Softball ruminations

I figured I’d respond to Jorge’s comment with an entire post because I saw last night’s 39-0 score from the Berkeley-Richmond softball game and I made mention here in the office that I wanted to say something about it.

Now, I’m prepared to give Berkeley the benefit of the doubt because I can’t believe that someone would run the score up like that. If you look at the box score it shows that Berkeley scored the 39 runs on 18 hits and Richmond only committed seven errors. This leads me to believe there had to have been a ton of walks because unless you’re hitting home runs every time up, that score never happens.

I also see in the box that Richmond left the same pitcher in the game to take the entire 39 runs. Herein lies part of the problem. I don’t care if your shortstop has never thrown a game in her life, you put someone else in there. It’s the responsibility of the coach to get that girl out of there before she gets taken to the cleaners so thoroughly. For that, I blame Richmond.

All excuses aside, 39 runs is 39 runs and there’s no room for that in prep sports. Having coached before, I can tell you with all certainty that there are ways of shutting down your offense that don’t include scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning of a five-inning game. I wasn’t there, so I’m not going to pass judgement on how this came about because for all I know, Richmond’s coach could have told the Berkeley coach that he wanted his girls to continue playing it straight up so they learn something.

Then again, what do we really learn from a 39-run drubbing? Not much, if you ask me.


Mack Family: The Perfect Season

For those that haven’t got a chance to check it out yet, you’ve got to take a look at the wonderful multimedia piece put together by the Oakland Tribune’s Alison Yin. When she first started here as an intern in December, she took photos of a McClymonds-Berkeley game back in December that I was covering. It wasn’t long after that she was asking what I thought about doing a photo project on the team. She continued to pursue it and eventually got close to the team to the point that they “adopted her.” Anywhere Mack went, she was there taking photos, gathering audio or shooting video. This is the end result and I must say she did a killer job on it.

Mack Family: The Perfect Season




That’s about the only adequate word to describe last night’s Division I championship game. Dominguez had been built up as this powerful machine from SoCal that couldn’t be stopped. Outsiders knew Mack was good — you don’t get to 31-0 without being good — but those “in the know” who looked at it objectively couldn’t see Mack winning.

Sure, based on raw facts, you had to be nervous. This was the best team Mack had seen all year. They played some very good competition, but nothing like this.

None of that mattered.

Mack came up in with a game plan. Coach Dwight Nathaniel did his homework and he knew how to beat this team. He told his boys to run and run and run and when they got done doing that … to go out and run some more.

Mack chased down every loose ball and by the time they had it in their hands, the rest of the team was already sprinting down court. The guard play was unbelievable. Rather than try to force passes into Dame and Mook, the guard trio of Q, Memo and Jesus were continually attacking the hole. They were driving to score, driving to dish and driving to sap the will away from Dominguez.

Coach Moe knew that by doing that, this was a game his team could win. One fear was Dominguez’s Jordan Hamilton catching fire from long distance. And yeah, he hit some early threes that could’ve spelled trouble. But not enough and the Dons didn’t get enough production from other players.

Truth be told, Dominguez really didn’t have much of an offensive attack … at all. Hamilton hit some threes and it used its size to get a bunch of follow up hoops. But if I were to try to describe their offense, I couldn’t even tell you what they did. They were an overmatched team on this night who had no idea what Mack House ball was like.

What a wonderful stage for the entire Mack Family to show what it is all about. The crowd was absolutely phenomenal and when Dame threw down his first dunk at the 6:05 mark of the first quarter, you knew they’d be rocking all night. And what was more classic than during the first TV time out when the Mack drumline made its grand entry into the arena. Classic, just classic.

It was at about the 1:00 minute of the fourth that reality truly started to sink in and to just hear and see that place start to go crazy was music to my ears. Having followed this team all season (I covered 13 of their 32 games), there was nothing like watching this fellas go out on top.

Some of my favorite moments that a lot of people probably didn’t notice:

• Coach Moe bleeding from his cheek after the game. He said he thought he caught the watch of one of his assistants when they threw their arms up after the win.

• Some 30 minutes after the game, after Mack finished taking pictures at the studio screen set up in the bowels of Arco Arena, Damon Powell was the last to leave that area … and did so on a full sprinting skip. Bouncing through the Arco hallways, all DP just kept screaming with a 5-year-old’s pitch, “We won state, we won state, we won state, we won state.” I threw up my hand for a high-five as he passed by me.

• Frank Otis, aka Mook, aka The President, may just one day really be the president … or maybe the mayor of Oakland. One of the most genuinely polite guys you’ll ever meet. There he was, after all the players had left the court, out there by press row getting programs handed to him to autograph. Since he was standing next to me, I had to quip in “Look at Frank big-timing it.” About another 45 minutes later, as I was getting ready for a celebratory toast in honor of Mack, there was The President and his family walking into the same Applebees. If only he were 21, I would’ve had to have offered to buy him a drink.

• I already mentioned above the grand entry of the drumline, but it’s worth mentioning again. Oakland showed up tonight for this game in a big way. You could’ve sworn we were at the Oracle Arena. They helped bring an intensity that once Mack punched Dominguez in the mouth, there was no slowing these guys down. Every one who was in attendance played a part in this victory. So for all you folks that were there, please know that you were a big part of this win.


Dapper Dan results

So with my game washed out last night I got to sit back and enjoy the live blogging skills that Chace Bryson put on display up at Arco Arena. A quality job by everyone’s favorite Geek.

