Saturday’s CIF SoCal Division 4 clash between Cantwell-Sacred Heart and Bishop Montgomery – with a berth in the state finals at stake – will be a “game of styles,” according to CSHM coach George Zedan.
“They’re very guard-heavy,” Zedan said of the Knights (26-6), “… vs. our big guys.
“It’s gonna be a contrast in styles.”
Bishop Montgomery is led by senior point guard Justin Bibbins. He stands just 5-foot-8, but is cat quick and has already signed with Long Beach State. Junior Stephen Thompson is a 6-3 guard who reminds Zedan of NBA star Steph Curry. Two of the Knights’ other starters are freshmen, 6-5 Jordan Schakel and 6-2 Ethan Thompson.
“(Bibbins and Stephen Thompson) are gonna be tough,” said Zedan, who will use E.J. Mejia and Joey Covarrubias to defend them. “They’re disciplined, they play hard and they’re tough on defense.”
Cantwell center Gligorije Rakocevic, showing off deft touch with both hands around the basket, has averaged 13.0 points since the regional playoffs began. Fellow big man Balsa Dragovic has averaged over 10 rebounds in the regionals – he had 16 vs. Village Christian – and over three blocks as well.
The Cardinal are 23-8 and in the middle of the deepest playoff run in school history. No boys team at the school has ever won a CIF-SS or CIF State championship. A berth in next week’s state final – and a victory in that game – would certainly justify the brutal schedule the Cardinals played this season.
“We’re proud of the fact we’re in a situation of making (school) history,” Zedan said, “but at the end of the day, we’re really focused on trying to get this done.”
Saturday’s game tips off at 4 p.m. at Colony High in Ontario.