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NorCal playoff upsets accomplished by Dublin and Pinole Valley girls basketball

“Wonderful” and “amazing” were the words used by the Dublin and Pinole Valley girls basketball coaches, respectively, to describe their teams’ first-round upsets in the CIF NorCal playoffs Wednesday.

NorCals continue Saturday at 6 p.m. for many East Bay girls basketball teams, including the Gaels and the Spartans after becoming what Pinole Valley senior Jessica Rogers called a “Cinderella.”

No. 11-seeded Dublin topped No. 6 Palo Alto 55-49 in Division I and No. 13 Pinole Valley vaulted past No. 4 Rio Linda 52-38 in Division III.

“It was the best game we played all year,” Pinole Valley coach BJ Gaither said. “It was amazing.”

The wins set up second-round games for the Gaels, who visit No. 3 Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills, and the Spartans, who travel to No. 5 Shasta-Redding.

“It was just a wonderful experience,” Dublin coach Hans De Lannoy said. “We made some adjustments that helped us and got us back in the ballgame.”

The Gaels trailed 31-18 at halftime but outscored Palo Alto 27-8 in the third quarter at Gunn High.

“We were doing a lot better defensively (and) we started shooting the ball really well,” De Lannoy said. “It was a team effort — everybody scored in that stretch.”

Senior Alanna Yee hit two of her four 3-pointers in the period en route to a game-high 22 points. Sophomore Lesila Finau and junior Tiaja Andrews added 12 points apiece as the Gaels (19-10) stayed alive a year after reaching the NorCal Finals in Division II.

Senior Arriel Cobb had 15 points and 11 rebounds in Pinole Valley’s victory, which hinged on the Spartans defending the dribble-drive offense used by Rio Linda.

“When it first came out, I ran it,” said Gaither, a longtime area coach, “and I saw how stagnant and how hard it is to run it when you take certain things away. So we took the shooters away, face-guarded them and forced the point guard to beat us.”

It helped that the Spartans committed just four turnovers, he added.

“We just told the girls, ‘Don’t be afraid,'” Gaither said. “‘You’ve played great teams and you’ve had success against them. You’ve just got to string it together.'”

Elsewhere, No. 11 Newark Memorial’s upset attempt fell just short in a 57-56 loss at No. 6 Los Gatos in Division II and No. 11 Piedmont was edged 57-55 in overtime by No. 6 West Campus-Sacramento in Division IV.

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Friday’s CIF NorCal Open Division basketball scores

Here are tonight’s CIF Open Division first-round games. Check back here for scoring updates:

BOYS OPEN DIVISION
No. 1 De La Salle 51, No. 8 Salesian 45, OT, final
No. 4 Sacramento 86, No. 5 Folsom 77, OT, final
No. 6 Sheldon-Sacramento 88, No. 3 Moreau Catholic 85, final
No. 2 Modesto Christian 54, No. 7 St. Francis-Mountain View 51, final
Tuesday’s semifinals
No. 4 Sacramento at No. 1 De La Salle, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Sheldon-Sacramento vs. No. 2 Modesto Christian, at Modesto Junior College, 7 p.m.

GIRLS OPEN DIVISION
No. 1 St. Mary’s-Stockton 90, No. 8 Carondelet 65, final
No. 4 Pinewood 50, No. 5 Bishop O’Dowd 45, final
No. 6 Salesian 70, No. 3 Archbishop Mitty 66, final
No. 2 Miramonte 109, No. 7 Brookside Christian-Stockton 41, final
Tuesday’s semifinals
No. 4 Pinewood at No. 1 St. Mary’s-Stockton, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Salesian at. No. 2 Miramonte, 7 p.m.

