Lynwood Has Few Problems in Title Game

Times Staff Writer

So much for No. 2 in the matchup between the top two teams in the state.

Playing for the state Division I girls' basketball championship, Lynwood left little doubt that it belonged at No. 1 atop rankings, polls and locker room chats.

The Knights won their second consecutive state title, dominating the boards and scoring a 55-40 victory Saturday over San Jose Archbishop Mitty at Arco Arena.

It is the third title for Lynwood (32-1), which is ranked No. 1 in the Southland by The Times and No. 1 in the state and No. 2 in the nation by Student Sports magazine.

Mitty (32-3) had won 29 in a row. The Monarchs' last loss was 64-60 to undefeated Murry (N.Y.) Bergtraum, which is ranked No. 1 nationally by Student Sports and won the New York state championship Saturday with a 65-63 victory over New York Christ the King.

Sade Wiley-Gatewood, who led Lynwood with 14 points and contributed eight rebounds, said this year's team -- which defeated five state champions -- could be more proud than last year's undefeated team that won the mythical national title.

"This year was a greater accomplishment because of the schedule that we played and because this team wasn't as talented as last year's," said the junior guard, who led the team with a 24.5-point average against what was considered the toughest schedule in the country.

Mitty led Lynwood, 11-4, but offered little resistance thereafter.

Lynwood Coach Ellis Barfield called a timeout to get his team "on the same page," Wiley-Gatewood said. From then on, it was a rout.

"Our intensity, hustle and desire had to step up," Barfield said. "We were getting burned back on defense ... and giving up too many easy looks."

Mitty made one field goal over the next 13 minutes as Lynwood went on a 27-5 run.

Wiley-Gatewood was the only Lynwood player in double figures, but Kameca Simmons and Sade Cunningham -- who attended other schools last season -- both scored nine. A third transfer, Brandi Kimble, scored seven. Simmons, Kimble and Lorie Rayford had 13 rebounds apiece.

Khalila Daniels, who will play at Loyola Marymount next season, had 15 points and 18 rebounds for Mitty.

But the Monarchs' 6-foot-4 Jenna Green, who will attend UC Santa Barbara, was held to nine points and nine rebounds while being guarded mostly by cousins Tiffani and Jazelle Burries. No other Mitty player scored more than four.

Wiley-Gatewood, Rayford and Kimble, all juniors, and Cunningham, a sophomore, return to the team next season.

"I think we're going to win it next year too," Wiley-Gatewood said. "I don't think anyone can guard us."

They couldn't Saturday.

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