Local Teams Go 0-5 in League Title Pursuit

 

Five Alameda high school basketball teams competed in their respective league titles last week, but all five lost before they could hoist the title.

Encinal
The Encinal women’s basketball team (20-8) had the longest run of the five high school teams. The Jets advanced to the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Shoreline Division final after taking down two opponents. Encinal beat Mt. Eden of Hayward 58-33 in the first round on Feb. 16. The Jets dominated the Monarchs in the second half. Encinal entered the second half with a slim 20-19 lead, but outscored Mt. Eden 38-14 in the final two quarters. 

Encinal then took down San Lorenzo 53-46 in the semifinal in a back-and-forth affair on Feb. 18. The Jets, however, were not successful in the final as they were taken down by Castro Valley 60-43 on Feb. 20. The Jets were within striking distance trailing just 48-41 in the fourth quarter, but Castro Valley ended the game on a 12-2 run to put the Jets away. 

The Encinal men’s team’s (15-13) trek to a WACC title fell apart in the semifinal. They were beaten 62-45 by Mt. Eden on Feb. 18. The Jets could not regroup after being outscored 29-17 in the first half. Senior Eugene Sanya led the team with 16 points. 

The Jets beat San Lorenzo 52-47 in the opening round on Feb. 16. Shariff Youngblood led the team with 13 points.

SJND
The St. Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) women’s basketball team (20-8) lost 65-43 to St. Mary’s of Albany in the Tri-County Athletic League (TCAL) Rock Division semifinal on Feb. 18. The Pilots were no match for the Panthers from the outset. The Panthers led the Pilots 19-2 at the end of the first period. The Pilots were unable to make it a challenge after the first period. Pilot junior Mira Love-Sangco led the team with 22 points. 

The Pilots took advantage of Kennedy of Richmond in the opening round to the tune of a 67-38 victory on Feb. 16. The Pilots scored in double figures in every quarter. They led Eagle 35-19 at the half. Love-Sangco led the team with 14 points.

The SJND men’s team (18-9) went 1-1 in the TCAL playoffs. The Pilots beat St. Mary’s 60-42 on Feb. 16. 

The Pilots jumped on the Panthers early. They held an 18-9 lead at the end of the first period. Both squads scored in single digits in the second quarter. However, the Pilots managed to put the contest away when they outscored the Panthers 16-7 in the third quarter. Junior Darne Duckett led the Pilots with 17 points. 

The Pilots, however, could not overcome the performance of Salesian of Richmond in the semifinal. The Pride took down the Pilots 64-55 on Feb. 18. The Pilots kept the game close for the entirety of the game. The game was at a 13-13 deadlock at the end of the first period. The Pride led 28-24 at the half. Both teams scored 14 points in the third, but the Jets were outscored 22-17 in the final frame. Duckett posted 21 points to lead the Pilots.

Alameda
The Alameda men’s team also went 1-1 in the WACC Shoreline playoffs. The Hornets trailed Arroyo of San Lorenzo 42-25 at halftime. But a 24-10 third quarter put the Hornets back in the game. The game was tied at 63 and the contest entered overtime. The Hornets outscored the Dons 15-2 to win the game 78-65 on Feb. 16. 

The Hornets lost in the next round to Piedmont 77-66 on Feb. 18.

The women’s team (13-13) did not play for a league title. There was no WACC Foothill playoffs.