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Wednesday’s NorCal basketball scores

Here’s tonight’s first-round games
Check back as we’ll post final scores as we get them

Wednesday’s first round CIF NorCal basketball
BOYS

Division I
No. 9 Castro Valley 56, No. 8 Piedmont Hills 54
No. 6 Oakland Tech 68, No. 11 Dougherty Valley 49
No. 7 Berkeley 67, No. 10 Oak Grove 49
Division II
No. 9 Leland 64, No. 8 Mt. Eden 56
No. 6 Whitney 72, No. 11 Montgomery 55
No. 10 Vanden 78,  No. 7 Chico 68
Division III
No. 8 Bishop O’Dowd 77, No. 9 Vista del Lago 41
No. 6 Placer 81, No. 11 Drake 75
No. 7 Albany  54, No. 10 Shasta 48
Division IV
No. 1 Half Moon Bay 60, No. 16 Lick-Wilmerding 32
No. 9 Liberty Ranch 76,  No. 8 Gridley 65
No. 5 St. Patrick-St. Vincent 86, No. 12 Burton 67
No. 4 West Campus-Sacramento 59, No. 13 Corning 36
No. 3 Palma 77, No. 14 Summerville 47
No. 6 Mission-San Francisco 52, No. 11 Pacific Grove 50
No. 7 Santa Cruz 78, No. 10 Arcata 62
No. 2 Central Catholic-Modesto 86, No. 15 Kennedy-Richmond 61
Division V
No. 8 Woodside Priory 77, No. 9 Williams 74
No. 5 Urban-San Francisco 62, No. 12 Eastside College Prep 30
Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento 68, No. 11 Colusa 64
No. 7 Stuart Hall-San Francisco 96, No. 10 Elliot Christian-Lodi 80
Division VI
No. 1 Emery 63, No. 8 Sacramento Waldorf 55
No. 4 Stockton Christian 58, No. 5 Archbishop Hanna 54
No. 6 Chester 58,  No. 3 Anderson Valley 54
No. 7 St. Bernard’s 53,  No. 2 Liberty Christian 46
GIRLS
Division I
No. 8 Lincoln-S.F. 80, No. 9 Oakland 65
No. 5 Heritage 60, No. 12 North Salinas 41
No. 4 Menlo-Atherton 56, No. 13 Washington-S.F. 44
No. 3 Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills 66, No. 14 McClymonds 33
No. 11 Dublin 55, No. 6 Palo Alto 49
No. 7 Berkeley 58, No. 10 Folsom 42
Division II
No. 9 St. Ignatius 50, No. 8 Montgomery 35
No. 12 Elk Grove 60, No. 5 Acalanes 46
No. 6 Los Gatos 57, No. 11 Newark Memorial 56
No. 7 Sacramento 76, No. 10 Alameda 46
Division III
No. 8 Christian Brothers-Sacramento 63, No. 9 San Marin 43
No. 5 Shasta-Redding 68, No. 12 River Valley-Yuba City 37
No. 13 Pinole Valley 52, No. 4 Rio Linda 38
No. 6 Tamalpais 58, No. 11 South San Francisco 57
No. 10 Inderkum-Sacramento 47, No. 7 Saratoga 39
Division IV
No. 8 Scotts Valle 70, No. 9 Venture Academy-Stockton 57
No. 12 Central Valley-Shasta Lake 65, No. 5 Arcata 49
No. 6 West Campus-Sacramento 57, No. 11 Piedmont 55
No. 7 University Prep-Redding 72, No. 10 Placer-Auburn 70, 3 OT
Division V
No. 8 Argonaut-Jackson 34, No. 9 University-S.F. 33
No. 5 Capital Christian-Sacramento 49, No. 12 Durham 37
No. 6 Cloverdale 52, No. 11 Mariposa County 33
No. 7 Mt. Shasta 51, No. 10 Ripon Christian 32
Division VI
No. 1 St. Bernard’s-Eureka 77, No. 8 American Christian Academy-Anderson 34
No. 4 Sacramento Waldorf-Fair Oaks 76, No. 5 Emery 41
No. 3 Loyalton 60, No. 6 California School for the Deaf 30
No. 7 Turlock Christian 62, No. 2 Contra Costa Christian 55

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Amador Valley’s Nate Esparza breaks NCS track and field record

Amador Valley High’s Nate Esparza, a senior, shattered a 35-year-old North Coast Section record to win the boys shot put at the Dan Gabor Sprint & Distance Festival on March 5. His mark of 65 feet, 3 1/2 inches was more than a foot better than the previous record (63-10 1/2), set by Santa Rosa’s Dennis DeSoto in 1981.

