Our recap from the three games played at Dublin High on March 2, where the top seeds took care of business.
We were at Dublin High School Saturday night where we took in three NCS basketball finals. The No. 1 seeds all emerged victorious, and we’ll get to recaps in a bit, but the big talk is about the unveiling of the CIF Northern Regional brackets Sunday afternoon, especially with who’s in and who’s out of the brand-new Open Division. Regardless of where you stand on that argument, one thing’s for sure: we’ll be treated to some of the most competitive basketball we’ve seen maybe ever. We can’t wait.
On to our thoughts on NCS Saturday.
Division II (Girls): Carondelet 84, Clayton Valley Charter 56
The Cougars raced out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back. Natalie Romeo played at a hundred miles an hour hassling the Eagles on defense, forcing turnovers, creating for her teammates on offense and racking up 10 points all in the opening frame. She set the pace and the rout was on. She was bested by only Ashley Allen, who had a game-high 25 points. Still, her offensive firepower wasn’t enough to keep the game close. Carondelet led by 16 at the break then ballooned its lead to 71-40 after the third quarter. The Cougars will likely be selected for the Open Division where they may go up against…
Division III (Girls): Bishop O’Dowd 77, Miramonte 48
The Matadors’ one loss on the season entering this game was against Windward of Los Angeles, regarded as perhaps the best girls team in the country. Bishop O’Dowd will have something to say about that in the next few weeks as they dismantled Miramonte. The Mats kept it competitive, though, trailing only 16-9 after the first quarter and a respectable 33-16 at halftime.
Foul trouble plagued the Duke-bound Oderah Chidom and the Dragons played a little out of sync in the first eight minutes, only to wake up in the third quarter. They used a 16-2 run in the third quarter to bust the game wide open. They will be the unquestioned top seed in the Open Division and a heavy favorite to play for the State title in a few weeks.
Ariel Bostick flirted with a triple-double with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Sophomore guard Asha Thomas had a game-high 21 points.
Division III (Boys): Bishop O’Dowd 89, El Cerrito 78
Arguably the best team in Northern California (the Dragons have yet to lose to a team here), Bishop O’Dowd won its second straight D3 championship. The Gauchos, a highly athletic team, frustrated O’Dowd with smothering defense in the early going and forced turnovers that led to instant offense. They mitigated Ivan Rabb’s low-post dominance and gave him fits on both sides of the ball for as long as they could. In the end they couldn’t stop him. Rabb finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
But the game ball goes to sophomore guard Paris Austin, whom the Gauchos simply had no answer for. He got to the rack at will and scored a game-high 27 points. His production kept El Cerrito at arms’ length in the second half.
We were very impressed, though, by El Cerrito. A well-coached team, they played hard-nosed defense and had four players score in double figures. We wouldn’t be surprised seeing them make a run in the Division III regionals.
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