The Monte Vista High boys basketball team has brought home the school's first ever state championship crown, controlling the Centennial Huskies en route to a 66-55 victory Friday in Sacramento.
"I was impressed with our team's poise on the big stage," second-year Monte Vista coach Nick Jones said. "We never got rattled the entire game. There were a few short stretches where Centennial was causing problems for us, and we never panicked."
Senior guard Trevor John led the way for the Mustangs (32-1), knocking down six 3-pointers as part of his 23-point effort during the CIF Division I state final at Sleep Train Arena, the home of the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
The loss marked the end of a 29-4 season for Centennial High, which hails from Corona, about 12 miles southwest of Riverside in Southern California.
Monte Vista gained momentum early in the title game, jumping out to a 20-12 lead after the first quarter. Holding the Huskies' offense to just six points in the third quarter helped seal the deal for the Mustangs.
"I was surprised that Trevor John was so wide open to start the game," Jones said. "His five 3-pointers in the first quarter really calmed everybody down and allowed us to settle in."
The Monte Vista defense was stingy all game, contributing to Centennial shooting 28% from the field, including 2-for-18 from beyond the arc.
Grant Jackson was the only other Mustang to crack double digits, scoring 12 points -- with 10 coming at the free-throw line.
Junior guard Sedrick Barefield was Centennial's leading scorer with 16 points. The Huskies also got 14 points apiece from Deontae North and Jordan Griffin.
Despite forcing 17 turnovers, Centennial struggled to slow the Monte Vista offense, which converted 11 of 16 3-point attempts and shot better than 46% from the field overall.
The hometown Mustangs finished the 2013-14 season on a 14-game winning streak. Their only loss was a 59-56 overtime defeat Jan. 28 at the hands of rival San Ramon Valley High.
"We had a great group of kids that really bought in to the team concept and worked really hard all year long," said Jones, a 1998 graduate of Monte Vista. "32-1 against the schedule we played is not an easy thing to do, and our players stuck together and got it done."