Esparza’s mark ranks second in the state this season according to PrepCalTrack.com.

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Saturday’s NCS, Oakland Section basketball championship updates

Check here for updates of today’s NCS and Oakland Section title games.

NCS boys basketball
DIVISION 1
Friday’s championship
No. 1 De La Salle 47, No. 6 Monte Vista 29
DIVISION 2
Saturday’s championship
No. 3 El Cerrito 70, No. 5 Newark Memorial 59, final
DIVISION 3
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Moreau Catholic 98, No. 3 Miramonte 67, final
DIVISION 4
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Salesian 64, No. 2 St. Patrick-St. Vincent 53, final
DIVISION 5
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 St. Joseph Notre Dame 65, No. 3 University 61, final
DIVISION 6
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Emery 59, No. 2 Anderson Valley 46, final
Oakland Section boys basketball
Saturday’s championship
McClymonds 52, Oakland Tech 51, final

NCS girls basketball
DIVISION 1
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Castro Valley 61, No. 3 Heritage 36, final
DIVISION 2
Friday’s championship
No. 1 Carondelet 68, No. 2 Acalanes 42
DIVISION 3
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Miramonte 82, No. 2 Bishop O’Dowd 67, final
DIVISION 4
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Salesian 64, No. 2 Cardinal Newman 47, final
DIVISION 5
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 St. Joseph Notre Dame 52,  No. 3 Urban-S.F. 28, final
DIVISION 6
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 St. Bernard’s-Eureka 65, No. 3 Contra Costa Christian 25, final
Oakland Section girls basketball
Saturday’s championship
Oakland High 76, McClymonds 37, final

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Rick Sira steps down as Amador Valley football coach

Rick Sira confirmed that he has stepped down as Amador Valley High’s football coach after 30 seasons.
“I had been thinking about it for a while,” said Sira, 62. “After I retired as (an Amador Valley) vice principal (in 2014), it was a year-by-year thing. After the season, I thought about it and I thought I would step down.”
In the 2015 season, Sira was the longest-tenured East Bay high school varsity football head coach with one school. In addition to his years at Amador Valley. He was also the head coach at Irvington from 1982-1985 and an assistant at John F. Kennedy-Fremont, under his high school coach and mentor Pete Michaletos, from 1974-1981.
Sira, who said he turned in his letter of resignation on Feb. 22, mentioned a couple main reasons for his decision.
“I was an off-campus coach for the first time in my career, and it was really different,” he said. “I just didn’t have that comfort level with that.”
He cited the lack of “interaction with the kids throughout the day. See them at lunchtime, see them throughout the day, being aware of how things are going for them.”
“The other thing, I was hoping that there would be a PE opening at Amador Valley. Perhaps this was an opportunity to bring someone that could be there 20 or 30 years.”
Sira’s teams won outright East Bay Athletic League titles in 1996, 1997 and 2004, and shared titles in 1994 and 1990. His teams reached North Coast Section playoff championship games in 1996, 1997 and 2004.
Sira hopes to still be connected with the Amador Valley team.
“I would like to stay involved in some degree with the team, whether that’s coaching or breaking down film … passing equipment out, whatever,” he said.
Sira said “the principals and the superintendents that allowed me to coach and be a vice principal have been spectacular,” and mentioned the principal (Cyril Bonanno) and superintendent (Bill James) in his first season in 1986. Sira said there were “umpteen” parents and staff members “a wide array of people that have been so supportive of me and my program.”
He also thanked longtime assistant coaches Keith Roberts, Rich Hanson, Steve Riddle and Bob Riddle.
“I was extremely fortunate to have support from parents and coaches and community members,” Sira said.

