There's only one senior on the basketball roster at Torrance Bishop Montgomery. He's a good one, point guard Justin Bibbins, but the youth of the Knights was supposed to mean they were a year away from contending for a state championship.
But Bishop Montgomery (27-6) has made it to Sacramento and will play Hayward Moreau Catholic on Saturday at noon at Sleep Train Arena in the Division IV championship.
Bibbins and junior guard Stephen Thompson Jr. give the Knights one of the best guard duos in the state. And coming on strong in the playoffs have been 6-foot-2 freshman Ethan Thompson, Stephen's brother, and 6-5 freshman Jordan Schakel.
After Bishop Montgomery's win over Cantwell-Sacred Heart on Saturday in the regional final, veteran Coach Doug Mitchell reflected on how playing in the Southern Section Open Division playoffs had helped his team.
"I'm happy about it this second, but it's hard to evaluate," he said. "We went 2-2, but we got four high-quality games out of it. Had we gone 0-2 and had to sit out two weeks before the state tournament like Cantwell, I don't think I would have been as happy, but they adjusted well to it. Hey, it's a new thing. Looking back, it made us better."