While I was reading that though, I was keeping an eye on a bit of wrestling news. Las Lomas’ Jason Welch competed at the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic in Pittsburgh, PA last night. For those not in the know, it’s a Pennsylvania vs. the USA all-star event and it is one of the more prestigious tournaments in the country. Welch competed at his usual 160 pounds and he beat Redbank Valley’s Jonathon Brothers by major decision, 22-11. His was the only major decision of the night and it earned him the USA’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award. Easton-PA’s Jordan Oliver got Pennsylvania’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award for winning the 130-pound match. The USA ended up winning overall by a score of 28-12.



We used to have a saying when I was in college: H.F.S.Y.

Translation: Hell F@!* S#&% Yeah!!

Great job Mack! A perfect end to a perfect season. You all deserve it. No. 1 in California and possibly top 2 in the nation. (Only other undefeated teams are St. Anthony in N.J. and some team in Washington, so why not?)

I wish I was there to see it, but then I wouldn’t have been able to watch those great shots on TV of Dominguez coach Russell Otis staring into oblivion with his hand on his mouth, clueless of how to stop the Warriors. Classic stuff. A great game plan by Coach Moe and his staff executed almost flawlessly. It was OAL basketball at its finest!

Congrats again. You did all of Oakland, and especially the Mack Family, proud.

dave schoen


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.


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

QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAIN UPDATE: Ben Enos here, hijacking the blog from Chace because I can. The Queen of the Mountain championship was postponed due to rain. The final, between Foothill and Granada, will be played Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Willow Pass Park. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. 

I am stepping away to help with some postgame coverage. But I’ll be back to do it all again for the Division I boys game between McClymonds (31-0) and Dominguez-Compton (32-2).  

7:42: Sorry about that. We lost connection for a second. You didn’t miss much. A few free throws and that’s all. FINAL SCORE: Long Beach Poly 55, Berkeley 31.  

The win for Poly gives the Jackrabbits their third straight state title and avoids a NorCal sweep in the girls games. Berkeley’s 31 points is the second-lowest scoring output by one team in the modern history of the Girls Division I championship (Since 1981). The lowest was 30 points by Los Gatos in 1984.

7:37: Perkins gets a layin after Rosen picks up a steal at half court and finds her teammate standing alone under the basket. It’s 52-30 and Poly calls T.O. with 1:11 to go.  

7:34: Both teams take turns missing free throws and with 2:09 left, Poly has begun to empty its bench.   

7:30: Dixon at the line again. Sinks both. Rosen drops down a 7-footer. After empty trips for both teams, Poly gets a layup in transition and a TV T.O. stops action with the score 52-28 with 2:56 to go 

7:28: Dixon misses a free throw and then (SHOCK!) gets her own rebound and scores. Rosen answers with a basket of her own on the offensive glass. It’s 48-26 Poly with 4:00 to play. 

7:24: After a Poly timeout, the Jackrabbits pounded it inside and Thaddesia Southall was fouled on like her third offensive rebound of the possession. She sank both free throws for a 46-23 game. Rosen just dove to the deck for a loose ball and then found Culbertson cutting to the basket. Culbertson was fouled and got one free throw. Rosen is clearly playing the best floor game for Berkeley tonight.  

7:20: Warren gets the first points of the fourth quarter, converting one of two free throws. Dixon goes to the line for Poly and pushes the lead to 44-23 with a free throw of her own. 6:44 to go in the game. 

Quarter thoughts: Well if Berkeley was going to make a serious push, that was the quarter to do it. They vastly improved their defense (especially their rebounding), but scoring continues to be an issue. The Jackets managed just five points over the eight minute quarter. It’s looking like a Poly Three-peat. 

7:16: Poly tries to pick up the pace and gets a layup in transition. Berkeley then turns it over on the inbounds pass and Cook sinks a jumper. So after all that, the Jackrabbits still manage to outscore Berkeley in the quarter and lead 43-22 at the end of three. 

7:14: Perkins and Culbertson work the ol’ pick and roll to perfection. Culbertson gets fouled and makes one of two (36-22). Dixon gets the first FG of the half of Poly and makes it a 3-point play for a 39-22 lead with 1:00 to go in the quarter. 

7:12: Poly finally gets its first  points of the half at the 2:02 mark as Dixon made one of two foul shots for a 36-21 lead.  

7:10: Perkins finally gets a decent look, hitting on a turnaround jumper on the block. Poly tries to pound it inside to Oliver but she misses her first shot and is blocked on an attempted putback. Its 35-21 with 2:37 to play in the quarter. 

7:07: Perkins is just having no luck getting an open look against the defense of Cook. She’s 0-for-2 in the half and now 1-for-7 for the game. We’re going to a TV T.O. with the score still 35-19 and 3:34 to go in the quarter. 

7:03 : Rosen, who is clearly being the most aggressive Berkeley player on the offensive end, was fouled on the way to the hoop. She missed the layin but hit both foul shots and its 35-19 with 5:00 to go in the quarter.  

7:01 p.m.: Poly missed its first shot of the half, and Berkeley misfired on each of its first three possessions. Though the Yellow Jackets defense has forced two turnovers already, so that’s a good sign for Berkeley. 

More musings: As I look at the Poly roster I see that there are just four seniors. Yikes! Cook is just a sophomore. Double Yikes! We’re roughly two minutes from the start of the second half. Hang tight. 

