SACRAMENTO -- Archbishop Mitty's reign as Northern California Open Division champion ended Tuesday night against a lightning-quick, balanced opponent that built a lead the Monarchs finally could not overcome.
Mitty tried, rallying from 10 points down in the first half to grab a brief lead and rallying again in the third quarter.
But in the end, second-seeded Capital Christian had too much firepower as it advanced to the Open Division final with a 70-57 victory.
The Cougars (28-3) will play Bishop O'Dowd on Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento for the right to represent Northern California in the Open Division state championship game.
Mitty's season, which included West Catholic Athletic League season and tournament titles and the Central Coast Section Open Division crown, ended two wins shy of another trip to a state final.
"They just came out more aggressive to start the game," said Matt McAndrews, Mitty's senior point guard. "We were playing down most of the game. Turnovers were one of the main reasons why they want on those runs."
As it had against Serra in the CCS Open final and El Cerrito in a NorCal opener, Mitty (27-5) fell double digits behind in the first half. And as it had against Serra and El Cerrito, the Monarchs charged back.
They took a 24-21 lead with 2:19 left in the half on one of Connor Peterson's four 3-pointers.
Capital Christian coach Devon Jones called timeout, and his players responded with a whirlwind 8-0 run to take a 29-24 advantage into the locker room.
"Any time there was a spurt, it was all based on their transition," Mitty coach Tim Kennedy said. "And then shots we normally make didn't go down. That's just basketball, though.
"But I thought we put ourselves in position to get a win. I am proud of what these guys accomplished."
D.J. Wilson, Capital Christian's 6-foot-8 Michigan-bound star, opened the second with a jumper in the lane to stretch his team's lead to seven.
But Mitty came right back. Ben Kone's basket in the low post and JP Rindfleisch's layup and jump shot pulled the Monarchs to within 31-30.
Peterson, who had 22 points in his final game for Mitty, gave the No. 3 seed Monarchs a 34-33 lead with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
He then had the capacity crowd letting out a collective "wow" when he threw down a powerful dunk to extend Mitty's lead to 36-33.
But Wilson's three-point play tied the score, and Tyler Jennings' free throws reclaimed the lead for Capital Christian, 38-36.
The teams then traded the lead three more times in the closing minutes of the third quarter before another Capital Christian spurt made it 45-41 heading to the fourth.
"They came with a lot of energy, and we didn't have it, we didn't have the energy," said Kone, who had 10 points. "I didn't feel like we were going to lose at all, but they just came out more balanced than we did."
Capital Christian had four players reach double figures in scoring, led by Jennings' 18.
Rindfleisch had 15 points off the bench for Mitty.
"I am proud of the way our guys competed, especially our seniors," Kennedy said. "Losing a guy like Aaron (Gordon), they weren't going to take a losing season or take an early exit.
"That was just the mindset ever since summer workouts. It's been an awesome group to coach."