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Sophomore carries load for Bishop’s

01/19/2015, 9:11pm PST
By Terry Monahan, Special to the U-T

Littleton anchors thin roster for No. 4 Knights with state-leading 33.5 points a game

Bishop's sophomore Destiny Littleton (shown last year) has scored 40 or more points in a game nine times this season.

As if Destiny Littleton didn’t have enough pressure coming into her sophomore season at Bishop’s, the 5-foot-9 shooter was asked to do even more than she thought possible.

First, the defending San Diego Section Open Division champion has just seven players on its roster.

None of them, by the way, is a frontcourt player. Littleton is the tallest.

And Bishop’s girls basketball coach Marlon Wells thrust the mantle of carrying the offense on her shoulders, not that the 2013-14 state freshman of the year couldn’t handle it.

“She does a lot of things the other players don’t do, like weightlifting and extra shooting,” Wells said. “She has to score 35 points a game for us to beat good teams.”

Though the No. 4-ranked Knights did not need her offense, Littleton served up a 46-point, 11-rebound effort Monday in an 80-47 win over L.A. Frederick Douglass as part of the MLK Showdown at Horizon Christian Academy.

It was the ninth 40-point game of the season for Littleton, who leads the state in scoring with 33.5 points a game.

“Before the first practice, Coach and I had a preseason talk, and he let me know my role was to score more,” Littleton said. “I spent most of the summer and fall working out three times a day to do this.

“This has all seemed more like a job partly because we’re the defending champs, we have seven players and no bigs.

“I feel like we’ve learned to play better because we don’t have any bigs. We play faster and more under control because we can’t afford to foul a lot on defense.”

Bishop’s followed Littleton’s lead Monday. She had 21 points at halftime as the Knights went up 38-23. She scored six points in the third quarter as the advantage swelled to 57-34.

In the fourth quarter, Littleton poured in 19 points as Bishop’s (17-4) ran away with the victory.

The shooting stats showed why it took longer to put away Douglass (7-14). Bishop’s was just 28 of 76 from the field.

“There were a few days where I looked at this time and wondered how well we’d play,” said Littleton, whose career best at Bishop’s is a 50-point game this season against Rancho Buena Vista. “I’m sure my teammates thought this would be a rebuilding year.

“I’d say this team, as well as me, have come a long way since last season. I know there are guards like me in college who are better than me right now.

“I dwelled on freshman of the year for a couple of days and then got to work. There’s probably an eighth-grader out there ready to push me.

“Plus, my teammates see what I’m doing and they follow what I’m doing. I had a terrible game (earlier this season) and they saw it. That wasn’t pretty.”

Everything else about the Knights, however, is getting prettier by the game.

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