Halftime: Well, it would be easy to say that Poly outplayed Berkeley in the first half, but I don’t really think that was the case. It was clear that the Yellow Jackets were their own worst enemy in that half. The stat sheet says 17 turnovers, and it probably could have been more. Just as bad is the number of second-chance points the Jackrabbits converted. Poly had 12 offensive rebounds in the half, and scored baskets on at least six of them. Certainly the Jackrabbits deserve some credit, but Berkeley can hang with them if they cut down all the mental mistakes and stay out of foul trouble (the foul differential was 9-3 in the first half).

Here’s some individual stats:

Rosen leads Berkeley with 8 points and has 2 rebounds. Cook has 10 points and SIX steals. Daaaang.

6:43: Another turnover and layin by Cook gives us a halftime score of 35-17. I’m taking a quick break and will be back with haltime thoughts and a few stats. 

6:41: Hamasaki hits both free throws (28-15), and on the other end, Warren gets whistled for HER third foul (after failing to secure the defensive rebound, we may add). Poly got one of two free throws for a 29-15 advantage. Berkeley is now strictly in a 2-3 zone, likely to improve their defensive rebounding and limit their fouls. Cook scores on an offensive putback and it’s 31-15. Rosen gets a backdoor layup (31-17) and Poly answers. It’s now 33-17 with under a minute to play. 

6:38: Warren scores out of the timeout to make it 28-13. Berkeley then holds Poly to one shot and starts a break, but Tiffany Hamasaki couldn’t convert the layup. The Jackets got a rebound, but then promptly turned it over with a traveling violation. Hamasaki is now going to the free throw line with 2:40 to go in the half. 

6:35: The TV T.O. could not have come fast enough for Berkeley and coach Cheryl Draper could be heard from the team huddle telling the team “It’s not over.” However, it’s hard to say things aren’t looking bleak. The Yellow Jackets have no match for the size of Poly, and without Perkins on the floor, they are going to need somebody to step and score. Being within 10 points by halftime would be a victory at this point.  

6:33: Two possessions by Berkeley end in a blocked shot and a charge. Poly nets another basket on the offensive glass and it’s 24-11. And things just get worse for Berkeley has Perkins is forced to the bench with her 3rd foul. Another second-chance basket for Poly and a fastbreak layup, and now it’s 28-11 Jackrabbits with 4:05 to go. 

6:29: Once again, both teams start the quarter with turnovers. The matchup of Cook and Perkins is looking like it could be a good one all night. Cook seems to really have Jazmine frustrated with her defense.

A fastbreak layin off a turnover and now a 3-pointer by Crook-Williams pushed the Poly lead to 19-9 before Taylor Wallace scored for Berkeley. It was 19-11 and then Kelli Thompson hit a 3-pointer in the corner for Poly. It’s now 22-11 Jackrabbits and Berkeley has called timeout (after yet another turnover).  5:56 to go in the half.

Quarter thoughts: Berkeley certainly did not have its best quarter, but Poly didn’t either. To stay close in the second quarter, the Yellow Jackets need to be better on the defensive glass,  limit their turnovers (I counted five), and continue to keep the Jackrabbits from running the floor.  

6:23: Dixon scores inside to give Poly its first lead of the game, 10-8. Perkins then hit one of two free throws to close the gap to one. However, Poly keeps trying to push the action and though Cook missed the layin on the fast break, Ariya Cook-Williams scored on a putback. Another offensive putback by Poly makes it 14-9 as we reach the end of the first quarter. 

6:20: Rosen scores her third basket of the quarter on a great cut down the middle of the line. Warren hit her with a nice bounce pass and Rosen kissed it off the glass for an 8-6 lead. Both teams traded turnovers again, and then a third turnover became points for Poly as Cook picked Perkins’ pocket and went coast-to-coast for two.  2:00 left in the quarter. 

6:17 : Oliver goes to the line when she fouled attempting a putback on the offensive glass. This time she goes 2-for-2, and we’re tied again at 6-6. We have our first TV T.O. of the game at the 3:45 mark in the 1st. So far, this is a pace that is definitely going to favor Berkeley. The Jackets do need to be concerned about foul trouble though. They have already been whistled for 3, while Poly has none. 

6:14: Perkins gets on the board with an athletic move and a leaning 8-footer that’s all net. The shot put the Yellow Jackets up 6-4, and that’s where it stays after Oliver missed two free throws for Poly. 4:34 on the clock. 

6 :12: Both teams share turnovers, but Berkeley scores off the one that they force as Rosen hits as 12-footer. Poly tied the game at 4 with a fast break layup by Dixon. The score is still tied with 5:30 to play in the 1st.

6:10: Berkeley won the tip and immediately scored on a layin by Rosen off an assist from Perkins. Poly answered with a smooth 15 foot jumper by Cook.  

6:07: So here’s what you need to know about these teams — they are very familiar with one another. It’s only the third straight year the two are meeting in the state championship game. Poly won by 20 the first year (54-34) and by just six last year (58-52).  The lineups have been announced and the teams have just finished their final chant in their final pregame huddles of the season. It’s 32 minutes to glory. Tip-off comes next.

 6:00 p.m.: Well the warm-ups have concluded and the national anthem just finished. They are now announcing the starting lineups — and here they are:

Berkeley: Camila Rosen, Chariese Culbertson, Jazmine Perkins, Airika Warren and Tiffany Hamasaki.

