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March 3, 2010 > Cougars lone team standing in NCS

Cougars lone team standing in NCS

By Biff Jones
Photos By William Mancebo

Three teams from the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) - Newark Memorial, James Logan and Washington high schools - were selected to participate in this year's North Coast Section (NCS) Division I boys basketball tournament. First-round games were played on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with no.-seven seed Washington hosting no.-10 seed San Leandro High and no.-six seed Logan playing at home against no.-11 seed California High. Top-seeded Newark Cougars drew a first-round bye.

Washington-San Leandro game was a real nail biter as San Leandro took a 20-17 lead after quarter number one only to see the Huskies go up 35-33 at the half as Washington outscored the visitors, 18-13, in the second quarter. Second half was a tight, defensive battle with both teams scoring 14 points in the third and 13 points over the fourth quarter.

With the score tied 60-60 and time running down, Washington guard Marc Wik fed center Jack Veronin under the basket who then dropped in the winning basket with about 3.5 seconds remaining. San Leandro of the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) had one last chance to win, but its 3-point shot at the buzzer missed and the Huskies had a 62-60 victory. Leading Washington was Mikhael McKinney with 21 points, Veronin with 15 and Wik with eight points including two, 3-point baskets.

Logan and California played another close encounter as Cal took a 31-21 halftime lead and the two teams reversed the scoring in the second half to send the game into overtime, tied at 52-52. In the five-minute overtime, the Colts outscored California by two to win, 59-57. For Logan, Terrell Gates had 17 points, three assists and four rebounds; Clarence Kaye dropped 13 points and three steals; and Malcolm Lewis contributed eight points and nine boards.

In the quarterfinal games, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 26, (except for Newark Memorial), Washington traveled north to Concord to take on no.-two seed De La Salle High School while Logan went to Danville to play no.-three seed San Ramon Valley High School (SRV). Newark had to wait until Saturday, Feb. 27, to take on eight-seed Antioch High School in the Cougars' old gym as Newark was also hosting the NCS Wrestling Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Washington played De La Salle even in the first quarter but then the Huskies could not keep up with its opponent the rest of the way. Washington fell behind 31-25 at the half and the second seed pulled away with a 17-6 advantage over the third quarter. Final score was 66-47 and the Huskies ended its season at 19-10.

Logan gave SRV all it could handle but eventually fell to the higher seed, 59-56. Colts saw its season come to an end with an overall record of 16-14.

Newark Memorial finally took the court in NCS quarterfinal action when they hosted Antioch High School. Defenses were the story of the first half as both teams had trouble getting shots under the basket to fall. Cougars took an 11-9 lead after one quarter and led 21-16 at the half.

In the third quarter, the no.-one seed started to assert itself outscoring Antioch 17-6; and in the fourth quarter, the offenses took over with the hosts scoring 24 points to the visitor's 23.

Leading Newark were Kendall Andrews with 21 points while Casey Norris and Jisuan Randle each had 10 points.

Final score of 62-45 sends the Cougars to the semifinals of the NCS Tournament when they host fourth-seeded Castro Valley High School on Wednesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Winner of that game plays the winner of the De La Salle-San Ramon Valley semifinal game on Friday or Saturday, March 5-6, for the NCS DI Championship.

NCS Champ moves on to the Nor Cal Championships, March 8-13, against the winners of the five other Nor Cal Sections plus a few at-large teams in the six divisions. Highest seeds host first two rounds (quarter and semifinals) with the finals at ARCO Arena in Sacramento on Saturday, March 13.

Other NCS action
HAAL at-large representatives Hayward (no.-four seed) and Mt. Eden (no.-seven seed) high schools made it into the second round of the NCS DII tournament before being bounced from the competition.

After Hayward handled no.-13 Windsor High, 63-39, in its opening-round match on Tuesday, Feb. 23, they were downed by fifth-seeded Pinole Valley on its home court, 44-36. Mt. Eden eliminated 10-seed Casa Grande High, 45-38, at home before losing on the road to second-seeded Redwood High, 64-63.

In the NCS DIII bracket, John F. Kennedy High made it as the ninth seed and went to eighth-seeded Albany High and proceeded to be beat by 15, 73-58, and eliminated from the tourney.

As the 15 seed in the DV bracket, Fremont Christian High was quickly bounced from the competition with a 87-54 loss to two-seed San Francisco University High at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

And in the NCS DVI tourney, California School for the Deaf, as the bracket's fifth seed, traveled to fourth-seeded Point Arena High and were dropped in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 27, 68-43.

For results of the conclusion of the NCS tournament, as well as the Nor Cal Tournament pairings, log onto the TCV Sports Web site at www.tricityvoice.com/sports.

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