Boys Hoops: HAAL Breakdown, Week 1

I will be doing a weekly breakdown of the Hayward Area Athletic League. We had a few games start before the Christmas break so this will be my currently ranked order of the league along with a couple sentences or so about the squads. I am on vacation until Jan. 5, but thought I would start anyway. Here we go…. (Records are through Dec.19)

1. Castro Valley (10-1, 2-0 HAAL) – Trojans are off to another fast start and, despite their youth, have shown a lot of experience. Sophomores Roderick Bobbitt and Chris Read have filled in very nicely and a real argument can be made to say this year’s squad is better than last years. The Trojans are certainly more athletic this season.

2. Bishop O’Dowd (5-1, 1-0 HAAL) – The only true big team in the league could cause serious problems inside for opponents. The Dragons will want to slow it down against teams like Hayward and Castro Valley. Freshman forward Brandon Ashley looks like the next superstar of the HAAL.

3. San Leandro (4-2, 1-1 HAAL) – The Pirates played their first week with senior guard Jared Cunningham battling the flu. San Leandro got past Tennyson without him, but couldn’t get by Castro Valley with him not being 100 percent. The Pirates have started fast and finished slow the last few seasons – even though that has been mainly because of injuries. But maybe an early HAAL loss will inspire this squad to finish strong.

4. Hayward (4-2, 2-0 HAAL) – I hate to put such an experienced and solid team all the way down at the fourth slot, but the HAAL is stacked. The Farmers can definitely play with any of the top three that I have listed, though. Davion Berry starts out strong and Jabril Nasir is another name to remember. Keith Martin gives the Farmers a bit of an inside prescence and he hits the boards hard. Farmers coach Iman Mattox definitely gets it all out of these kids every night and I expect them to get a few wins against the teams I have ranked above them.

5. Tennyson (5-6, 0-2 HAAL) – Sophomore Hameed Ali is another young star in the league. There certainly isn’t a lack for young talented athletes in the HAAL this year. Tennyson had to open with San Leandro and Bishop O’Dowd and lost both games, but this Lancers squad has a solid chance at reaching the Division II playoffs.

6. San Lorenzo (4-3, 0-1 HAAL) – I am not very familiar with the Rebels yet, but I briefly seen them play against the Trojans. I couldn’t gauge much just because Castro Valley is on another level, but I did see a few promising shooters for the Rebels.

7. Mt. Eden (3-8, 1-1 HAAL) –  It took overtime to knock off a very young Moreau Catholic team, but the Monarchs got the win. That’s why they are one slot ahead of the Mariners.

8. Moreau Catholic (0-8, 0-1 HAAL) – The Mariners are playing with a seniorless squad and are going to have a ton of growing pains this season. But Moreau will be able to compete with San Lorenzo, Mt. Eden and Arroyo this season.

9. Arroyo (0-5, 0-1 HAAL) – Another team that has struggled due to a ton of coaching changes over the recent years and have seemed to be going through a youth movement for the last three years. But I think the Dons finally have the coach they want and in a few years will be back on track.


  • The Trojan Den

    I think as we get deeper into league play this CV team could be unstoppable. From the opener against Logan to last night against SL, I see improvement and this new team working better together. Beating an SL team that beat NM and played close with McClymonds was a huge boost over break for us and we, behind the huge boost of the Den, will capture a second straight HAAL title and shake up NCS.

  • HAAL Fan

    Being as closely affiliated with Mt. Eden as I am, I was deeply discouraged by their performance this season on the court. I was disturbed by their defense which allowed Moreau into the paint time and time again, against clearly larger and, what should’ve been, more efficient post players. Their offense also is lacking to say the least. Not to take away from the kids’ hussle, but at some point these kids have got to learn basketball. I understand too that this is the first year for Coach O’Brien and I hope that this is not taken with ill will toward my beloved school’s claim to fame. I look forward to seeing them make enormous strides in their play throughout the year. We’ll need it.

  • ccosby

    You are in for a long year I will be very surprised if mt eden wins more than two games, and by the way Coach O’brien coached many years at San Leandro before taking over at mt eden, but if they continue to improve and play hard who knows what will happen therer are five other teams in league that are in the same shape as mt eden but dont be discouraged by the 30 to 40 pt blowouts which will occur against the top four teams which means about 8 to 10 30 pt blowouts nice league

  • HAAL Fan

    How was he over at San Leandro? I usually stick to the football field or the mat room.

