15 Years Later. State Champs.
15 years ago was the grand finale in the amazing tale of the Convent of the Sacred Heart High School Basketball team's journey to the State Finals!!
An incredible year filled with incredible moments that my teammates, our families, and the CSH community remember vividly. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to play sports and cannot tell you how much they shaped me as a person. We had an incredible season and the fact that our very last game ever was a win was just icing on the cake.
A huge HEARTfelt thank you to everyone who was a part of this incredible journey!! Share your memories!! No matter what happens in life, we have this incredible experience to lift us up.
From the SF Chronicle (link here):
2003-03-22 04:00:00 PDT Sacramento -- Convent of the Sacred Heart High, an all-girls school of 200 students in San Francisco, won a state Division V basketball title game nobody thought feasible, 68-59 over a taller, more experienced and supposedly hungrier Mission College Prep of San Luis Obispo squad at Arco Arena on Friday.
The Cubs, who had never won a postseason game before this year, utilized a fearless, attacking offensive style with a nearly flawless 28-point third quarter to register the third state title by a San Francisco school in modern history.
None before or probably in the future could be more unlikely. The Royals (23-6), sporting a history as tall as their 6-foot-5 center Katherine Suderman, were shocked. Maybe even more than the Cubs, who received 21 points from freshman Jen Hum-Traverso and 17 more from senior backcourt teammate Liz Brown.
Andie Yamagami had 13 and Caroline Curran 11 for Convent, which scored almost as many points as Mission Prep had allowed in its three previous games combined (71).
The Cubs did it with a starter no taller than 5-8.
"The only people who believed this was possible was probably the girls themselves," said first-year head coach Larry Minnich.
When asked how to explain the victory and the team's sterling 29-3 record, Minnich pointed to his heart -- the school's motto is "small school, big heart" -- and then the players.
Curran, who along with 5-7 sophomore Jestynn Tatum spent most of the day trying to slow down a frontline all taller than 5-10, was overcome with emotion afterward. Tears flowed freely down her cheek as she clutched her championship medal.
"This is just unexplainable," Curran said. "It's unbelievable. We won medals for winning titles at North Coast Section and Northern California. I've looked at those at home and couldn't believe it. This one is even bigger and prettier."
When Mission Prep's 5-11 Lauren Tietje scored the game's first basket on an easy layup, the murmurs of a rout were on -- a Royals romp. After all, the Royals have won 11 straight section titles and are 392-112 since 1985. They had, however, lost all three of their state title game appearances.
That all mattered little to the Cubs, who didn't flinch. They went on a 14- 4 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Yamagami. Hum-Traverso and Brown, both 5-5, constantly penetrated and either pulled up or drove right at the Royals, who were forced to foul. Convent attempted 35 free throws, making 21.
"We knew that was their game but we didn't do a very good job of slowing it down," Mission Prep coach Jay Cowitz said. "We just didn't bring our 'A' game today and Convent did. Give them credit."
Up 30-28 at halftime, Convent scored 16 of the first 20 points of the third quarter. Brown and Hum-Traverso combined for 19 in the quarter on a variety of driving layups, mid-range jumpers and 3-pointers. When Hum-Traverso drilled a 3-pointer beyond the NBA line, Cowitz could only throw up his arms. After another Yamagami 3-pointer, the Cubs had their biggest lead, 54-36 with 2:05 left in the quarter.
"We have a rule at halftime to pretend the score is 0-0," Brown said. "We just came out and played our game."
The Royals eventually played theirs, rattling off 15 straight points in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 60-57 with 2:11 left on a driving layup by Julia Walters (13 points).
But the Cubs responded with eight straight, all but a driving layup from Brown on free throws. That sealed it.
"Yes I'm surprised," Minnich said. "I've never started a season and told the girls, 'Let's go out and win a state title.' I certainly didn't say it at the start of this season. Maybe I should have."