TORRANCE — The Bishop Montgomery boys basketball team opened the third quarter with five quick points to take a one-point lead.
From there, fifth-seeded Notre Dame responded with its shooting, make that their hot shooting from long distance and never looked back.
Notre Dame hit six 3-point field goals in the third quarter to turn that one-point deficit into a double-digit lead and eventually a 71-63 win over fourth-seeded Bishop Montgomery in the opening round of CIF-Southern Section Open Division pool play Friday
Both teams are in Pool A along with Sierra Canyon and Corona Centennial.
“We had a lot of really tough games all year long and a lot of lessons with what happens when you’re not patient,” Notre Dame coach Matt Sargent said. “The last three weeks we’ve learned how to stay with the gameplan and you saw it tonight, we just keep doing what we’re supposed to be doing and we eventually went on those runs.”
Notre Dame (21-9) stretched its lead to 49-39 on a 3-pointer by Jayden Harper. Heading into the fourth, Notre Dame had a 54-41 lead, outscoring Bishop Montgomery 23-14.
Notre Dame finished the game hitting 13 three-point field goals.
In the fourth, Dusty Stromer and Caleb Foster hit early 3-points and the lead grew to 16 at 59-43.
Another factor helping Notre Dame’s taking over the game was Bishop Montgomery’s (25-3) inability to handle the 2-1-2 trap. The turnovers helped the Notre Dame offense find its groove.
“We’ve done versions of it all year and we knew that it kind of gets us going defensively,” Sargent said. “Playing on the road, you have to get in it (the game) soon. We wanted to created the tempo we wanted to play at and it worked.”
Bishop Montgomery made a late run to get the deficit under 10, but time wouldn’t be on the its side. The closest Bishop Montgomery got in the fourth was 65-58 on a 3-point field by Will Smith.
Stromer led Notre Dame with 20 points, Foster had 18 and Mercy Miller finished with 17.
Smith and Xavier Edmonds led Bishop Montgomery with 19 apiece. Edmonds scored 11 in the fourth quarter as Bishop Montgomery tried to fight its way back into the game.
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In the Open Division, there isn’t any time to celebrate. Notre Dame will face top-seeded Centennial Corona in Tuesday’s second game. Centennial defeated Sierra Canyon 68-63 in the opener.
Bishop Montgomery and No. 8 Sierra Canyon will meet with both teams looking to avoid an 0-2 start.
The Open Division is two four-team pools. At the end of pool play, the winners of each pool will meet for the championship Feb. 25 at Honda Center.