  • The Trojan Den

    MaxPreps rankings are in. Not much love for HAAL. Monta Vista and De La Salle are 1 and 2, and O’Dowd and CV are 5 and 6. Bit of a bias if you ask me. DLS lost to Tech and MV hasn’t really played anyone.

    ODowd, CV, and the Dro should all be top 5

  • ccosby

    the Den might want to check out who has played who again MV has played a very tough schedule on the other hand CV has one win vs a team with a 500 or better record

  • The Trojan Den

    San Leandro, GranadaX3 (we have beaten them three times, and they are 7-5), San Lorenzo, Menlo Atherton, Pittsburg, and Logan are all .500 or better and we have beaten them all.

    MV is undefeated, but St. Mary’s and Bellarmine are weaker than Berkeley who we should have beaten and San Leandro who we beat. I give them credit for two other good wins against Folsom and Arch Moeller of Ohio, but not sure how good they are.

    De La Salle is a bigger joke, they lost against just a good Tech team, and have beaten a bunch of nobodies.

    In my opinion, the NCS rankings should be:
    1) Monte Vista – undefeated with a decent schedule is good enough, at least for now.
    2) Castro Valley – One loss that got away from them against a very good team, looking unstoppable otherwise.
    3) Bishop O’Dowd – Beaten some quality teams, but also 3 losses to quality teams
    4) Newark Memorial – Losses to HAAL teams like ODowd and SL put them here
    5) Berkeley – Beat O’Dowd and CV in close games that Dowd and CV should have won. 2 losses to NM put them here.
    6) San Leandro – Played a good schedule with losses to quality teams, including Mack and CV.
    7) De La Salle – Haven’t beaten anyone, loss to Oakland Tech, highly overrated.

  • ccosby

    let me re-pharase that granada is terrible not a ncs team san lorenzo will not make ncs and will only win maybe 5 or 6 league games aganist nobody pittsburg is not an ncs team and had no football players (two starter) and menlo you no nothing about they are a member of ccs low division and are no good. Cv is a good team but still has only one good quality win on the year over SL. should of would of, they lost, to Berkely and could of lost to sl what do you think berkely thinks they should of lost to cv. The haal is a very very poor league after the top four cv will get ten blowout wins which will not help them in ncs seeding at all so they better win against sl,bod,hayward to get a few quality wins thats all i am pointing out is that they have only beaten one ncs team as we speak SL and maybe logan the three wins over granada mean nothing they are at best on the bubble of ncs

  • dez #72

    Cincinnati Moller is a regional final team every year and don’t forget about Tennyson I kno thy got blew out by BOD but they will be right there with Hayward no doubt

  • ccosby

    maxpreps breaks it down by strength of schedule which is what i am pointing out to you look at granada and logan and san lorenzo foothill,cal st marys (stockton) menlo who on earth have they beaten nobody!!!! you need quality wins cv has one for now but have a chance in league to pick some up lets wait and see! and dls and mv will not lose again in less it is to each other until the playoffs they will both blow everyone out in the ebal by 20 or more

  • The Trojan Den

    you said we havent beaten 500 teams… you were wrong. i know we havent played many great teams, but we’ve beaten everyone we were supposed to, by a whole lot. berkeley was a joke and i think we win that game 9 times out of 10. no excuses though, we will defeat BOD and the Stack and SL again. We should be ranked higher on Maxpreps is all i’m saying and so should O’Dowd. MV is given too much credit, and De La Salle having a #2 ranking is absurd, they’ve had a weaker sched than CV and lost to a decent Tech team. I can see MV at #1 but CV should be 2

  • junior

    Trojan Den- let your team do their talking on the court- you can brag about them AFTER they have made the playoffs and won some meaningful games. DLS has won 7 of the last 10 NCS championships. MV has one. These past accomplishments are why they get more respect in the polls early on in the season. relax.

  • ccosby

    Den this is nothing personal Cv is a good team but the bottom line is they only have one good meaningful win thats the way it is for now i bet dls wins 99 out of 100 games aganist oakland tech thats not the way ncs or maxpreps does they ratings

  • joe

    tennyson might not b good this year they will b good next year. sophmore forward daniel almonte is transfering and hameed is a star. the two will reke havoc