Let the trash talking begin in the Thompson household.
Stephen Thompson Jr. and his younger brother, Ethan, haven't been able to challenge their father, Stephen Sr., who won two state titles during his days at Crenshaw High in 1985 and 1986.
On Saturday at Sleep Train Arena, the Thompson brothers came through with 20 and 14 points, respectively, to help Torrance Bishop Montgomery defeat Hayward Moreau Catholic, 85-44, in the Division IV state final. It was the largest margin of victory in state final history.
"I get to say I'm one step closer to accomplishing what he accomplished," Stephen Jr. said.
Added Ethan: "I will be able to do a little bit of trash talking, but we have to come back and win one more."
That's entirely possible, considering that the Knights (28-6) will return every player but point guard Justin Bibbins, who scored 12 points, had four assists and made many contributions as a court and team leader for a team of mostly young players.
¿"I felt I needed to be a mentor to them and lead by example," Bibbins said. "I'm really proud of the young guys. Everybody better look out for them. They're only losing me. They're going to be a team to beat."
Coach Doug Mitchell said of Bibbins, "I think a lot of people doubted this team because we lost so much, but his leadership helped us go over the top. He's one of the greatest competitors I've ever been around in my life."
Stephen Thompson is a junior. Ethan Thompson is a freshman. They'll be trying to lead a return trip to the state finals next season.