Live from Arco: CIF Div. I boys hoops state championship

Final thoughts: Mack was clearly the better team tonight. The Warriors won the rebounding battle, won the turnover battle, and shot the ball better throughout the night. Very impressive. It’s the school’s first state championship, and what a way to win it. A perfect record of 32-0. 

The win also seals a 6-4 NorCal edge in state titles (thanks in large part to the ladies winning four).

From the statsheet…Cherry finished with 19 points to lead the Warriors. He also added 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Powell finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Otis had 8 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 assists. Sims had 16 points and 8 boards.  Hamilton finished with 20 points to lead Dominguez.

For those following along with us, thanks for hanging out.  

9:57: Cherry hits one. 69-54. Powell gets a layup after Cherry finds him underneath. 69-54. Otis gets an emphatic block in the lane. Another fast break for Mack and another layup. 71-54. The Dons turn the ball over, and Mack holds the ball to run out the clock.  Otis scores a layin with eight seconds left and Mack is your Division I state champions! FINAL: Mack 73-54. 

9:55: Otis makes one foul shot. 66-54. The Dons missed both of their shot attempts, but after Mack got the loose ball, Sims was whistled for a travel. Dominguez still couldn’t score and Cherry is sent to the line to stop the clock at 1:24.

9:52: Alley Oop attempt to Powell is overthrown and Hamilton gets a layup at the other end. 64-52. Cherry at the charity stripe and he sinks one. 65-52. Mandingo (Fandango!) scores on a drive to the basket. 65-54. Otis is fouled underneath and Mandingo (Fandango!) has fouled out.  Just 1:56 to play.

9:49: Mandingo (Fandango!) makes one of two free throws. 61-47. Hill misses a layin and Hamilton gets a 3-pointer at the other end. 61-50. Left wide open, Cherry hits a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 64-50. The Dons throw the ball away at the other end, leading to our last TV T.O. with the Warriors up by 14 and 3:10 to play. 

9:47: Cherry makes one of two foul shots and then Hill scored on a breakaway layup off a Dons turnover. With 4:28 to play, Mack leads 61-46.  

9:45: Sims makes two foul shots 59-45, and then Espy is sent to the line for Dominguez. Both teams are in the bonus now. Espy gets one of two. 59-46 and we’ve reached the 5:00 mark. 

9:42: Attendance numbers came in. The two Division I games drew a total of 5,613.  The weekend total was 16,564.

Hamilton’s first points of the half come at the free throw line. He makes two. 57-45.  

9:39: Powell gets a 3-point play on a putback after a missed layup by Cherry. 57-43. All the momentum in the Warriors favor right now.  

9:37: We now have a break in the action as the shot clock at the south end of the floor (the Dominguez basket) has gone out. Both teams return to their huddles as the problem is addressed.  

9:36: Cherry goes to the free throw line as Mack will be in the bonus the rest of the way. Mandingo (Fandango!) now has four fouls, as does Cartwright. Cherry hits both. 54-43 Mack.  

9:34: Cherry and Sims execute a perfect 2-on-1 break with Sims finishing it. 51-43. After the Dons come up empty on their end, Mack comes down and gets three offensive rebounds before Otis is fouled going back up. He makes 1 of 2 foul shots for a 52-43 advantage. Now Otis steps into a passing lane and gets the steal. He’s fouled by Green and a fast break doesn’t develop. 6:36 to play. 

Quarter thoughts: First thing I notice is that Hamilton, who led all scorers with 13 points in the first half, went scoreless in the quarter. Mack looks more poised than the Dons right now, and if they can keep it together they’ll earn a title. We’ll see. 

9:30: Dominguez gets a free throw to draw within 49-43 with 4.4 seconds left. Mack gets the last shot of the quarter, a long 3-pointer that falls short. 

9:27: Otis grabs another board (he’s gotta be to 10 now). Dominguez gets a rare fast break and Travon Oliver is fouled taking it to the rim. Oliver goes to the line and hits 1 of 2 to make it 49-42 with 41.2 to go in the quarter.

9:22: Cherry leads a 3-on-1 break and dishes to Otis for a layin. 47-37. Dominquez is having a heck of a time making layups – though nearly every one is contested. Powell picks up his 4th personal foul with 2:41 to go. Margus Moody gets a runner to fall for the Dons and Sims responds with acrobatic layup. Moody scores again and its 49-41 with 1:45 to go in the quarter.  

