted to win this more than anybody else on the floor.”

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Less than 10 minutes into the game, Bishop Montgomery’s Roney Friend had three fouls and 6-foot-5 center Khiara Ferguson had four. Freshman Taylor Hooker came off the bench and scored 10, matching the point total of the other four starters.

“I’m glad she saved her best game for her last game [of the season],” Quinn said. “Taylor did a great job, but I had to make big baskets for my team. That’s my role, to put everyone on my back and say, ‘I’ll take you along for the ride.’ I don’t mind. If you want a ride, I’ll get you there.”

Quinn, a 6-foot guard, did just that. She made eight of her 13 shots in the second half. With Bishop Montgomery holding a 35-34 lead a minute into the fourth quarter, she scored 10 of her team’s next 12 points.

Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Central Coast champion, finished 25-10.

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“She’s stronger, an all-around player, she passes, dribbles, shoots, rebounds, she’s a very composed player,” said Coach Brian Harrigan, whose Sacred Heart Cathedral team also lost to Quinn during her sophomore year, 48-38. “You can tell that’s her team.”

Stockton St. Mary’s 56, La Jolla Country Day 51 -- Candice Wiggins, one of the top juniors in the nation, played only 19 minutes before fouling out in the Division IV final for Country Day (28-5), which had won the last two state titles in Division V.

Wiggins scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds before exiting with 3:33 left in the third quarter and her team trailing, 41-35.

She watched as Washington-bound senior Dominique Banks finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds to give the Rams (32-3) their third title in four years and second in a row. They won last season in Division II.

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