Friday night's first CIF-Southern Section Open Division semifinal game between Sierra Canyon and Bishop Montgomery brought in over 10,000 people to the Galen Center in Los Angeles to see the premier high school players in Southern California. Montgomery and Sierra Canyon certainly put on a show for all of those in attendance, as Bishop emerged victorious by a final of 70-63.
Seniors Ethan Thompson (21 points) and Jordan Schakel (20 points) led the way for Montgomery, with experience playing a key role in the outcome. David Singleton added 11 points for Montgomery.
"I had to trust the looks I was getting, they were all good looks, and just trust myself," said Schakel, who hit several big shots late in the game to seal his team's win.
Marvin Bagley III dominated late for Sierra Canyon (28 points) and guard Remy Martin chipped in with 17 points.
"Bishop was the better team today, and they got the win," Martin, an Arizona State commit, said.
To start the final quarter of play, Bagley played aggressive and was effective for Sierra Canyon. The teams traded baskets as the quarter wore on, however Montgomery's Schakel knocked in several shots from the outside to give his team a 60-53 lead, with 2:47 left. Ethan Thompson was also filling up the stat sheet for Bishop, and it would all be too much for Sierra Canyon to handle down the stretch.
Sierra Canyon coach Ty Nichols gave credit to how well Montgomery played against his team, which was among the favorites in the Southern Section.
"Bishop Montgomery did a great job, very poised down the stretch," Nichols said. "Very well-coached team, and they were disciplined."
The beginning of the second half saw Montgomery looking to push the tempo, however Bagley kept the game close for Sierra Canyon for most of the period. Throughout the first half of play, Sierra Canyon struggled to score and Montgomery took advantage. Bishop started the game on a 20-4 run, and that early advantage would later cement the outcome.
Cody Riley (5 points), who typically stars for Sierra Canyon, struggled from the field, making just 1 of 6 attempts.
"The mindset is just that we lost this game, and we will be back and will finish on top," Riley said.
Bishop Montgomery will face off against Mater Dei in the CIF-SS Open Division Championship on March 4 at the Honda Center.