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Mitty win 4th straight CIF Open Division Northern California girls basketball title, setting up showdown with Etiwanda

Monarchs race to 16-0 lead and never look back to claim on-going record 16th regional crown
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Too tall, too physical and ultimately too good.

Top seeded Archbishop Mitty controlled the game from the opening tip, scoring the game’s first 16 points in a 71-34 win over familiar foe Clovis West to capture the CIF Open Division NorCal championship to advance to the state title game Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

They’ll get their fourth shot in row at that elusive Open Division title. Mitty lost to Clovis West in 2017, Sierra Canyon in 2022 and last season to Etiwanda, 69-67. There were no CIF state championships in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic.  

The Monarchs won the NorCal Open title in 2020, but its state championship with La Jolla Country Day was cancelled just two days before the scheduled game. 

Mitty’s last state title was in 2015 in D2. 

The Monarchs will get another shot at Etiwanda, which defeated Sierra Canyon 54-51 in the Southern California Open Division title game. Etiwanda beat Mitty 69-67 at the buzzer in last year's heartbreaker for Mitty. 

The Monarchs celebrated their 16th regional crown, which is more than an school in California. 

The Monarchs celebrated their 16th regional crown, which is more than an school in California. 

"We're blessed and grateful for the opportunity to play in our fourth consecutive state open division game," Mitty coach Sue Phillips said. 

Reaction at another shot at Etiwanda? 

"Etiwanda is an amazing team," she said. 

Monarch super sophomore Mckenna Woliczko led all scorers with 20 points, nine in the first quarter as the top ranked team in the nation used their sizable height advantage against the smaller Golden Eagles, who roster only one player over 6-feet tall.

In contrast, three of Mitty’s top players are all listed at 6-foot-2 in Woliczko and seniors Morgan Cheli (7 points, all in the first half) and Alani Weisman (10 points). Clovis West, which finishes the season 31-3, didn’t hit their first bucket until 3:55 left in the first quarter, igniting a 9-0 run to stop the bleeding at 16-9.

But, that was as close as Clovis West would get as the Monarchs (30-0) scored the final four points of the quarter en route to a 38-15 halftime lead.

Boston College signee Athena Tomlinson led the Golden Eagles with 15 points.

Mitty's girls were ready from the get-go to start the game. 

Mitty's girls were ready from the get-go to start the game. 

Clovis West shot just 2-19 from beyond the arc, including missing their first 13 of the game.

It’s also the third consecutive year the Monarchs have knocked the Golden Eagles out of the playoffs, all in the NorCal Open Division. They won last season 63-43 (see highlights above). 

Phillips is looking for her seventh CIF state title — all at her alma mater — which would be good for second place all time in girls’ state history. It’s the school’s state record 15th appearance in a state championship game.

Asked what she was most pleased with and Phillips, who will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in April, said: "Very pleased with our scouting report defense." 

(All photos below by Brian Kimoto)