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Baseball: DeMers, Hooper named MaxPreps preseason All-Americans

College Park pitcher Joe DeMers.

College Park pitcher Joe DeMers.

A pair of local pitchers are earning recognition as two of the best high school baseball players in the country. College Park’s Joe DeMers and De La Salle’s Justin Hooper were recently named to the 30-player preseason All-America list by MaxPreps.com.

DeMers signed with Washington and Hooper with UCLA during the early signing period in November, but both are potential early round MLB draft picks.

Here’s what MaxPreps has to say about DeMers, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior who has been a longtime USA Baseball star: College Park could be one of the top teams in the country this year thanks largely to the all-around play of DeMers, who has earned MaxPreps Underclass All-American honors three years running. He posted a 12-2 record last year with 94 strikeouts and a 0.65 ERA in 86 innings pitched. He also batted .373 with 32 RBIs. He has committed to Washington.

De La Salle pitcher Justin Hooper

De La Salle pitcher Justin Hooper

And here is MaxPreps’ assessment of Hooper, who is 6-foot-7, 230 pounds and the younger brother of Stanford tight end Austin Hooper: Considered the nation’s top lefthanded pitcher, Hooper posted a 6-3 record with a 2.04 ERA and struck out 58 batters in 44.2 innings pitched for the Spartans.

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The details behind a record night by Bishop O’Dowd’s Paris Austin

A special set of circumstances led to a special night for Bishop O’Dowd High guard Paris Austin on Wednesday.

The Boise State-bound senior set school records with 43 points and 12 3-pointers in a 108-77 win over Piedmont.

Paris Austin scored 43 points and made 12 3-pointers against Piedmont.

Paris Austin scored 43 points and made 12 3-pointers against Piedmont.

Austin’s big night came as the Dragons moved 6-foot-11 forward Ivan Rabb to point guard for the game and were forced to play with a smaller rotation than normal after a recent grueling trip back East.

“He was very confident and all the shots he took were good ones,” O’Dowd coach Lou Richie said.

Austin has already been congratulated for his feat by the previous school record holder, Jasen Powell. Now a trainer with the Los Angeles Clippers, Powell scored 41 points in three quarters for the Dragons in 1990. Rabb scored 40 in a game two years ago as a sophomore.

“Of all the records in the Bay Area, to have the scoring record at Bishop O’Dowd is pretty special,” Richie said. “Ivan did a great job of finding his best friend and it just kind of worked out. There a was a lot of attention on Ivan and Ivan is a great facilitator.”

Austin’s 24 attempts from beyond the arc were also a school record. He played 29 minutes.

The Dragons, fresh off a third-place finish at the prestigious Pro Bass Tournament in Missouri and a Martin Luther King Day victory over national No. 3 Wheeler-Georgia in Massachusetts, only suited up eight players against Piedmont. Two of the players that sat were starters.

“There were some injuries and some other things,” Richie said. “It just felt like last night was the right time to take care of them.”

Richie also thought it was a good time to give Rabb, one of the top recruits in the country, a break from battling inside. The senior responded with 14 assists and just three turnovers.

Rabb’s assists may also be a school single-game record. Richie can’t remember anyone ever having more in the 14 years he has been with the program.

As a team, O’Dowd hit 18 3-pointers and was one point away from tying the school record for most points in a game.

“The kids had fun and that’s the most important thing,” Richie said. “We’re trying to find a game within the game and still try to be respectful to our opponent.”

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McDonald’s All-American nominees announced

Eleven East Bay basketball players have been nominated for the McDonald’s All-American games and 10 of them are from Bishop O’Dowd. Asha Thomas and Aisia Robertson, both four-year varsity players for the O’Dowd girls, were nominated for the girls game along with MaAne’ Mosley of St. Mary’s. Thomas and Mosley will be teammates at Cal next year, and Robertson is headed to Kansas.

On the boys side, all eight of the seniors on the O’Dowd roster made the nomination list. The group is headed by Ivan Rabb, a near lock to be one of 24 players eventually selected for the April 1 game at Chicago’s United Center. Rabb has yet to make his college commitment. Also on the nominee list are Paris Austin, Arinze Chidom, Franklin Longrus, Jeevin Sandhu, Isaiah Thomas, Alex Zhou and Austin Walker.