Bishop Montgomery wins Trevor Ariza Tip-Off Classic title
WESTCHESTER, CA -- Trevor Ariza Westchester Tip Off Classic came to a close tonight as the championship game took place between Westchester and Bishop Montgomery. The Knights' basketball squad (Torrance, CA) knocked off the hosting Westchester Comets, 78-64, advancing to a 4-1 record with the victory.
Knights' guard Ethan Thompson was the highlight of the night. With his talent and temperament, he should be the envy of every high school coach and player across the nation. A student-athlete with straight A's, Thompson has the ability to do it all. From dunks to three-pointers and even ball handling, he has high flying abilities similar to those of his father, Stephen Sr., an assistant coach at Oregon State and former star player at Crenshaw High in the 1980s.
When star player Jordan Schakel got injured earlier in the season, Thompson stepped up his play which has allowed the Knights to maintain their status among the top three teams in Southern California. Playing without Schakel, the Knights found themselves trailing by nine points in the first quarter of its quest for a sixth-straight Westchester Trevor Ariza Tip-Off Classic title.
The Knights turned to Ethan Thompson and David Singleton, who were vital in the second quarter run to give their team an eight-point halftime lead. Thompson then helped to close out the Comets with a 13-point fourth quarter, pushing Bishop Montgomery to a 78-64 win over Westchester High. "Ethan was a monster tonight making plays to get us back in the second quarter and closing it out in the fourth. It was a good quality win against a very good team," said Coach Doug Mitchell.
Westchester (6-2) came out strong with a great defensive effort that held the Knights to two points over the first four minutes of the game, allowing the Comets to have a 11-2 lead. However, the Knights slowly transitioned as they started to pull it together the last four minutes of the quarter, led by Thompson and Singleton, who had 10 points total to cut the lead to 18-13.
Bishop Montgomery found its three-point shot in the second quarter, hitting four straight three-pointers, two each from Singleton and point guard Gianni Hunt to take a 36-28 lead into halftime.
Thompson began to take over the game in the start of the fourth quarter, first scoring a driving layup and completing a three-point play to make it 57-46. Just seconds later, he clinched a long 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 14 with 5:05 left in the game.
Westchester's Luis Rodriguez cut the lead to seven points for the Comets. He led the Comets with 25 points and five assists while Chris Simmons had 12 points and seven assists. With 2:15 remaining in the game, Thompson scored four straight points, hitting two foul shots before making a steal and getting a thunderous dunk to stretch the lead back to 12, giving the game to the Knights with a title in hand.
Thompson led the Knights with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Singleton finished the game with a total of 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Knights will travel to Kingwood Christian Life Center Academy, based out of Texas, to play the Cougars on Saturday, December 17. The Comets will look to get past the Centennial Huskies on Dec. 10 in an attempt to upgrade on its season record of 6-2.