SJND Wins Oakland Basketball Tournament

The St. Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) Pilots’ men’s basketball team went a perfect 3-0 to win the Damian Lillard Oakland Shootout tournament last week from Dec. 9 through 12, at Oakland High.

The Pilots thumped Bentley of Lafayette 76-45 in the opening round last Wednesday, Dec. 9. The Pilots turned up the defensive intensity early as they stormed out to a 24-6 at the end of the first quarter. The Phoenix were able to increase their offense for the rest of the game, but SJND continued to pile points on the scoreboard. SJND outscored Bentley in each quarter of the game. They were paced by junior point guard Jadé Smith. Smith led the Pilots with 22 points. He also chipped in 11 rebounds and six assists. 

Other players to score double figures for the Pilots were senior Kevin Harris (12 points) and freshman Adam Campos (15 points). 

The Pilots took down Castlemont of Oakland in the second round last Friday, Dec. 11. However, the contest was a much more contentious match for the Pilots than the opening-round game. The Pilots again got out to an early lead at the end of the first period (22-15) but the Purple Knights stormed back in the second. 

The Pilots held onto a slim 28-27 lead at halftime after being outscored 12-6 in the second period. Both teams posted 18 points in the third quarter so whoever played better in the final period was going to win the game. SJND won the final quarter outscoring the Knights 22-15 to eventually win 68-60.

SJND faced Oakland High in the championship match and once again the Pilots had a grueling game with this one not being decided until after regulation. 

Neither team could distance itself from the other as they played to a 12-12 tie at the end of the opening period. The Wildcats managed to take a 24-21 lead at halftime. The Pilots held a slim 36-34 lead at the end of the third quarter. They outscored the Wildcats 15-10 in the period. It was the only quarter they outscored Oakland High in regulation. The game was tied at the end of the final quarter at 47. The Pilots were outscored 13-11.

In overtime, SJND took control of the game and the scoreboard outperforming the Wildcats 10-6. Smith scored 24 points to lead the Pilots. Others Pilots in double figures were junior Darne Duckett (14 points) and sophomore Cameron Ba (14 points).

Smith was named most valuable player of the tournament. The standout guard already holds scholarship offers from UC Berkeley, Nevada and San Jose St.

SJND is now 5-0 on the year and will take on Roseland University Prep of Santa Rosa on Saturday, Dec. 19 in its next contest.

The Damian Lillard Shootout is named after Oakland native and current Portland Trailblazer Damian Lillard. Lillard attended SJND his sophomore year, but graduated from Oakland High. He is a four-year NBA veteran, two-time NBA All-Star and was voted the NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2012-13 year.