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Bird named Div. IV POY, Rabb is top sophomore; plus All-East Bay boys basketball teams

Salesian High’s Jabari Bird, a finalist for Cal-Hi Sports’ Mr. California award that went to Archbishop Mitty’s Aaron Gordon, was named the Division IV player of the year.  That’s in addition to Bird being named the Bay Area News Group East Bay Player of the Year last week. (Sorry for not posting that here, I was on vacation when it ran). Also, Bishop O’Dowd’s Ivan Rabb was named Cal-Hi Sports’ sophomore of the year. Pretty easy choice if you ask me for a guy who averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Dragons. He was the unofficial runner-up to Bird for our East Bay player of the year and will enter his junior season as the preseason favorite for the award. Rabb was a first-team All-East Bay pick.

It’s a few days late, but for those who missed it in print or online, here’s our complete All-East Bay team.

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The All-East Bay Girls Basketball teams

Here are capsules for our all-East Bay girls basketball first, second and third teams:

First team

ODERAH CHIDOM, Bishop O’Dowd, forward, Sr. — The McDonald’s All-American averaged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, providing a big challenge for opponents from her small forward position as the Dragons marched to a California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state championship. The Duke-bound Chidom was also a wall defensively, averaging three blocks and two steals a game.

ARIELL BOSTICK, Bishop O’Dowd, guard, Sr. — Bostick was the motor for a Dragons squad that finished its season with 24 straight wins, including 22 by double digits. The San Diego State-bound Bostick passed for 5.7 assists per game this season to go along with nine points, four rebounds and three steals a game. She scored a team-high 17 points in the Dragons’ CIF Open Division state championship win over Windward-Los Angeles.

GABBY GREEN, St. Mary’s, guard, Jr. — The 6-foot-1 Green could hurt an opposing team in many ways. She averaged 16.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.2 steals, 3.9 assists and 1.4 blocks a game for the Panthers, who won the North Coast Section Division IV title and played Open Division state champion Bishop O’Dowd tough before falling 50-40 in a Northern California regional semifinal game. Green scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the NCS championship game.

MARIYA MOORE, Salesian, guard/forward, Jr. — Moore led the Pride to their second consecutive CIF Division IV state championship game, and set a record there for most free throws made (17) and attempted (20) in any California high school state championship game as part of an outstanding 35-point performance. Salesian fell by only two points, 62-60, to Serra-Gardena in that game. Moore averaged 18.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 4.0 steals a game this season.

NATALIE ROMEO, Carondelet, guard, Jr. — Romeo exploded for more than 30 points twice in the postseason, including a 34-point performance in an 89-69 victory over Archbishop Mitty-San Jose in a first-round Northern California Open Division game. She averaged 21.3 points per game this season along with 6.5 assists, 6.2 steals and 5.6 rebounds for the NCS Division II champions.

K.C. WATERS, Bishop O’Dowd, forward, Sr. — The Cal-bound Waters averaged 11 points, 13.7 rebounds and three blocks per game for the Open Division state champions. Against Windward in the state championship game, Waters scored 12 points and pulled down 20 rebounds, the most rebounds by an individual in a California girls state championship game since 1997.

Second team

ASHLEY ALLEN, Clayton Valley Charter, guard, Sr. — Allen, who scored 25 points in the North Coast Section Division II championship game against Carondelet, has a complete game that is hard to stop.

MARIE BERTHOLDT, Alameda, forward, Sr. — The Santa Clara-bound Bertholdt averaged 18.9 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.4 steals per game.

MIKAYLA COWLING, St. Mary’s, forward, Jr. — The Cal commit averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game.

RACHEL HOWARD, Berkeley, forward, Sr. — The University of San Francisco-bound Howard led a young Yellowjackets team to the CIF Division I state championship game.

SABRINA IONESCU, Miramonte, guard, Fr. — Ionescu led an impressive Miramonte team in scoring (13.8 points per game) and also averaged 4.0 steals and 3.9 assists per game.

Third team

BREANNA BROWN, Bishop O’Dowd, forward, Sr. — The Virginia Tech-bound Brown grabbed 9.4 rebounds per game and scored nine points a game for Open Division state champs, including a double-double in the state championship game (10 points, 14 rebounds).

SABRINA ENGELSTAD, Heritage, center, Sr. — The Saint Mary’s College signee averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks a game for the Bay Valley Athletic League champs.

LONDON ROBINSON, Oakland Tech, guard/forward, Sr. — The Oakland Athletic League Most Valuable Player averaged 13 points, eight rebounds a game.