Long Beach Poly: April Cook, Brittany Wilson, Ashley Wilson, Jasmine Dixon and Monique Oliver.

-Well, we now have eight new state champions and we have two left to crown. And now that I’ve managed to survive my 1.5 hour drive on I-80 through apocolyptic-global warming-type weather (seriously, there was even hail), I’m ready to bring you live accounts of both of the Division I championship games.

We will start with the Division I girls game, a showdown between Long Beach Poly (29-2) and Berkeley (30-3). The game is about 15 minutes from tip-off. I’ll be posting updates and insight at the top of the page as quickly as I can possibly type, and all you have to do is sit back, relax, and keep clicking that “refresh” button.

I’m going to go secure the starting lineups for this thing, and I’ll be back shortly.   


Live from Arco Arena: CIF State Finals — Day 2

The blogging has officially been turned over to Chace Bryson at our sister site East Bay Prep Sports for the Division I games featuring our locals — the Berkeley girls vs. Long Beach Poly and the McClymonds boys vs. Dominguez. Keep him company over there.

Div. III boys: Santa Margarita 72, Sacramento 55

4:45: Jose, no kidding. And actually, typo on my end. He had 64, not 63. That’s 77 percent of the team’s points.

4:38: Tapley left the game too so Klay will finish tied for second and Tapley tied for fifth. Great efforts by both. And it’s a final here as SM celebrates on the court.

4:36: A trey from Zaragoza makes it 70-53 with under a minute and now he gets a dunk. It’s bench clearing time. Tapley misses a three that would’ve overtaken Klay Thompson’s scoring total. Klay now leaves the game as Sac calls time. He’ll either finish the day tied for second or tied for third-highest scoring output (depends if Tapley overtakes him). 72-55 with 36.0 left.

4:33: A Tapley layin give him 35. He’s now tied for fifth with two others. Klay just missed an open trey. The whole crowed was shocked I think. With 1:39 left, Bobby Evans at the line and misses both. 67-53.

4:31: Trayce Thompson has just fouled out for SM. Chase Tapley at the line, he hits one of two and moves into sole possession of the eighth best scoring performance. 65-51. One behind Romero, who is now 7th. We’re at 2:39 left now. 67-51. Mike Henderson just fouled out for Sac.

4:30: And Klay has hit another 3. That’s a new record with 7 treys. He’s now got 37, tied for the second best scoring performance with Criag McMillan (Cloverdale, 1983). Score is 65-50 with 3:27 left.

4:27: Another 3 by Klay and now a transition layup. He’s got 34, now tied for the sixth best scoring performance (with Robert Romero of Calipatria — 1988, Div. 5). A Sac time out and it’s 62-45 with 4:45 left. I believe that was also his sixth 3, while ties him with Murray for most in a state title game along with Murray, Paul Stapleton (Servite, 1990) and Joe Kelley (Montgomery, 1998)

4:24: Jose, Tracy Murray (who played in the NBA and was the cousin of Cal and Kennedy-Fremont’s Lamond Murray) played for Glendora in the 1989 Division II title game and they lost 89-83 to Menlo-Atherton at the Oakland Coliseum.

4:22: Nice move inside by Evans to score for Sac. 57-45. Mike Henderson just picked up his fourth foul for Sac. We’ve got an SM time out with 5:50 left.

4:20: Two quick fouls called on Serna and he’s now fouled out with 7:22 left. SM has 8 team fouls, Sac only has 1. Bobby Evans misses the 1&1 for Sac. A rebound by Klay and a dish. 57-42 SM. Kyle Allen at the line for Sac, makes the first, misses second. 57-43. Sac shooting two from here on out.

4:16: Third quarter closes and it’s 55-42. Tapley leads all with 32, Klay Thompson has 29. Tapley already is having one of the 10 best scoring performances in a state title game and Klay is sure to get there. Two more points with tie him with three others (Stephen Thompson of Crenshaw, Charles O’Bannon of Artesia and Darnell Robinson of Emery — woo, woo, some local love) for the eight best.

4:15: Tapley at the line for Sac, makes both and he has a game-high 32 — already tied for the seventh most in state title game history. If he can get to 37, he’ll have the second most (he’s not touching Tracy Murray’s 63 in 1989)/ It’s 53-42.

4:11: There’s just no stopping Klay Thompson. He drops in another trey and it’s 50-36. Klay (son of former NBA player Michael Thompson and a future Washington State Cougar) has 29. Trayce Thompson then hits a 3. Two hoops for Sac also and it’s 53-40.

4:08: A jumper by Sac’s Abraham, but Klay Thompson with a trey for SM. He’s impressive. 24 points now for him. 45-31. Chase Tapley is matching him, he’s got 25. Now, Klay with a dunk and it’s 47-31. Tapley again, he hits a trey and now has 28 and it’s 47-36.

4:05: Second half is two minutes old. It’s 42-29 SM.

3:52: OK, had to do a little communicating back home but we’ve hit halftime of this one and it’s 40-29.

3:48: Lost connection for a minute. It’s now 37-27 SM.

