Two victories for Pilots The St. Joseph Notre Dame girls basketball team overwhelmed Athenian 56-27 on Jan. 3, then edged University-S.F. 71-66 on Jan. 5. The Pilots took a 17-7 first-quarter lead and 35-15 halftime lead over Athenian. Ayessa Kearns led a balanced Pilots scoring effort with 11 points. The Pilots were tied at 36 at halftime with University, but used a 20-13 scoring advantage in the third quarter to take control. Kearns and Desiree Harris both scored 19 points in the victory for the Pilots, and teammate Katie O'Loughlin had 14 points.
Bishop O'Dowd holds off San Lorenzo The Bishop O'Dowd High boys basketball team took a 57-37 lead at the end of the third quarter, then held off San Lorenzo to win 70-64 in the West Alameda County Conference opener for both teams on Jan. 4. Ivan Rabb scored a game-high 24 points, one of four Dragons in double figures. Teammates Michael Perri, Paris Austin and Juwan Anderson scored 12, 12 and 10 points respectively.
'Jackets score big wins The Berkeley High School boys basketball team produced a pair of big victories last week to even its record at 6-6 entering this week. On Jan. 2, the Yellowjackets defeated Freedom 50-44 with a 17-9 run in the fourth quarter. Berkeley's Henry Cornelious had seven of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. Teammates Adrian Rico and Justyce Key scored 12 and 11 points respectively. Key had a pair of key free throws with less than five seconds remaining. On Jan. 4, the Yellowjackets again had an outstanding fourth quarter, outscoring San Leandro 21-11 to win its West Alameda County Conference opener 51-46. Cornelious scored a game-high 21 points, and Rico added 10 points.
On deck Skyline at Castlemont, girls basketball, Jan. 11, 5 p.m. -- Four Oakland Athletic League teams had overall winning records entering this week, and two of them were the Titans and the Knights. Berkeley at Alameda, boys soccer, Jan. 11, 6 p.m. -- This could be a key game in the tightly-bunched West Alameda County Conference-Foothill Division. St. Mary's-Berkeley at Bishop O'Dowd, girls basketball, Jan. 12, 4 p.m. -- This is a non-league battle between two nationally recognized programs.
Stars of the week Ayessa Kearns, St. Joseph Notre Dame girls basketball -- The freshman paced the Pilots with 11 points in a 56-27 win over Athenian on Jan. 3, then poured in 19 points in a 71-66 win over University-S.F. on Jan. 5. Sam Kunz, Alameda boys basketball -- Kunz scored a game-high 20 points in the Hornets' 75-51 nonleague win over Rancho Cotate on Jan. 5. Henry Cornelious, Berkeley boys basketball -- The 6-foot-5 forward/center scored seven of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter of the Yellowjackets' 50-44 victory over Freedom on Jan. 2. He also had a game-high 21 points in Berkeley's 51-46 win over San Leandro on Jan. 4. Ivan Rabb, Bishop O'Dowd boys basketball -- Rabb produced a game-high 24 points in the Dragons' 70-64 victory over San Lorenzo on Jan. 4. Lauren Seyranian, Piedmont girls basketball -- Seyranian scored a game-high 28 points in the Highlanders' 62-54 win over Alameda on Jan. 4. Leo Smith, Oakland Tech boys basketball -- Smith had 15 points in a 61-59 loss to Liberty on Jan. 3, then produced 20 points in a 57-52 victory over St. Joseph Notre Dame on Jan. 4.