Gauchos top Panthers The El Cerrito High boys basketball team used a 20-12 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 66-56 victory over St. Mary's on Feb. 1. Blake Rayford and Jovante Carleton both scored 16 points for the Gauchos, and Carleton added nine rebounds, five assists and five steals. Teammate Marcellus Pippins had nine points, six assists and three steals. St. Mary's was paced by a game-high 20 points from Jeremy Dennis. Aren Ulmer and Hunter Patterson added nine points apiece for the Panthers.
O'Dowd overwhelms Castro Valley The Bishop O'Dowd High girls basketball team took a 32-9 first-quarter lead and didn't look back in a 92-34 victory over host Castro Valley on Feb. 1. Breanna Brown led the way for O'Dowd with 22 points on 11 field goals, and the Dragons also received double-figure scoring performance from Maya Williams (11 points) and Oderah Chidom (10 points).
Kunz propels Hornets to victory over Jets The Alameda High boys basketball team took a 20-8 first-quarter lead on its way to a 69-50 victory over rival Encinal on Feb. 1. The Hornets' Sam Kunz had a huge game with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Teammates Sean Cunningham and Chris Bussey added 18 and 14 points respectively. Encinal was paced by 14 points from Matthew Canalin.
On deck Castro Valley at Berkeley, girls soccer, Feb. 8, 6 p.m. -- This could turn out to be a pivotal game in the West Alameda County Conference-Foothill Division as the regular season winds to a close. St. Mary's-Stockton at Bishop O'Dowd, girls basketball, Feb. 9, 3:30 p.m. -- A pair of state girls basketball powerhouses face each other in a nonleague matchup. Skyline at McClymonds, girls basketball, Feb. 13, 4:30 p.m. -- Entering this week, the Titans and the Warriors were part of a three-way tie atop the Oakland Athletic League standings.
Stars of the week Jovante Carleton, El Cerrito boys basketball -- Carleton had a great all-around game with 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals in a 66-56 win over St. Mary's on Feb. 1. Rachel Howard, Berkeley girls basketball -- Howard scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 65-48 win over Arroyo on Jan. 31, and also had 24 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Hayward. Kaelin Lawson, Albany boys basketball -- Lawson scored a team-high 17 points in the Cougars' 57-50 victory over Richmond on Feb. 2. Breanna Brown, Bishop O'Dowd girls basketball -- Brown scored a game-high 22 points in the Dragons' 92-34 defeat of Castro Valley on Feb. 1. Matthew Canalin, Encinal boys basketball -- Canalin produced a team-high 14 points in the Jets' 69-50 loss to Alameda on Feb. 1. Sam Kunz, Alameda boys basketball -- Kunz produced a strong double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds in the Hornets' 69-50 victory over Encinal on Feb. 1. Lauren Seyranian, Piedmont girls basketball -- Seyranian scored a game-high 24 points and also grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists and three steals in a 69-59 loss to Alameda on Feb. 1. Jordan Wright, Skyline boys basketball -- Wright had 16 points, five assists and five steals in a 63-50 victory over Fremont in an OAL game on Feb. 1. Temidayo Yussef, St. Joseph Notre Dame boys basketball -- Yussef scored a game-high 23 points in the Pilots' 57-44 victory over Pinole Valley on Jan. 29.