Girls Basketball: Sharpshooting Mitty sinks St. Ignatius in WCAL opener

St. Ignatius junior guard Quinci Mann (right) sets for a defensive possession against Mitty on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Sun)

St. Ignatius junior guard Quinci Mann (right) sets for a defensive possession against Mitty on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Sun)

By Jeremy Balan

The St. Ignatius girls basketball team didn’t play its best against visiting Mitty on Saturday night, specifically in a second quarter where the Monarchs outscored the Wildcats 25-6.

Even if the Wildcats were at their best, the way Mitty was shooting, it probably wouldn’t have been enough to win.

The Monarchs hit 10-of-13 shot attempts in that second quarter and 9-of-13 shots from three-point range on the night to cruise to a 63-47 West Catholic Athletic victory.

The defending Division II state champions were more versatile offensively in the first half and carried a 35-16 lead into the halftime break, but relied almost entirely on three-pointers in the second. The Monarchs (9-3, 2-0) shot 6-of-8 from three-point range and 2-of-18 from inside the arc in the second half.

St. Ignatius sophomore forward Brianna Beckman drives past a Mitty defender on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Sun)

St. Ignatius sophomore forward Brianna Beckman drives past a Mitty defender on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Sun)

“Threes are a big momentum boost for either side,” said Mitty head coach Sue Phillips. “We just happened to be fortunate tonight with the three ball.”

Every time the Wildcats (10-2, 0-1) threatened to cut the lead to single digits – first, after a 9-1 run to start the third quarter, and another moment early in the fourth – Mitty immediately responded with a run of its own keyed by multiple three-pointers.

“We had some great defensive sequences where they went to 2 or 1 [seconds] on the shot clock and they made a shot or scooped the ball in,” said St. Ignatius head coach Michael Mulkerrins. “We played some pretty good defense at times, but when a team is hitting shots like that, you’re not going to beat them.”

Four Mitty players scored in double figures, led by 12 points from standout junior Kelli Hayes. The next two leading scorers for the Monarchs were shooters – freshman guard Jahnay Anderson and senior guard Emily Dinger – who had 11 points apiece on a combined 6-of-8 shooting from three-point range.

“We have a really talented group from top to bottom and kids that are versatile,” Phillips said. “We have kids that can knock down a three, and some that are slashers and good off the bounce.”

Sophomore forward Brianna Beckman was the only St. Ignatius player to score in double figures with 10 points, but she did so on limited opportunities. Beckman hit 5-of-7 attempts from the field and only took three shots in the second half.

“Brianna is a good player. She’s savvy and she’s smart,” Mulkerrins said. “I don’t know if their game plan was to take Beckman out or not, but whatever it was, if they try to take away one of your best players, somebody else has to step up.”

In a game that featured multiple anomalies – the Mitty long-distance shooting coupled with the Wildcats’ 0-for-10 performance from beyond the arc and a 13-for-25 night at the free-throw line – Mulkerrins was still encouraged, even in the losing effort.

“I honestly don’t think we played a bad game. It’s a weird feeling, because we lost by 16,” Mulkerrins said. “What I told them is that Mitty went 10-for-13 in that span [in the second quarter] and we went 12-for-25 from the free throw line, and we’re a much better shooting team than that. Do we have some encouraging things? Yeah, but we just gotta get better at them.”

Scoring Leaders

Mitty
Kelli Hayes – 12
Jahnay Anderson – 11
Emily Dinger – 11
Vanessa Garner – 10
Kaliya Griffin – 8

St. Ignatius
Brianna Beckman – 10
Tatiana Ranis – 8
Erin Hanley – 6
Three players tied with 4 points

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16 Comments

  1. Ruckjames says:

    Phillips is a good coach !! SI has talent!!

    • Paul B. says:

      Nice comment RJ. BTW, which varsity hoops program in your opinion is better @ Mitty (San Jose) the boys or the girls? For me, I’m 50-50 on that one.

      • JJ says:

        Hasn’t the Mitty girls been very good for a longer time than the Mitty boys? Mitty boys basketball got on the map, when the Gordon brothers matriculated there, while the girls have been dominating for awhile.

      • Crusader 88 says:

        The Girls program at Mitty has been a state power since the late 80s, there is no question that girls program there is superior. Now if the boys program can continue this run for another 10 years then there could be a discussion.

