Cardinals done in by long-range prowess of Bishop Montgomery

Cantwell-Sacred Heart’s season came to an end Saturday in a storm of 3-point shots by Bishop Montgomery.

The Cardinals allowed six second-half three pointers and eight for the game in a 66-56 loss in the CIF Southern California Division 4 final at Colony High in Ontario. Bishop Montgomery’s Stephen Thompson was 4 for 9 from long range and scored 26 points, and lightning-fast point guard Justin Bibbins scored 17 to go with six assists. Bibbins blew past defenders with ease and drove to the basket, creating several easy buckets for teammates.

Cantwell tried to answer with its size, and junior big men Gligorije Rakocevic and Balsa Dragovic combined for 31 points and 15 rebounds. But each time the Cardinals tried to make a run, the Knights would knock down another 3-pointer and extend their lead.

“They’ve done that to everybody,” CSHM coach George Zedan said. “We were just hoping they wouldn’t make so many.”

Earlier in the week, Zedan compared Thompson to NBA player Steph Curry, and the 6-3 junior was 12 for 27 from the field, including 3-pointers. Bishop Montgomery (27-6) was 11 for 22 from the floor in the first half and shot 43.5 percent (20 for 46) for the game.

“We’re a good shooting team, and have been all year,” said Bishop Montgomery coach Doug Mitchell. “It’s a big part of what we do. … It seemed like every time they got some momentum, we hit a big one.”

Cantwell finished the season with a 23-9 record, and it’s regional final appearance marked the longest playoff run in school history. All nine losses this season were to teams that played in the CIF-SS Open Division.

Bishop Montgomery will meet NorCal champion Moreau Catholic at noon Saturday at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento for the CIF State Division 4 title.

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