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Wednesday’s NCS basketball semifinal scores

Here are tonight’s semifinals. Please check back for updates on final scores and sites, dates and times for this weekend’s championship games.

BOYS BASKETBALL
DIVISION 1
No. 1 De La Salle 67, No. 13 Castro Valley 58
No. 6 Monte Vista 65, No. 7 Berkeley 61
Friday’s championship
No. 1 De La Salle vs. No. 6 Monte Vista, at Saint Mary’s College, 8 p.m.
DIVISION 2
No. 5 Newark Memorial 64, No. 8 Montgomery 46
No. 3 El Cerrito 61, No. 2 Mt. Eden 51
Saturday’s championship
No. 5 Newark Memorial vs. No. 3 El Cerrito, at Saint Mary’s College, 8 p.m.
DIVISION 3
No. 1 Moreau Catholic 90, No. 5 Bishop O’Dowd 59
No. 3 Miramonte 67, No. 2 Albany 63, OT
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Moreau Catholic vs. No. 3 Miramonte, at Saint Mary’s College, 4 p.m.
DIVISION 4
No. 1 Salesian 51, No. 4 Arcata 30
No. 2 St. Patrick-St. Vincent 85, No. 14 Kennedy-Richmond 66
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Salesian vs. No. 2 St. Patrick-St. Vincent, at Albany HS, 7 p.m.
DIVISION 5
No. 1 St. Joseph Notre Dame 63, No. 4 Stuart Hall-S.F. 45
No. 3 University 63, No. 2 Urban-S.F. 54
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 St. Joseph Notre Dame vs. No. 3 University, at Dublin HS, 7 p.m.
DIVISION 6
No. 1 Emery 61, No. 4 St. Bernard’s-Eureka 46
No. 2 Anderson Valley 63, No. 3 Archbishop Hanna-Sonoma 61
NCS championship
No. 2 Anderson Valley at No. 4 St. Bernard’s-Eureka, date, time TBA

GIRLS BASKETBALL
DIVISION 1

No. 1 Castro Valley 72, No. 4 Dublin 59
No. 3 Heritage 45, No. 2 Berkeley 43
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Castro Valley vs. No. 3 Heritage, at Saint Mary’s College, 6 p.m.
DIVISION 2
No. 1 Carondelet 71, No. 4 Montgomery 34
No. 2 Acalanes 52, No. 6 Alameda 45
Friday’s championship
No. 1  Carondelet vs. No. 2 Acalanes,  at Saint Mary’s College, 6 p.m.
DIVISION 3
No. 1 Miramonte 87, No. 4 Tamalpais-Mill Valley 32
No. 2 Bishop O’Dowd 64, No. 3 Campolindo 53
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Miramonte vs. No. 2 Bishop O’Dowd, at Saint Mary’s College, 2:30 p.m.
DIVISION 4
No. 1 Salesian 64, No. 4 Arcata 47
No. 2 Cardinal Newman 59, No. 3 Saint Mary’s 42
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 Salesian vs. No. 2 Cardinal Newman, at Albany HS, 5 p.m.
DIVISION 5
No. 1 St. Joseph Notre Dame 46, No. 4 University-S.F 35
No. 3 Urban-S.F. 57, No. 2 Cloverdale 51
Saturday’s championship
No. 1 St. Joseph Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Urban-S.F., at Dublin HS, 5 p.m.
DIVISION 6
No. 1 St. Bernard’s-Eureka 62, No. 4 California School for the Deaf 41
No. 3 Contra Costa Christian 59, No. 2 Emery 38
Saturday’s championship
No. 3 Contra Costa Christian at No. 1 St. Bernard’s-Eureka, 7 p.m.