3:43: A jumper by Zaragoza makes it 23-16. Sac coach Derek Swafford has probably slapped the padding on the table in front of my computer about 5 times already. Inside hoop for Serna. 25-16 SM. We’ve got Jason Kidd in the stands. Oh wait, no that’s just someone sporting the retro St. Joe’s Jason Kidd jersey. Now a bucket for Klay. 27-16. A win by SM would clinch SoCal winning the series again this year on the boys side, with three wins already. NorCal has five wins overall (four on the girls side plus Branson), so we’ll at least split. But a Sac High win would clinch the overall series for NorCal. That’d be nice. Chase Tapley with a nice follow for Sac. It’s a 29-20 game now midway through the second. A steal by Tapley and layup, 29-22. Klay with a jumper 31-22. Sac scores … wow, rapid fire .. It’s 31-24. Time out with 3:23 left.

3:40: SM’s size is helping them right now. Klay Thompson is 6-6, Jaime Serna (who just missed a dunk but was fouled and is at the line) is 6-8, Trayce Thompson is 6-4 , Zack Zaragoza is 6-5, Jason Pancoe is 6-3. That’s what’s on the floor right now. They’s also got a 6-10 and a 6-7 guy on the bench. Serna’s two FTs missed. Now we’ve got a dunk by Chase Tapley on a breakaway. 21-16 SM.

3:35: A trey by Klay Thompson draws an “Oh no” from Sac coach Derek Swafford. 21-12 SM now. Travon Abraham at the line for Sac, makes both. 21-14. End of first quarter, 21-14 SM.

3:31: SM is shooting lights out to start. Another 3-pointer makes it 18-7. A trey by Sac’s Tapley makes it 18-10, now a jumper by Chris Avenant makes it 18-12. Time out SM with 50.3 left in the first.

3:27: Time out Sac, trailing 14-3 at the 3:47 mark of the first. A FT by SM, then Tapley scores and it’s 15-5.

3:25: Chase Tapley will head to the line for Sac, with 5:39 left in the first. First FT misses, second swishes. 8-1. Now Klay scores inside 10-1. Tapley with a jumper then Trayce Thompson scores for SM. 12-3.

3:22: Another SM trey, this by Klay Thompson. 6-0 SM. Now a charging call on Sac’s Bobby Evans. Bad start for Sac. Miss 3 by Sac’s Chase Tapley. Evans gets hit with his second foul for Sac. Klay Thompson shooting two for SM, makes both. 8-0.

3:20: We’re underway, SM on the board first with a 3 from Trayce Thompson. 3-0 SM.

3:14: OK, my start time prediction was a little off. Anthem’s been sung, lineups are being announced. We’ll get in going in the next five minutes.

3:07: My first random interesting note of this game is that the toughest game Sacramento had in the playoffs — outside its loss to El Camino in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs — was a 69-66 win over Campolindo in the first round of NorCals. Wait to go Cougs.

2:52: This game was scheduled to start at 2:45. Obviously, not gonna happen. Expect about a 3:05 to 3:10 start time here. We’ll be back in a little while.

Div. III girls: Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. 48, Magnolia-Anaheim 33

2:48: Rosslyn Beard splits some FT and then leaves the game with 42 seconds left. The reserves are all in for SHC. Mag is doing the same as well. A chance to get everyone court time at Arco. SHC’s student section is chanting “No. 1” now. We’re putting a bow on this sucker now. It’s a final now.

2:45: A steal by Mag’s Hanson and she misses the lay but gets the ball back and is fouled by Tierra Rogers. That’s her fifth so she’s gone. It won’t cost them though. SHC starting to empty its bench. 1:05 left. Hanson misses both. The SHC fans behind me are starting to chant “Three-peat, three-peat.” We’re into the final minute now. Now the chant is “Undefeated, undefeated.”

2:42: The Irish have this one. Only a catastrophic meltdown will stop them from finishing off an unbeaten 33-0 season. That’s pretty impressive. Wonder why they’re ranked No. 1 in the nation? Hopefully they aren’t the only team today to finish off a perfect season. (Shout out to McClymonds). Wow, another Mag foul out. Brianna Colon is done. That’s the fourth player from Mag to foul out. Ouch. Kiki Moore is at the line with 2:32 left and she misses both. Rebound to Kamilah Jackson and she’s fouled going up. Brittany Pennell could be the next foul out and that’s her fourth foul. K-Jax splits, 47-32.

2:38: And the foul outs continue. Mag’s Latrice Henderson gets her fifth and we’ve got a three-point play for SHC to make it 46-32.

2:35: Rogers working hard on the boards, getting a rebound, missing a putback, but rebounding again and getting fouled. The first FT misses, the second is good. 43-29. Rogers just tallied her fourth foul and Pernilla Hanson goes to the line for Mag. First misses, second is good. 43-30. Nice dribbling by Brianna Colon and she goes in for the score for Mag, 43-32. Timeout Sentinels.

2:32: I apparently was wrong about our other foul out. That one was Jhakia McDonald, who is a senior. But, Hunter did just foul out. Call my psychic. Kamilah misses to FTs. Score remains 42-29 and we’re now closing in on the 5-minute mark.

2:29: Desiree Hunter for Mag just got his with a charging foul, that’s her fifth so she’s done for the day. She’s a sophomore, so it’s not a career-ending foul out — something I always hate to see. Now, Tierra Rogers powers in a bucket inside and is fouled. The FT misses, so it’s 42-29 with under 6 to play.

2:26: This game could get decided at the line. Mag already has 10 team fouls, so SHC will shoot two FTs on every foul from here out. SHC has eight, so we’re getting close to the double bonus there too. Jazmine Jackson inside makes it a 40-29 lead. I don’t see them letting that slip away. Time out Magnolia with 6:22 left in this contest.

