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Carondelet’s Hannah Huffman picks Notre Dame

Even before the Notre Dame women’s basketball team made its surprising run to the NCAA tournament championship game, Carondelet High standout Hannah Huffman knew she wanted to play for the Fighting Irish.
On Monday night, as Notre Dame was preparing to play Texas A&M for the national title, the standout junior guard gave her oral commitment to Fighting Irish coach Muffet McGraw.
“I’ve always been a fan,” Huffman said of the school. “My dad went there and as a kid I was always watching the football team and paying close attention to their athletic programs. After I got the (scholarship) offer I always kind of knew in my gut that’s where I wanted to go. Academically, socially and athletically it fit me best.”
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Berkeley girls finish season in national top 10

Berkeley High’s girls basketball team finished the season highly ranked in several national polls after falling to No. 1 Mater Dei-Santa Ana 59-47 in Saturday’s Division I state title game. The Yellowjackets are No. 6 in the MaxPreps.com Freeman computer rankings and No. 8 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25. Berkeley is No. 34 in the ESPN Rise Powerade Fab 50 poll. Berkeley’s ranking in the XCellent 25 and Fab 50 rankings are the exact same as they were last week before the state title game, so they weren’t punished or rewarded for playing Mater Dei closely. The Monarchs earned the mythical national title for the second straight year with the win over Berkeley.

Carondelet is No. 19 in the Freeman rankings, but didn’t crack either human poll.

Look for our All-East Bay girls basketball selections this Saturday in the paper and here on the blog. The boys team will run on Sunday.

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Hoops4Girls All-Star game

The high school basketball season is officially over, but if you’re going through withdrawls already, head over to Las Positas College in Livermore this Friday, April 1, at 6 p.m. for the Hoops4Girls All-Star game. There are some pretty impressive names set to compete on both teams. Dougherty Valley’s Doug Vanderhorst will coach the White team and Carondelet’s Margaret Gartner is in charge of the Red team. Here are the rosters:
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Berkeley girls climbing in national rankings

I figured I’d piggyback on Jimmy’s post about the East Bay’s top boys teams earning national rankings and give an update on the girls. The Berkeley High girls first jumped into the ESPN Rise Fab 50 poll a few weeks ago and have been climbing steadily since then. This week they are No. 43.

What I’ve thought was interesting, and a bit strange, all year is how the ESPN Rise Fab 50 poll and the Cal-Hi Sports top 20 poll (also owned by ESPN Rise) don’t seem to match up at all, except at the very top. For example, Berkeley is ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports behind just Mater Dei-Santa Ana, which is also the national No. 1 team in the national Fab 50 poll. But there are three other California teams – No. 5 Brea Olinda, No. 8 St. Mary’s-Stockton and No. 13 Long Beach Poly – ranked way ahead of Berkeley in the national poll, but behind the Yellowjackets in the state poll. As Jimmy pointed out, the rankings do match up on the boys side.

Here are the state rankings for East Bay teams: No. 2 Berkeley, No. 7 Carondelet, No. 8 St. Mary’s-Berkeley, No. 15 Dougherty Valley.

So my question is, if Berkeley or Carondelet beats Mater Dei for the Division I state title next weekend (or if MD loses in the SoCal regional final this weekend), how far can Berkeley or Carondelet rise in the national poll and how far would Mater Dei drop. Side note: Mater Dei’s standout junior point guard, Jordan Adams, injured her shoulder last week and may be out for the remainder of the season, according to the OC Register.

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East Bay girls basketball poll — 2/14

Team Record Points Last week
1. Berkeley (6) 24-1 90 1
2. Carondelet 21-3 84 2
3. St. Mary’s 22-4 78 3
4. Dougherty Valley 22-2 72 4
5. Bishop O’Dowd 17-7 66 5
6. Campolindo 20-5 60 6
7. Deer Valley 15-7 50 7
8. Mission San Jose 23-1 48 8
9. Miramonte 19-5 45 9
10. Moreau Catholic 17-7 36 11
11. Clayton Valley 23-2 31 12
12. St. Joseph Notre Dame 18-3 23 10
13. James Logan 19-5 19 14
14. Monte Vista 16-7 11 NR
15. Salesian 22-4 6 13

Also receiving votes: Castlemont (15-7, 1 vote). The East Bay Prep Girls Basketball Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group-East Bay. Records are through Saturday.

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Pittsburg grad earning national attention

I was sent a link to this Washington Post story on Easter Faafiti, a partially-deaf basketball player who graduated from Pittsburg High, and thought it was worth passing along. Easter is now at Gallaudet University, a Division III school in Washington for deaf and partially-deaf students, where she is leading the resurgent women’s basketball team. It’s a good read.

She was also featured in last week’s Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” section.

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East Bay girls basketball poll — 2/7

Team Record Points Last week
1. Berkeley (6) 22-1 90 1
2. Carondelet 19-3 84 2
3. St. Mary’s 19-4 78 3
4. Dougherty Valley 20-2 72 4
5. Bishop O’Dowd 15-7 66 5
6. Campolindo 18-5 59 6
7. Deer Valley 13-6 50 8
8. Mission San Jose 22-1 49 9
9. Miramonte 19-4 46 7
10. St. Joseph Notre Dame 17-2 36 10
11. Moreau Catholic 16-6 29 11
12. Clayton Valley 21-2 22 12
13. Salesian 20-2 21 13
14. James Logan 17-5 12 14
15. Acalanes 14-7 2 NR

Also receiving votes: Hercules (14-8, 1 point), Heritage (15-7, 1), Monte Vista (14-7, 1), Oakland Tech (11-7, 1). The East Bay Prep Girls Basketball Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group-East Bay. Records are through Saturday.