Six Squads Enter PostSeason

The winter sports’ regular season came to a close last week and now its time to reflect on the great basketball played on the hardwood in Alameda high schools. Five of the six basketball teams in the city finished with a regular season record above .500 and all six teams have a shot at advancing to the North Coast Section playoffs. However, first they must compete in their league tournaments.

Men’s Basketball 
Alameda Hornets 

The Alameda Hornets men’s basketball team went 10-17 in the 2015-2016 season. The Hornets battled through a tough season, but did manage to rack up some impressive wins. The Hornets beat Lincoln of San Francisco 60-51 in the opening day of the Island Classic on Dec. 3. They also had a four-game win streak — the team’s longest win streak of the season — in which they took down Kennedy of Richmond 44-33 on Jan. 4 and San Lorenzo 45-31 on Jan. 6. 

The Hornets went 4-5 in the West Alameda County Conference (WACC). This was good for fourth place — out of eight teams. The Hornets took on Arroyo of San Lorenzo on Tuesday, Feb. 16 in the opening round. 

Encinal Jets
The Encinal Jets men’s team went 14-12 on the year. The team got off to a great start with a 2-1 showing at the Island Classic including a 49-47 victory over city rival Alameda on Dec. 5. In the contest seniors Eugene Sanya and Shariff Youngblood both scored 10 points to lead the team. The Jets went on to beat the Hornets two more times on the year. 

Sanya led the team in scoring this season, averaging 14.2 points per game. The Jets finished above .500 for the fourth year in a row. Encinal went 6-3 in the WACC this season, which put them in third place. They played San Lorenzo in the opening round of the WACC tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

St. Joseph Notre Dame Pilots
The St. Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) men’s basketball team put together another solid season with a 17-8 overall record. The Pilots began the season with an eight-game winning streak — its longest of the season. They won the Damian Lillard Shootout tournament in a 57-53 overtime win over Oakland during the win streak. Junior Jadé Smith scored 24 points in the final game. The team went 4-6 in the Tri-County Athletic League (TCAL) Rock Division. The Pilots league record put them in fourth place — out of six teams. The squad took on St. Mary’s of Albany in the opening round of the TCAL playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Women’s Basketball
Alameda Hornets

The Alameda women’s basketball team put together a solid 13-12 regular season record in 2015-2016. The Hornets won its first three games of the regular season with victories over Redwood of Larkspur (54-34) on Dec. 1, Enochs of Modesto (56-51) on Dec. 3 and Sonora (58-44) on Dec. 4. The team had a much better record out-of-league than they did in the WACC. 

The Hornets went 1-5 in league play with its lone triumph coming in a 58-56 nail biter over Piedmont on Jan. 15. The team is in last place in the WACC Foothill League out of four teams. Alameda’s final regular season game is tomorrow against Bishop O’ Dowd of Oakland.

Encinal Jets
The Encinal women’s team went 18-7 on the regular season. It was the Jets’ fourth straight year above .500. The Jets had some impressive victories including a three-win sweep at the West Coast Jamboree tournament. Encinal beat Santa Rosa 61-52 in the final on Dec. 30. 

The Jets’ most impressive win came in a 58-57 overtime game against rival Alameda on Jan. 9. The Jets are 7-1 in the WACC Shoreline League. The squad is in second place in the league — out of eight teams — behind only Castro Valley. The Trojans gave the Jets’ its lone league defeat. Encinal took on Mt. Eden of Hayward on Tuesday Feb. 16 in the opening round of the WACC Shoreline playoffs.

SJND Pilots
The SJND women’s basketball team finished the regular season with an impressive 19-7 mark. The team boasts a tournament victory in the Roundball Classic where they went 3-0. They beat Urban of San Francisco 53-21 in the final on Dec. 5. 

The Pilots went 6-4 in the TCAL Rock Division, which put them at third place among six teams. The squad took on Kennedy of Richmond in the opening round on Tuesday, Feb. 16.