2:24: Kamilah Jackson working hard inside to score. Then off a steal, Tierra Rogers scores and is fouled. FT makes it a three-point play and a 36-27 lead. That could be a huge sequence. Telicia Anderson with a jumper for Mag, 36-29. Kamilah to go to the FT line for SHC with 7:09 left after a foul inside. She makes both. 38-29.

2:20: Rogers scores a layup off a baseline inbound. 31-24 now, inside the quarter’s final minute. Mag’s Brianna Colon was fouled on a drive with 4.7 left. Shooting two. Makes the first, misses the second. A rebound inside squirts to Latrice Henderson, who scores inside and it’s 31-27 as the third quarter ends.

2:17: A fadeaway jumper by Telisha Anderson cuts it to 27-24. Mag is doing a nice job of hanging around. A runner in the lane goes for Tierra Rogers, but she’s called for an offensive foul to wipe out the bucket. Still 27-24. SHC with the ball again and Rogers will go to the line. She got away with about 10-12 seconds in the key there. She makes both FTs, 29-24.

2:12: Is this just a FT contest, or an actual game. Jhakia McDonald at the line for Mag, makes both, 27-21. Gotta say this game has been a yawner so far. Now Latrice Henderson will go to the line for Mag. Kamilah Jackson picks up her fourth with that foul with 4:13 left in the third. She’ll leave and Tierra Rogers returns. That’s good to see. Henderson first is good, seconds misses. 27-22.

2:09: Jazmine Jackson at the line for SHC and she makes both. 25-18 now. Latrice Henderson is now at the line for Mag, the first goes off the back iron, the second rattles in. 25-19. Jazmine Johnson now shooting FTs for SHC again. First is good. second is also good. 27-19.

2:05: A hard foul and Tierra Rogers for SHC is down. She appears to be grasping her back. Hopefully she’s alright. We’re in an injury time out right now. She’s up now and walking off on her own power.

2:04: I’m looking over the first-half numbers and Kamilah Jackson nearly had a double-double in the first two periods — 10 points, 9 rebounds. Brianna Colon paced Mag with 8 points. At the 5:46 mark of the third, 23-18 SHC.

2:02: Second half has started. I left to grab some popcorn, pretzels and a drink. We’re a minute in and it’s 23-18 SHC.

1:49: A trey swished hom by Brittany Pennell for Mag makes it 21-18 with under a minute left in the half. Mag gets the ball back and will hold for the final shot, or at least attempt too. Mag nearly was called for a backcourt vio, but the other ref came in to say it was deflected. Pernilla Hanson misses on a late drive and at halftime, it’s 21-18 SHC.

1:45: I just got a visual of our guys cheering “Irish, St. Patty’s Day.” He’s got the look of an Irish soccer hooligan (not that he’s a hooligan, just the look). A nice, bright green felt leprechaun hat along with what looks like an Irish soccer jersey and some green shorts. That’s some Irish love there baby! Still 21-15, about 2 minutes left.

1:42: Kamilah Jackson splits two FTs, 19-15 SHC. A steal by Kiki Moore and a layup makes it 21-15 and Magnolia calls time with 3:09 left in the second quarter.

1:41: We had some jawing over a foul call here. One person from the stands yells “Don’t be like that Mitty game! Let them play.” That Mitty game was horribly officiated last night. This one hasn’t been too bad so far. It’s still 18-15 with under 3 1/2 to play.

1:38: Kamilah Jackson back to the line for SHC shooting 1&1. Makes both. 18-15. I did just spot my first Mack fans of the night, straight across from me in the third row.

1:35: Will, no I hadn’t seen the guy throwing the hats. I’ll have to turn around and check him out. I know some guy just yelled out, “Irish, St. Patty’s.” Just basically as random words. I like it. I’m Irish. Anyways, tie game now after a bucket for Mag. A steal by Pernilla Hanson and she scores to give Mag a 15-13 lead. But Kamilah Jackson answers with a bucket and she’s fouled with 5:40 left. FT is good, SHC leads 16-15.

1:33: A blocking foul call on SHC’s Rosslyn Beard and coach Harrigan doesn’t like it. He tells the ref, “Thats good D, that’s great D. You can’t teach defense better than that!” I thought it would’ve been a good no call. Kamilah Jackson with a turnaround hook shot to give SHC a 13-11 lead. Time out Mag with 6:48 left in the second quarter.

1:29: Desiree Hunter at the line for Mag, makes the first, misses the second. 11-9 Mag. I just heard from the PA announcer that Mag’s No. 55 is Brittany Pennell. We’ll go with. Rogers at the line for SHC with 40.1 left in the first. First FT is good and so is the second. Tied at 11-all. And that’s how the first quarter ends with us tied up.

1:25: Magnolia on the board and Brianna Colon drives for a bucket. 5-2. Now she drains a trey to tie it at 5. But quickly down to the other end, Jazmine Jackson lays one it. 7-5. Now Jessica Iban scores for Magnolia. Things are picking up. Ki-shawna Moore shooting two for SHC with 2:25 left, makes the first, makes the second. 9-7 SHC. A bucket for Magnolia by a girl who I don’t have on my roster. She’s No. 55 but there’s no 55 in the program. Anybody now here name? 9-9. Mag’s Colon at the line and gives them the lead by splitting a pair. 10-9 Mag.