LAUREN SEYRANIAN, Piedmont, guard, Jr. — Seyranian was another player who was very hard to stop, averaging 20.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

ASHA THOMAS, Bishop O’Dowd, guard, So. — Thomas, who averaged nine points and five assists this season, was a major factor in the Dragons’ championship run — she scored a game-high 21 points in the NCS Division III championship game, 16 points in the Open Division Northern California regional championship game and 10 points in the state championship game.

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O’Dowd’s Rabb selected to USA Developmental team

Bishop O’Dowd High sophomore Ivan Rabb has been selected to 2013-14 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team. The team is made up of 23 of the nation’s top under-16 players. The team members will train May 30-June 7 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and a 12-member team will be selected to travel to Maldonado, Uruguay, for the FIBA Americas under-16 championships, which are held June 11-15. That tournament serves as a qualifier to the 2014 FIBA under-17 World Championships.

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Final 2013 East Bay boys basketball poll

Here’s the final poll of the 2012-13 season. The All-East Bay teams will be published next week. The process of selecting them in ongoing this week, so if you want to throw a nomination of a player out there to be considered, feel free. I can’t guarantee anything, but they’ll be given a look.

Team Record Points Last week
1. Salesian (4) 30-4 60 1
2. Bishop O’Dowd 26-4 56 2
3. Deer Valley 26-6 52 4
4. Newark Memorial 23-8 48 6
5. De La Salle 27-5 44 3
6. San Leandro 27-7 40 8
7. College Park 27-6 36 13
8. Dublin 27-7 31 7
9. McClymonds 22-8 29 9
10. Campolindo 22-9 22 14
11. Freedom 20-10 18 11
12. El Cerrito 22-12 17 5
13. St. Joseph Notre Dame 24-12 13 NR
14. Heritage 20-10 10 12
15. Monte Vista 20-7 4 10

Also receiving votes: None.  Records are final. The East Bay Boys Basketball Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay.

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Reaction to CIF basketball brackets

Today was, by a mile, the craziest I’ve ever experienced in terms of the release of the NorCal brackets. Truth to told, this day is normally anti-climatic. We normally only type up the brackets and don’t even write a story, because everything usually goes pretty much according to plan. But we knew today was going to be different because of the Open Division.

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NorCal Open Division boys basketball predictions

The CIF will post brackets for the state basketball playoffs tomorrow at around 5 p.m. The most anticipated brackets are likely that of the inaugural Open Division. It’s hard to predict exactly how they will come out because there is no precedent. It’s the first year, so there are no trends, no insights into how the section commissioners will be thinking. Still, I’ll attempt to project who I think will be in the field. UPDATED: The CIF now expects to release the brackets by 5:30 p.m.

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NCS basketball brackets (all divisions now posted)

Good morning all and welcome to Selection Sunday in the North Coast Section. The brackets for the basketball playoffs should be getting released in the next couple of hours and I’ll be posting them here as they get released. You can of course also follow their release on the NCS web site. Any questions or comments, feel free to post them and I’ll aim to reply.

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Three Bay Area boys, plus one girl, make McDonald’s All-American Game

The Bay Area will have a record three boys participants in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game that takes place April 3 in Chicago.
Salesian High’s Jabari Bird, Archbishop Mitty’s Aaron Gordon and Deer Valley’s Marcus Lee were all selected to the West squad, it was announced Thursday. It’s the first time the Bay Area has had more than one boys selection in the game that dates back to 1978. There have only been six local players total in the previous 35 years.
The Bay Area also had one girls selection as Bishop O’Dowd forward Oderah Chidom, who has signed with Duke, was selected to play for the West squad.

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McDonald’s All-American announcement tomorrow

It’s an exciting day locally tomorrow when the participants for the McDonald’s All-American Game are announced. Three local boys basketball players are expected to be among those selected to the West team when its announced at 2 p.m. tomorrow on ESPNU. That’s Archbishop Mitty’s Aaron Gordon, Salesian’s Jabari Bird and Deer Valley’s Marcus Lee. How big of a deal is it for the Bay Area to have three players selected? Well, if it happens, those three will constitute exactly one-third of the players who have EVER been selected from the Bay.

The previous six (and I’m including Brandon Ashley in this, even though he left for Findlay Prep for his senior year) are:

Brandon Ashley, Findlay Prep (formerly Bishop O’Dowd), 2012
Leon Powe, Oakland Tech, 2003
Ray Young, St. Joseph Notre Dame, 1998
Darnell Robinson, Emery, 1993
Jason Kidd, St. Joseph Notre Dame, 1992
Calvin Byrd, St. Joseph Notre Dame, 1989