The host Berkeley High boys soccer team continued to affirm its position as one of the top teams in the East Bay with a 3-2 West Alameda County Conference win over the Hayward Farmers on Jan. 9.
It was the eighth straight win for Berkeley, which got two goals from Nigus Solomon and one from Calvin Wright.
Berkeley, which improved to 10-1-3 overall and 6-0-1 in WACC action with the victory, had leads of 2-0 and 3-1. But the Farmers (9-3-1, 4-2-1) didn't go away. Esteban Mares scored in the 57th minute to cut Berkeley's lead to 2-1, and Luigi Castillo's header in the 70th minute made it a one-goal game again.
Richmond 4, St. Mary's 0: The Oilers had two things on its agenda on Jan. 10 -- to get payback against the Panthers and to take control of the Tri-County Athletic League's Rock Division.
Both missions were accomplished as Richmond topped St. Mary's, exacting revenge for a 1-1 draw last month.
Erik Montes, last season's East Bay Player of the Year, showed why he was dubbed with that honor. His hat trick stole the show for Richmond, which improved to 6-2-5 overall and 4-0-2 in league play.
Jorge Alvarez's perfect cross set up the first goal in the 31st minute, while Juan Rivera's through ball was right on the mark for the 69th-minute goal. Cesar Cardenas scored the fourth goal for Richmond on a penalty kick. Luke Dennison had four saves for St. Mary's, which fell to 6-2-3 overall
Bishop O'Dowd 67, St. Mary's 49: The Dragons wanted to get off to a good start on Jan. 12. Mission accomplished.
The Dragons jumped out to a 10-2 lead on the visiting Panthers in a nonleague game and went on to win 67-49.
Bishop O'Dowd point guard Asha Thomas said her team wanted to come out aggressive.
"We knew if we pushed the ball, they would eventually get tired. Pushing the ball, advancing the ball and looking inside. If not, kick it back. That was our game plan, basically," Thomas said.
Thomas was all over the place, getting 18 points, five assists and four rebounds. Rebounding was another key, as Bishop O'Dowd pulled down the first six rebounds of the game and finished the afternoon with a 59-25 advantage on the boards.
St. Mary's (10-3) fought back in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 42-36. However, a 23-6 run by the Dragons (10-3), including one 12-2 spurt, put the game out of reach.
"You come down, you take a bad shot, they come down and get a three," Panthers coach Nate Fripp said. "You come back down and miss a shot, they hit another three. The next thing you know, it's 12."
St. Mary's got three of Bishop O'Dowd's players in foul trouble -- Breanna Brown, Ariell Bostick and K.C. Waters -- and that opened up the inside for Elexis Goodwin, who finished with 14 points. That was key to the Panthers' comeback.
But it wasn't enough. Although Brown eventually fouled out, she finished with seven rebounds and seven points. Waters scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Oderah Chidom scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Gabby Green scored 16 points and recorded eight steals for St. Mary's.
-- Damin Esper, correspondent
Bishop O'Dowd 76, Berkeley 73: The Dragons were pushed to the limit by the visiting Yellowjackets, but Ivan Rabb and Bishop O'Dowd gutted out a 76-73 win in West Alameda County Conference Foothill League action Jan. 11.
Rabb had 25 points, 24 rebounds and four blocks for the Dragons, which improved to 11-3 overall and 3-0 in WACC-Foothill action.
Henry Cornelious scored 30 points and kept the Yellowjackets (7-8, 1-2) in the game to the final seconds.
Cornelious hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to get Berkeley within one point. O'Dowd's Juwan Anderson, who scored 21 points, made two free throws with 11.1 seconds left. Berkeley's Justyce Key had a good look at a 3-pointer in the closing seconds but missed, and Rabb secured the rebound.
"They had a great game plan," O'Dowd coach Lou Richie said of the Yellowjackets. "We're very fortunate to get out of here with a win."
The teams were meeting in a league game for the first time since 1995 when both were members of the now-defunct Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League.
The first half was fast-paced with Rabb and Cornelious doing battle. Rabb nearly had a double-double after the first quarter -- nine points and 10 rebounds -- to help the Dragons to a 21-17 lead.
Cornelious and Key both had 15 points in the first half as Berkeley led on three separate occasions. Rabb also had 15 first-half points and as well as 15 rebounds to give O'Dowd a 43-38 cushion after two quarters.
Key finished with 22 points.
-- Jimmy Durkin