1:20: This game has been littered with sloppy plays. Tons of traveling calls and turnovers. Let’s start performing ladies! Last week when SHC played St. Mary’s, it started slow before rallying in the fourth. The Irish isn’t losing here though, thanks to Magnolia also struggling. Tierra Rogers splits FTs and it’s 3-0 SHC. A jumper by Jazmine Jackson makes it 5-0 Irish.

1:16: Our first points maybe? Yes! Kamilah Jackson at the line for SHC, makes both with 5:18 left in the first. 2-0 Irish.

1:15: Sac High just entered the building. I wonder if they needed direction to get here? I’d expect a pretty healthy crowd for that game. Their rooting section is already starting to fill in. Our game here is still scoreless. Yaaaaaaawn!

1:13: Almost 2 minutes in and we’ve yet to see any scoring. SHC coach Brian Harrigan calls for time.

1:12: I won’t say why, but I’ve got a gut feeling the officiating might not be all that great in this game. Maybe one of the officials looks familiar and I wasn’t too impressed before. That might be it, or it might be something else. I’m not saying.

1:10: OK, now tipoff really is right around the corner. I’ve got to pick SHC to win this one. I mean, it’s two days before St. Patty’s Day, how can the Fightin’ Irish not win? Tip if won by Magnolia though. We’re underway.

1:09: The lineups are being announced and tipoff is right around the corner. Got a wild look here from Magnolia coach Michael Anderson. Some spiky hair with blonde highlights. I’ve got a feeling looking at him that he may bring a lot of energy to the sidelines. We’ll see.

1:03: The clock is winding down and we’re getting set for the anthem. It looks like a Magnolia cheerleader will be signing for us.

12:53: Branson is just clearing the court right now and SHC and Magnolia should be taking the court soon. The official countdown clock has us with 11 minutes till game time. More to come, but SHC did just take the court for warmups.

Div. V boys: Branson-Ross 40, Renaissance-La Canada 33

12:42: Branson can’t get the inbound in and calls time. Coach Honick realizes this isn’t over and sends Ryan McGuigan back into the game. It may not quite be over, but it’d take a miracle for Branson to lose now. The ‘Cats will try to immediately foul on the inbound. After the inbound is deflected away, Honick saids another starter — Curtis Elijah — back in. There’s no way he wants to see this game slip away. McGuigan at the line from Branson with 14.4 left. He makes the first, makes the second. 40-31. A bucket for Renaissance but then the time runs out (I don’t know why they didn’t call time after the make). Anyways, it’s a final. 40-33 Branson wins its third straight.

12:40: A miss by the Cats is rebounded by Branson and McNally is fouled with 24.6 left. This one’s over. The Bulls are going to the bench as the celebration is already beginning. This is going to be the third straight state title for Branson. McNally misses the front end of a 1&1. Renaissance’s Justin Cook is fouled and is shooting two. Makes both. 38-31 with 15.9 left.

12:38: In the Branson huddle, Coach Honick tells his guys “this is the most important possession … of … the … year!!!” Could be true. They force a miss and McNally rebounds for the Bulls. He’s fouled on the offensive end. One more foul to get to the bonus. Branson wants McNally to have the ball, he gets it. We’re under a minute now. The ‘Cats aren’t fouling and McNally drives all the way to the hole for two.

12:35: Traveling by Branson. ‘Cats ball. A bucket here — in particular a 3 — would make this interesting. The ‘Cats want to talk it over. Time out with 1:44 left and it’s 36-29.

12:34: It’s looking pretty good for the Bulls right now. That would guarantee NorCal at least one win on the boys side, but I hope to heck it’s not their only win. This SoCal dominance needs to start ending on the boys side. The NorCal girls have been pretty impressive, 3-for-3 so far with Branson, Mitty and St. Patrick-St. Vincent all taking titles. I’m predicting at least four titles for the NorCal girls since Sacred Heart Cathedral is the No. 1 team in the nation. It could come down to Berkeley trying to finish off a NorCal sweep. Back to this game, a trey by Renaissance cuts it to 36-29 with about 2 minutes to go.

12:30: Branson is giving the big fella Stover fits. A steal by Elijah on an entry pass to him. Elijah’s got 6 points on the day and looks frustrated. At 6-10, I’m guessing he’s used to having his way. A few nice hustle plays here by Branson chasing after and diving for balls. They’re looking pumped right now. Time out Renaissance with 4:09 left in this one. 36-26 Branson.

12:27: A steal inside by Branson’s Curtis Elijah as the 6-10 Stover tried to make a move inside. As he turned, Elijah just took it away. Nice play. As the shot clock expires, Elijah delivers again by swishing a 3-pointer to make it 34-26. The student section roars in approval. Now Elijah scores inside off a dish from Akhile. 36-26 Bulls with under 6 to play.

12:22: The ‘Cats don’t score and Branson controls possession. A dish inside goes to McNally. His pumpfake draws two defenders in the air and he’ll go to the line with 2.6 left. The Branson senior makes the first, makes the second. It’s 31-26 as the third quarter ends.

12:18: A turnover by Branson gives the ‘Cats a chance to pull closer in the third quarter’s final minute. With 10 seconds left on the shot clock and 31.4 in the quarter, they’ll call time to try to set up a play.