        • wcalsf says:

          2 words of Mitty men’s hoops success – Drew Aaron. Mitty girls program much more successful.

          • AFitzsimon says:

            Drew had a pretty good supporting cast. Chiverton, Andoh, Adams, Caloriao, Scott, Adams, and Wey all (except for maybe Scott who was a sophomore) went on to play d-1 hoops. Aaron hasn’t had anything like that around him but still has had some great players like Kyle Toth amongst others. It’s not just the brothers, biggest contributors? Sure but Chiverton was huge. Scott kept them afloat between brothers. This is NOT to say that the boy’s team has been more successful than the girl’s just a bit of clarification.

            • wcalsf says:

              Yes. Drew’s team had a very strong supporting cast – more talented than Aaron’s teams. Aaron’s teams were far better as a team. Drew’s teams did not perform well under pressure during the CA title games. One of those teams also lost to a Jeremy-Lin led Palo Alto squad in the CCS.

            • Ari Gold says:

              My favorites were the Worthy Brothers although the younger Brandon didnt finish at Mitty. Terrell was an undersized big man but played like he was 6’8. Brandon was one of those point guards at 6’1 that played like he was in slow motion. Everything was effortless to him. Lets see what Mitty has after this year as next year could be wide wide open.

  2. Paul B. says:

    Now SI needs Josie & Paige more than ever.

    • Ruckjames says:

      What happened to the offensive contribution of Cydney Ragio and Quinci
      Mann? Addie Walters? The monarchs have a Freshman guard probably another Kelli Hayes type of player. This is just an observation, even though they won games agains ECP , Lowell these teams have efficient guards who are good playmakers, it seems they have a hard time beating these teams with these types of guards , St Mary’s and Mitty have 2 or three of these guards and the result is la loss.
      Again I repeat SI has the talent to compete with the likes of MItty, and Sue Phillips is a very good/excellent coach get my drift?

      • Uncle Frank says:

        RJ: Go to the games before you pop off. Mitty’s new freshman is nothing like Kelli Hayes. Jahnay Anderson is the frosh who scored all the threes and she is 5’4″ and squarely built while Kelli Hayes is a 6’1″ glider. IMHO, Kelli Hayes has been the most talented player in this league since her freshmen year.

        SI did a good job on Hayes. The problem is Mitty’s also has WCAL first teamer Garner at point who looks better than she was last year. They also have size and they made a ridiculous amount of threes. (I actually liked their other freshmen, #45 Griffin, who played back-up point as someone to watch out for in the future.)

        This is a Mitty team that is the reigning Div. 2 state champs and they look to have improved. So, while I get your drift, suggesting that somehow the reason for SI losing to Mitty is Coach Mulkerrins is a ridiculously uninformed load of crud. I mean it sounds like your drift is that SI should, and would, be beating the defending state champs, except they have a bad coach. I must be getting that drift wrong. You are not that big of a fool, are you?

        • Ruckjames says:

          the player i mentioned is a young freshman in a varsity team. I never said she “will be ” exactly like Kelli Hayes. Kelli Hayes is Kelli Hayes. A freshman playing varsity in Mitty is very good because I know Coach
          Phillips has a good eye for for talent. Interpret my drift how you want it , it is just a opinion and observation. You’re one of the reputable and expert
          commenters here at SFP so I can’t argue with your knowledge and expertise. Anyway thanks! I am an SI fan I always want them to win.

          • Ari Gold says:

            Ruck, Sue doesn’t have an eye for talent, she has a pipeline. Mitty is the only dog in the San Jose area game as far as girls. Unless Harrigan starts to pilfer from that pipeline, Mitty is going to get all those players.

            Having said that Sue is an excellent t coach. But of course you look like a genius coach when you always get the best talent from the area. And shes doesn’t disappoint by leading them to all levels of titles.

            • mama123 says:

              She brings them into the San Jose Cagers AAU program in the 5th grade where they are groomed and developed and the program serves as a chute to Mitty basketball. Most of the Mitty girls also play togther for the Cagers when HS ball is done so, in effect, they are together all year. She runs the organization and her Mitty program like a well-oiled machine. The girls know and accept their roles and she doesn’t take any crap from the kids or their parents. If they don’t like her rules or their playing time, hit the road. There is another player eager and qualified to step up. If that isn’t a recipe for success, not sure what is…..

  3. Irishplayer89' says:

    Did Josie little play against Mitty because I believe she still has a concussion

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