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January 11, 2011 > HAAL hoops tips off conference battles

HAAL hoops tips off conference battles

By Kevin Yin and Mihir Bhagat

The beginning of 2011 coincides with a shift in focus for basketball teams of the Hayward Area Athletic League, as squads spent the week of Monday, Jan. 3, to Saturday, Jan. 8, moving into the heart of league play.

Perhaps the most notable match-up of conference foes during the week turned out to be a one-sided affair, as Bishop O'Dowd mauled Moreau, 78-54, on Jan. 5. The Dragons talented forward duo of juniors Brandon Ashley and Richard Longrus led O'Dowd's effort, with Longrus finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Ashley had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Moreau's senior shooting guard Andy Mitchell led all scores with 22 points.

Moreau then dropped a tough game against San Leandro, 64-62, despite 23 points from senior guard Kacey Holt. Hamed Ali led San Leandro with 17 points. After starting 8-2, Moreau has lost three straight games, and is 0-4 in games against HAAL teams. San Leandro followed the win over Moreau with a 78-71 loss to Hayward. Ali again led the Pirates with 21 points.

Castro Valley continued its tremendous season by posting three solid wins. On Jan. 5, Castro Valley crushed Tennyson, 82-38, behind huge games from seniors Roderick Bobbitt and Juan Anderson, who were deadly from long range. Anderson scored 27 points, including five 3-pointers, while Bobbitt scored 21 points with three 3-pointers. The Trojans then beat San Lorenzo, 72-55, with another big effort from Anderson, who scored 18 points. Castro Valley topped off the week with a non-league victory over a strong Jesuit squad, 80-68. Again, the partnership of Bobbitt and Anderson was decisive, with both players scoring 20 points.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tennyson and San Lorenzo each continued their unfortunate seasons, as neither team was able to pick up a win last week. Both teams paired their loss to Castro Valley with another defeat. Tennyson dropped a 58-43 match against Mt. Eden on Friday, Jan. 7. Nosmo Nwachukwu led a balanced offensive attack for Mt. Eden with 12 points, while no Tennyson player managed to get into double figures. San Lorenzo, meanwhile, lost to Hayward, 77-43.

Bishop O' Dowd High (7-6) kicked the week off and obliterated Mt. Eden High with a 70-22 victory on Tuesday, Dec. 4. On the next day, they went on to beat Moreau Catholic High (8-6), winning 69-43 in a match-up between two of the top teams in the league. Later, the school's last game of the week was another dominating win; this time 70-37 over Arroyo High (9-5). All in all, a great week as the team put themselves in an excellent position moving forward.

At the same time, Hayward High (9-3) kept rolling as they topped San Lorenzo High (1-7) with a final score of 48-29 primarily because Briyana Clark registered a solid seven-point, eight-rebound, two-steal performance. Clark, however, only shot 19 percent from the floor.

The same day, Arroyo made up for it by closing out a tightly contested match-up against Mt. Eden, winning 48-40. Mt. Eden, who's been fairly inconsistent this season, fortunately made up for the loss by beating Tennyson High (4-10) with a final score of 43-31. Tennyson, meanwhile, have struggled all year long and continued to do so as they lost 66-23 to Castro Valley (7-6) on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Arguably the most interesting game was on Thursday, Jan. 6, as Moreau Catholic edged out San Leandro 53-45 despite the Pirates Marshantae Ferris scoring 22 points.

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