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January 4, 2011 > HAAL holiday hoops review

HAAL holiday hoops review

By Kevin Yin

With schools on winter break, the week of Monday, Dec. 27, to Sunday, Jan. 2, represented a second consecutive lull on the schedules of several Hayward Area schools, but there was still plenty of interesting action around the league, including a matchup between one of the best teams in the Bay Area and one of the best teams in the country

Although two of the HAAL's top teams -- Castro Valley's boys squad and Hayward's girls team -- found themselves enjoying a restive holiday, many HAAL teams went through a furious pace of final nonconference matches before league play jumps into gear in January.

The single most exciting match of the whole week belonged to Bishop O'Dowd's boys team. On Dec. 30, the Dragons faced off against one of the nation's most talented teams in Long Beach Poly. O'Dowd gave Poly all it could handle, with the score being tied at 35-35 going into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the Dragons ran out of gas at the end, falling by the final score of 48-42. O'Dowd's talented junior power forward Brandon Ashley led their gutsy effort with 17 points and six rebounds.

O'Dowd's upset bid overshadowed a big win that the Dragons had picked up the night before, beating St. Edward 57-54. Ashley was superb in that outing was well, logging 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.

The most hectic of all holiday schedules belonged to the girls squads participating in the West Coast Jamboree between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30. Bishop O'Dowd, Moreau, Tennyson, San Leandro and Arroyo represented the HAAL in a collection of individual tournaments that included teams from all over the state. O'Dowd was the busiest of all, playing four games in four nights.

On Dec. 27 O'Dowd beat San Diego, 53-44, with sophomore forward Kendall Waters leading the way with 15 points. On the next day, the Dragons were on the receiving end of a ghastly 72-34 beating at the hands of a powerful Long Beach Poly team. On Dec. 29, O'Dowd picked up a 49-44 win over Del Oro; Waters and fellow sophomore forward Oderah Chidom carried O'Dowd offensively, with 12 and 13 points respectively. The Dragons wrapped up the tournament with a 60-49 loss to St. Mary's. Bishop O'Dowd is currently 4-6 overall and will play Mt. Eden on Jan. 4th at home.

Tennyson's experience was not as positive, as the Lancers lost all three games in lopsided fashion to Dougherty Valley, Granada and Monte Vista high schools. Tennyson has now lost four straight and seven of their last eight games.

Moreau's girls handled Tamalpais 55-33 on Dec. 27, with senior forward Megan Scully continuing her strong season with a team high 14 points in what was the Mariners' third straight victory. Unfortunately, the streak would end there. Moreau lost the next night to Maria Carrillo, 42-35, and then could not handle the offensive onslaught of one of the best teams in the state, losing to Miramonte 75-55.

Arroyo also won its first match, beating Natomas 50-43. Junior point guard Luisa Delos Reyes was terrific, going for 20 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Arroyo was defeated in their second game by Chico, 47-38, but finished with a 45-41 win over fellow Bay Area school Washington. Junior Candice Taylor had 12 points and Delos Reyes chipped in ten against the Huskies.

Castro Valley dropped its first game, a 41-38 decision against Notre Dame, but rebounded to win the next two, first a 64-31 crushing of a poor Menlo-Atherton team, followed by 51-42 victory over North Salinas. Senior forwards Arianna Posey and Danica Appleby powered Castro Valley vs. Menlo-Atherton, with Posey going for 14 points and Appleby 12 points, while junior guard Michelle Miyamoto led Castro Valley over North Salinas with 16 points.

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