Island Teams Score High in Postseason

Island Teams Score High in Postseason

Several Alameda high-school teams were successful in the first week of the North Coast Section (NCS) basketball playoffs.

Men’s basketball
The Alameda High School (AHS) men’s basketball team advanced to the NCS Div. II semifinals after winning its first two games of the tournament. The No. 5-seed Hornets defeated Redwood High of Larkspur, 65-45, in the first round on Feb. 18 at home. The Hornets controlled the game throughout. They led 21-13 at halftime. They blew the game open in the third quarter by outscoring the Giants, 23-11. 

AHS traveled to Walnut Creek to take on Las Lomas High in the second round on Friday, Feb. 21. The Hornets once again maintained a healthy advantage throughout the game. They took a 33-25 lead into halftime. The Hornets increased its lead in the second half. The Hornets’ largest margin came midway through the fourth quarter when they led, 58-42. However, the Knights began a comeback attempt with a 16-3 run that cut AHS’ lead to 61-56. But the Knights’ comeback efforts were too late, and the Hornets were able to hang on for the victory.  

The Hornets (18-10) faced No. 1-seed San Ramon Valley High (20-8) in the semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 25, on the road. The Wolves defeated Vallejo High, 61-46, and Tamalpais High of Mill Valley, 69-27, in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The St. Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) men’s basketball team advanced to the NCS Div. III semifinals. Like the Hornets, the Pilots also won the first two games of the tournament. The No. 3-seed SJND began its NCS title run with a 77-45 win over Novato High in the first round on Feb 18. They followed that with an impressive 58-40 victory over Sir Francis Drake High School (SFDHS) of San Anselmo in the quarterfinals on Feb. 21. 

Both wins were mainly routine for the Pilots whose record improved to 23-7. The Pilots took on St. Patrick-St. Vincent in the semifinals on Feb. 25. The No. 2-seed Bruins defeated Maria Carillo High of Santa Rosa, 82-39, and Hercules High, 78-45, in the first two rounds. Last year, the Pilots and Bruins both lost in the NCS Div. III semifinals. 

The Encinal High School (EHS) men’s basketball team’s season ended after they lost to SFDHS, 47-35, in the NCS Div. III first round on Feb. 18. Both teams went on big runs during the game, but the Pirates’ run was timelier. After the No. 11-seed Jets tied the game at 35-35 early in the fourth quarter, the Pirates ended the game on a 12-0 run. The Jets ended their season with a 14-13 overall record.

Women’s basketball
The AHS women’s basketball team advanced to the NCS Div. II semifinals after defeating Bethel High of Vallejo, 47-31, in the quarterfinals Feb. 21 at home. AHS entered the third quarter leading, 18-12. The Hornets put the game away in the quarter by outscoring Bethel, 15-5. The Hornets earned a bye in the first round because they carried the top spot in the 15-team tournament. AHS (22-5) took on Redwood High in the semifinals on Feb. 25 at home.

The SJND women’s basketball team did not play last week because they earned a bye in the opening round of the inaugural NCS open division tournament. The open division tournament is the top division of the NCS. It pits the six best teams in the NCS regardless of their assigned division. The No. 1-seed Pilots took on Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland in the semifinal yesterday, Feb. 26. 

The EHS women’s basketball team lost to Analy High of Sebastopol, 52-45, in the first round of the NCS Div. III tournament ending their season. The Jets trailed 18-6 at the end of the first quarter. They managed to cut the deficit to 36-34 at the end of the third quarter, but the Tigers held on to win. Junior Sophia Randall led the Jets with 13 points and 15 rebounds in the game. The Jets ended their season with a 9-14 overall record.