Three Oakland Basketball Teams Make NorCal Championships
Three Oakland Athletic League basketball teams have advanced through the California Interscholastic Federation section and regional tournaments, and will play for a NorCal title on Tuesday.
Oakland Tech and Oakland High will face off for the boys Division 3 championships Tuesday, which means at least one Oakland high school is guaranteed a trip to the state championship game this Friday in Sacramento. The Oakland Tech girls travel to Stockton to face St. Mary’s for the girls Division 1 NorCal crown this Tuesday; the winner will also advance to the state finals on Friday.
Winner of Oakland Tech vs Oakland High Boys Basketball Game Tuesday Will Head to State Championships Friday in Sacramento
The D3 boys game, a rematch of the Oakland Section finals game which Tech won 53-50 two weeks ago, will be played at Laney College to accommodate what is anticipated to be a large crowd.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two schools this year, and all three previous games came down to the final possession. Tech won all three games after defeating Oakland High in the section finals last season.
Neither school has ever won a state championship in boys basketball, though Tech won NorCal titles in 2002 and 2003.
Tuesday’s game at Laney College will see the #3 seed Tech Bulldogs “host” the #9 seed O-High Wildcats in an all-OAL NorCal title game.
The Bulldogs, who won the OAL outright after sharing that crown with the Wildcats last year, beat #14 Urban of San Francisco, #6 Lincoln of San Francisco, and #7 Justin-Siena of Napa.
No one outside of Oakland thought Oakland High’s Wildcats had a chance of being here. After finishing second to Tech in the section tournament, O-High traveled up to Shingle Springs and upset #8 seed Ponderosa. When #16 Carlmont shockingly knocked off #1 seed Las Lomas, O-High got to host a home game in the quarterfinals, and easily defeated Carlmont 76-51. The Wildcats then went to Sunnyvale and handled #4 King’s Valley to set up this epic all-Oakland NorCal title game, which will be a fourth meeting between these two evenly-matched squads full of players who have basically grown up competing against one another.
On January 20 in North Oakland, Tech defeated O-High in overtime, 81-79. The Bulldogs then spoiled senior night for the Wildcats by eeking out a 61-59 road win. The section finals game, held in the Fremont High gymnasium, also came down to the final possession, but the Bulldogs took the trophy with a 53-50 victory.
With the game being moved to Laney, Tech’s hard-earned home court advantage will be negated, but the Oakland community ends up being the real winner, as more people will be able to attend.
Oakland Tech Girls Head to Regional Finals
The Tech girls are the reigning state champions, having won the Division 3 crown last year. After winning the state Division 4 crown in 2019, they won the Division 2 NorCal championship in 2020, but the state title game was canceled due to the pandemic the next day. All of the seniors on this year’s team were freshmen on that 2020 team that was denied the opportunity to play for a state title. These seniors haven’t lost a playoff game in their high school careers, and are looking for the school’s fourth NorCal crown in a row.
Having made the move up from Division 3 to Division 1 this year, the Tech girls, who earned a #2 seed in the Division 1 regional tournament, have to leave Oakland for the first time this postseason as they face the #1 seeded Rams. Last week, St. Mary’s knocked off Bishop O’Dowd in the girls D1 NorCal quarterfinals.
The Lady Bulldogs previously defeated #15 McClatchy of Sacramento, #10 Pinewood of Los Altos, and #3 San Ramon Valley of Danville. They have a 16 point average margin of victory in those games, but hit the road Tuesday to face a St. Mary’s team that has already beaten Tech twice this season. St. Mary’s won the Tri-City Athletic League, and finished second in the Sac-Joaquin section tournament.
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The Oakland Tech versus Oakland High boys game will be Tuesday, March 7, at 7:00 pm at Laney College. The Oakland Tech versus St. Mary’s girls game will also be on Tuesday, March 7 at, 7:00 pm at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton. Tickets for both games are available from GoFan, and are likely to sell out quickly.