9:18: King scored a short jumper after getting a loose ball on the offensive glass. After Mack turned the ball over on a carry, we take a TV T.O. with Mack leading 45-37 and 3:55 to go in the quarter. 

9:16: Cherry scores on a mid-range jumper after Sims picked up an offensive rebound to keep Mack’s possession alive. 43-35. Sims got a long rebound and took it the length of the floor for a basket. 45-35 with 4:50 to go in the quarter. 

9:13: The Dons commit another turnover  and Mack makes it hurt as Powell hits a turnaround jumper in the lane. Very pretty. Lacoste makes a layup on the other end. Powell gets two more points with an authorative one-handed slam off a missed jump shot. Green then sank a jumper and the Dons called a quick timeout with the score 41-35 Mack. We have 6:18 to go in the 3rd. 

9:11: Powell is fouled on a breakaway, the 3rd foul on the Dons’ Cartwright. Powell makes 1 of 2. A Dominguez turnover leads to another break and another foul. Sims makes 1 of 2 and it’s now 37-31 Mack.  

9:09: It’s important to note that Mack was the much better shooting team in the first half, shooting 50 percent to Dominquez’s 35.5 percent. The Dons inbound the ball, and the second half has begun. 

We interrupt this blog…To inform you that your dedicated Times softball writer — and Jason Williams jersey-wearing Geek — has written to say that the Queen of the Mountain tournament championship between Foothill and Granada was rained out and will be played Monday at 4:30 p.m.  

I’ll be back with the start of the second half in just roughly five minutes.

Halftime thoughts: Mack looked about as could as it could look in the first half. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of their efforts was the fact that they matched the Dons rebound-for-rebound. Each team had 18 boards, and its even more impressive they were able to maintain that after Powell went to the bench with his 2nd foul. I also like that Mack kept Dominquez out of transition, for the most part. Dominguez had 10 turnovers in the first half, and Mack had nine.

Hamilton finished the half with 13 points and three rebounds for the Dons. Mack was led by Powell and Cherry each with eight. Otis’ stat line included six rebounds, two assists, and a block. 

8:52: The Dons get two free throws and Mack’s last possession of the half ends with a missed 3-pointer by Cherry. We go to halftime with the Warriors up 35-31. 

8:48: Jackson goes to the line for Mack and makes one of two. 33-29. Dominquez comes down and Woods is called for a travel after getting too zealous with a pump fake. Mack gets a basket from Cherry and the Dons call timeout trailing 35-29 with 1:23 left in the half.  

8:45:  Otis grabs another defensive board and gives it to Christopher Jackson who drives the length of the floor and scores a layup and draws the foul. Mark the And1 for a 29-28 Dons advantage. Cherry then puts Mack back in the lead with a drive and contested layup. Sims then goes to the line and makes both as Mack leads 32-29 with 2:25 to play in the half. 

8:42: Hamilton hits another 3-pointer (his third if you’re keeping count). 27-23 Dons. Mack answers with a runner by Hill. 27-25. Hamilton tried a heat-check 3 and it was short. After Mack missed on its end, the Dons scored on a drive and dish from Cartwright to Warren Turner. At the TV T.O. it’s 29-25 Dominguez. We got 3:16 to play in the half.

8:39: Espy made one foul shot and Sims answers with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 24-23.  After a stop on the defensive end, Otis was called for a charge and Warriors coach Dwight Nathaniel calls for a full timeout. It’s 24-23 with 4:59 to go in the half.  

8:36: Hamilton another 3-pointer and its 23-18 Dons. Mack answers by turning the ball over (traveling).  Hill gets a steal and scores a layup. 23-20. Powell is called for his second personal foul and Darrell Espy goes to the line with 5:46 on the clock. 

8:34: Woods scores on an offensive putback and it’s 20-18 Dons. I apologize, I must have missed a point somewhere and it was 18-18 at the end of the first.   

Quarter thoughts: A very evenly played first quarter, Mack answered every big momentum basket with one of their own. Nobody is in foul trouble for either team. The Warriors did appear a tad sloppy in the last 90 seconds of the quarter (four turnovers), but other than that, I think we’re in for a wire-to-wire barnburner.  

8:31: Mack turns the ball over on a travel (they actually close the half with four straight turnovers). The Dons don’t convert though and Mack leads 18-17 after the first eight minutes. 

