Bishop Gorman girls basketball coach Sheryl Krmpotich didn’t need to remind her team about its first meeting with Centennial.
The Gaels still stung a bit from a 15-point loss 15 days ago on their home floor and their first Southwest League loss in a decade.
On Thursday, No. 4 Gorman got even, claiming their 15th straight Southwest title with a 65-50 win at No. 1 Centennial. Both teams finished 9-1 in league play, but because the Gaels won the second meeting, Gorman is the Southwest’s top seed for next week’s Sunset Region playoffs.
“When we lost, it was humbling,” Krmpotich said. “They put work in the past couple of weeks, and we knew we had to fix the things that were broken. We’re young, and we hadn’t been pressed like that before. Once they got more confident and understanding of what they can do, it made it a lot easier.”
Centennial (21-5) led only once — when Karina Brandon’s stick-back basket put the Bulldogs up 12-10 21 seconds into the second quarter.
Gorman (19-5) responded emphatically, rattling off the next 12 points while holding Centennial to 0-for-7 with three turnovers on eight possessions.
Sandria Bolden scored five points during the run and finished with 22 points to lead Gorman, which lost to Centennial 67-52 on Jan. 29.
“She’s a leader,” Krmpotich said of her lone senior. “She came out and stroked it, led us, calmed us, ran the show.”
Bolden made four 3-pointers and helped open up the inside for posts Maddison Washington and Raychel Stanley.
Centennial, which has no players taller than 5 feet 9 inches, tried to close down on Gorman’s posts early and limited the Gaels’ duo to four points in the first quarter.
Once Bolden heated up, Stanley and Washington, both 6-2, benefited.
Stanley had 17 points and six rebounds, and Washington added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
“We were hitting outside shots and feeling comfortable making shots, and it opened up the inside,” Krmpotich said.
Gorman led 30-21 at halftime, and the Bulldogs never got closer. Megan Jacobs’ drive off a Centennial turnover with 2:15 to play put the Gaels up 59-48 and all but clinched the victory.
“It gives us a better seed, but it’s neither here nor there,” Krmpotich said. “Now it’s win or go home. It’s better to go in with a little momentum.”
Teirra Hicks had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Centennial, and Karina Brandon added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at email@example.com or (702) 387-5230.