12:16: Branson seems to be getting the loose balls here. They’ve already had several offensive boards in the half. They’ve got the lead but Coach Honick wants more. He says to his assistants “Jeez, we can’t get over the hump.” I think they’d like to put this game away, something they are very used to doing. It’s now a 27-24 game with 2 minutes left in the third.

12:14: Will, yeah that is a rare call. The Branson bench sure liked it.

12:12: Another trey for the Bulls, this one from Cody John, has made it a 25-16 game. The ‘Cats Josh Thomas answers with a 3 and the lead is back to six, 25-19. Renaissance’s Stover with his second block of the quarter and a follow by Thomas cuts it to 25-21. Renaissance nearly had a steal off a long pass, but it goes OB off a deflection. 3:51 left in the third, still 25-21.

12:11: The third quarter is underway and Branson’s Ryan McGuigan just drained a 3 and with 5:24 left, it’s Branson leading 22-16.

12:09: Will, I’m also on press row, in the seat right next to the Branson scorekeeper.

12:00 p.m.: Halftime numbers. Branson’s Oliver McNally and Renaissance’s Josh Thomas both lead with six points. Curtis Elijah in Branson’s top rebounder with 3, Thomas leads the Wildcats with 3. Branson is shooting 39 percent, Renaissance is shooting 31. Six turnovers for the Bulls, 7 for the ‘Cats. Branson’s Kalome Akhile and Renaissance’s Anthony Stover both have 2 blocks.

11:55: We’ve reached halftime here. That’s means we’re 3/4 of the way through the first 1/3 of our action. That adds up to being one 1/4 of the way through the days action. That’s some mathematics for ya. Branson takes the lead into the break, holding a 19-14 advantage as it looks for its third straight state title.

11:49: The ‘Cats probably want to start taking advantage of their size. They just got a three-point play from 6-foot-10 junior center Anthony Stover. I’m guessing they’ll want to see some more of that. It’s 15-13 Branson inside of 2 minutes to go in the second quarter.

11:44: Cheers of “Branson, Branson, Branson” from the student section are quickly quieted by a turnover. Still, the Bulls lead this one. Cody John just drained a 3 to push Branson’s lead to 15-10 with under 5 minutes to go in the second quarter.

11:38: A trey by the ‘Cats Josh Thomas gives them a 10-8 lead. Branson’s Oliver McNally tried to answer with an attempt from NBA range but airballed. Well, what do we have here? Apparently the CIF referees learned a little from the Pac-10 officiating crew that did the Cal-UCLA game. Renaissance’s Termaine Tatum just attempted an off-balance shot that he threw from behind the backboard and went up and over. He didn’t make it like that shot in the UCLA game, but the officials did correctly blow the whistle and give the ball to Branson. Can Cal take solace in the fact that somebody benefited from the publicity surrounding their misfortune? Probably not. Anyways, first quarter just ended and it’s 10-10.

11:34: I like the pace to this game so far. Branson has a big rooting section to my left. Not surprising since they had botht he boys and girls team in the finals playing back to back. With 2:58 left in the first, it’s 8-7 Branson.

11:30: Action is underway in this one. We’ve got the Branson Bulls wearing white jerseys with green lettering outlined in blue with a green and blue stripe down the side. The Renaissance Wildcats are wearing teal uniforms, with white lettering outlined in black and a black stripe down the side with white stars. The ‘Cats scored the game’s first three points, but 3 minutes in, we’ve now got Branson leading 4-3.

11:23 a.m.: The lineups are being announced here and this D-V game will be underway very shortly. As the Renaissance lineup is being annoucned, Branson coach Jonas Honick is directing his players as to who they will guard. Wise move. No need for them to wait to get on the court to figure it out.

Div. V girls: Branson-Ross 51, Mission Prep-San Luis Obispo 39

10:53: Kind of a cool moment on the Branson bench. Coach Fulton was looking around and asking where his dad was. He located him and mouthed “Hi” to him in the stands. He’s been going nuts all day and he’s finally hit the point of relaxation and is enjoying this win … which is now final. Branson 51, Mission Prep 39.

10:51: We’re inside the final minute now and it’s just a formality now for Branson as it gets ready to collect its second straight state title. The Bulls are emptying the bench and coach Mike Fulton is giving hugs to his starters as they come off the court. I gotta say I feel a little bad for Mission Prep. This is their sixth trip to the state title game and it’s 0-for-6 now. That’s rough. Fulton’s biggest hug just went to Rachael Bilney as she came off the court.

10:43: Midway through the fourth quarter, Branson is pretty much in control here, leading 44-29. Let’s litter that comment section today folks!

10:23 a.m.: OK, so Day 2 of the CIF state basketball championships has begun and yes, I’m already chilling here on press row at Arco Arena. My guess is you’re probably thinking “Hey J-Durk, don’t you have anything better to do?!?” That’s probably a fair question. But hey, I was coming up here today anyways so I might as well check out all the action. Chace Bryson will be doing the blogging for our two big games today — Div. I girls: Berkeley vs. Long Beach Poly and the main event, Div. I boys: McClymonds vs. Dominguez-Compton — over at our sister blog East Bay Prep Sports. But I’ll throw out some updates from time to time on the other action. Currently, we’ve got the Div. V girls playing and Branson-Ross holds a 33-20 lead over Mission Prep-San Luis Obispo with 3:37 left in the third quarter. Branson is looking to win its second consecutive state title, while Mission Prep is looking for its first title in six tries.