8:30: Otis adds a block to his stat sheet, but Mack can’t control the loose ball and the Dons get a 3-pointer from Keala King. 18-15. Powell gets blocked on his end and the Dons try a fast break but turn it over on a carrying violation.  Hamilton gets a steal and scores. 18-17 w/ 40 seconds to go. 

8:28: Dominquez calls a timeout with 1:30 on the clock and the score is still 18-13. Right now, Mack looks scrappier. 

8:26: Sims scores on a scoop layup in traffic and then feeds Hill on a breakaway (17-11). Mandingo (who makes me think Fandango everytime I type his name) scores on a putback to make it 17-13. Powell makes one of two free throws and it’s 18-13 with 1:42 left in the quarter. 

8: 23: Mack has brought its drumline. They just entered during the timeout and I have to say it’s the first drumline I’ve seen at a state basketball championship. Quite cool.  

8:22: Otis already has four rebounds by my count. Add an assist to that as he drives and dishes to Powell for a dunk and a foul. Mack leads 13-9.  Thurman Woods scores on the offensive glass for Dominguez and its 13-11 with 3:41. And we’ll go to a TV T.O. as everyone tries to catch their breath. This one is going to be fun. 

8: 20: Cherry made one to tie the game at 7-7 and Hamilton quickly untied with a seven-footer off the glass. Cherry drives the middle of the lane and gets the basket and a foul. He misses the foul shot and we’re tied at 9-9. 4:40 left in the quarter. 

8:17 : Green at the line after being fouled by Sims. He hits one foul shot. Powell then answers with an offensive putback on a missed layin by Otis. He then offered the first dunk of the game after a turnover turned into a fast break. It’s 7-6 Dominguez with Cherry going to the line for two. 5:32 to go in the quarter. 

8:14 p.m.: Cartwright hits a 3-pointer for Dominguez to open the scoring. Otis scores a layin and then Hamilton hits an NBA-range triple and its 6-2.  

OK, we’re down to the main event, people. The anthem is alreay concluded and the lineups are being announced as I type.

McClymonds (31-0) is sporting the home whites with black trim and orange numbers. Dominguez (32-2) is dressed in bright red jerseys with gold trim and gold letters.

Here’s your starting lineups.

Mack: Damario Sims, Quincy Hill, William Cherry, Damon Powell and Frank Otis.

Dominguez: Dominic Lacoste, Bryce Cartwright, Jordan Hamilton, Robert Mandingo and Myron Green.

Tip-off next.


  • Ben Enos

    Congrats to the Mack Daddies. They were the best team this year for sure.

  • Scott Jones

    Let me say that I’m a subscriber to the CoCo Times, and I’m VERY DISAPPOINTED, in the coverage of the Mack’s Championship run. Mack wins their 1st State Title, and there’s no mention on the front page of today’s newspaper! Even further insulting reporting, on the sports page, you’ve the lead headline: “Berkeley Falls Short Again”. No disrespect to the Yellowjackets, (I’ve followed them and high school basketball for over 30yrs going to the T.O.C./State Championships) folks didn’t drive up to Sacto. to see them play. The main game was the Boy’s D-1 State Final, (which is why the girls championship is sandwiched between Boy’s D-3 & D-1 games)and you put their story in the middle of the page to be “lost” between the Berkeley girls and Stanford stories. The mere accomplishment of the Mack team going 32-0, the coach retiring, and going out on top, should’ve merited the main headline! Had that been De La Salle, they would’ve had the top headline, like they did last week in defeat to the Mack team. Your bias was blantant and disgusting! You should’ve given top billing to the teams from the bay area that accomplished their goals. BHS was an underdog to Long Beach Poly, just like Mack was to Dominguez, but they got the job done. Most people don’t see what you did, but there are some of us who do know what you’re doing. Read between the lines.

  • vanessa

    To Scott,

    I do not subscribe to the CoCo Times and didn’t see the printed version on this weekend’s games, but I feel you! My brother and I were watching the game on FSN and afterward we both discussed how the media would handle Mack’s accomplishment. To me, they should have been on every front page in the area! They represented the Bay Area very well. My brother expressed that this would not be front page news because nobody got shot or stabbed as a result of the game. It seems that the bay area media is quick to exploit bad news when it comes to happenings in Oakland and handily downplay anything good. It is quite disappointing to hear what you’ve reported. Conversely, the Oakland paper did very well by Mack and that is to be commended.