A look back at the incredible playoff run by the Lady Lancers lead by Coach Buckley, the first female coach to win a CIF title at Bishop Amat.

After an incredible championship playoff run for girls basketball, Coach Buckley was given the title of the first female coach to take home a banner for Bishop Amat.

With the team winning the championship, Bishop Amat competed in the State playoff tournament as the No. 7 seed that started last Tuesday but lossed in the first round.

Bishop Amat came into the 2020 Division II playoffs with a second chance after a disappointing league record of 1-7 and an overall record of 18-10. They qualified in the tournament as an at-large team which means that they had a good enough record to make the playoffs.

The Lancers Cinderella story starts off at Northview High School in the first round.

Northview came into the playoffs with a pretty good record of 21-8 and had high hopes for a championship but that dream ended after a dominating performance by the Lancers.

Round two gave this team a confidence boost after another impressive win against El Rancho.

In the quarter-finals, the Lancers were back home to play against the No. 2 seed Oaks Christian. This game was a back and forth battle that lasted all the way into the final seconds. Amat held them off in a close one with a final score of 47-45.

This eye-opening win showed other teams that Amat was the real deal heading into the semi-finals. 

The semi-finals was easily the most dominating performance by Amat against the No. 3 seed Peninsula with a final score of 66-52. The Lancers proved that they are a championship worthy team heading into the Final.

The final was set up to be the ultimate underdog story for Bishop Amat. San Clemente came into the championship game dominating everyone they faced while the Lancers were barely surviving some of their games to be in the final.

Bishop Amat showed a ton of heart and determination against the Tritons outscoring them 28-16 in the first half. The Lancers were still holding on to the lead most of the game up until the final quarter. 

Morgan Rust came in clutch late in the fourth with three straight free throws and a long three- pointer to clinch the title against the Tritons with a final score of 48-43.

“We played with heart,” said fourth-year Bishop Amat coach Camille Buckley. “We had a couple moments where we had some mental lapses, but my team has heart and we pushed through and because we did we came out with a victory.”

Coach Buckley reflected on their incredible tournament run and thanked God for this opportunity to be in this position.

“It’s no secret our league record wasn’t great,” Buckley said. “It’s very strange for a team to be an at-large and last place to win a championship. I prayed for patience during the middle of the season, but as hard as I pushed them and hard as we worked, we couldn’t have done it without God.”

The Lancers came into the CIF state playoffs as the No. 7 seed and faced off against Crean Lutheran in the Carroll Center last Tuesday. Crean Lutheran was unstoppable in the first half and in the third quarter leading 40-27. In the fourth, the Lancers showed a sign of new life coming back slowly until eventually getting back to one possession with 25 seconds to go. Crean Lutheran eventually closed it out and got the win 45-42.

The Lancers ended their 2019-2020 season on a high note despite the first round loss against Crean Lutheran. They came into the playoffs with little hopes of making the championship game and shocked everyone when they won. Everytime we look at the new banner for the 2020 season, we will remember the ultimate underdog story of Bishop Amat girls basketball.