"I can't wait,'' Scheppler said. "Give me Friday night now.''
Mitty (26-0) has been the consensus No. 1 ranked team nationally since the middle of the season. The Monarchs are averaging 76 points per game while allowing only 42. Junior Haley Jones is averaging 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and is being recruited by the likes of UConn and Stanford. Senior 6-foot point guard Karisma Ortiz (14.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists) has committed to Penn State. They are shooting an astounding 54 percent from the floor as a team for the season, 38 percent from 3-point range.
Sue Phillips has had many outstanding teams in her tenure at Mitty, but this might be her best.
It also might be Scheppler's best among his many fine teams at Pinewood. But there's no doubt that Mitty stands as the measuring stick by which other teams judge their relative strength.
"All roads lead through Mitty,'' Scheppler said.
In Tuesday's semifinals Pinewood (25-1) beat Presentation 64-37 then watched Mitty defeat Eastside Prep 72-45.
"I was so impressed,'' Scheppler said. "Their execution, that's where you want to be as a basketball team. They play at the highest level you can play at.''
Pinewood's only loss this season was to Salesian, 53-51, on Dec. 7. MaxPreps has the Panthers ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 4 nationally. Hannah Jump, a junior who as already committed to Stanford, leads the team at 16.5 points per game and leads the CCS with 88 made 3-pointers. Klara Astrom is averaging 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Senior point guard Bri Claros, who has signed with UC San Diego, averages 11.3 points and 4.3 assists per game.
Pinewood relies on 3-point shooting more than Mitty, with 255 made 3s on the season, making 35 percent of its attempts, compared to Mitty's 143 made 3s.
"I don't have the athletes (Phillips) has, so we do different things,'' Scheppler said. "We don't have to play perfect to beat them, but our effort has to be perfect. This opportunity should be embraced. This is why we practice so hard.''
Mitty has defeated Pinewood in each of the last two CCS Open Division finals.
Scheppler was asked what his team's keys are to pulling out the upset win:
"Controlling tempo, getting back in transition,'' Scheppler said. "With Mitty it's all about (preventing) easy baskets. They press and crash the offensive boards to get easy baskets. They have a nose for the ball.
"We'll need to do a great job on the defensive boards. We're going to have to shoot well and finish well. It should be a great game, should be a celebration of basketball played between two great teams.''
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