Gauchos take McDonald's Classic The El Cerrito boys basketball team won the McDonald's Classic Tournament at Delta College with a 79-69 victory over Grant-Sacramento on Dec. 8. Rae Jackson scored a team-high 22 points and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Blake Rayford, who had 13 points in the championship game, was an all-tournament selection. Tyrell Alcorn also had 17 points in the championship game for El Cerrito. The Gauchos beat Sierra Manteca 67-31 on Dec. 5, Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove 72-48 on Dec. 6 and Weston Ranch 69-66 on Dec. 7 to reach the championship game. El Cerrito was 6-0 entering this week's action
Highlanders second in Paris Twins Classic The Piedmont High girls basketball team placed second in its Paris Twins Classic, as it fell 42-36 to Lynbrook-San Jose in the championship game. The Highlanders advanced to the final with victories over Washington-Fremont (78-70 in overtime) on Dec. 6 and Marin Catholic (45-40) on Dec. 7. Piedmont's JoNae Gonzales and Lauren Seyranian were named all-tournament.
Hornets win own tournament The Alameda High girls basketball team won its Lady Hornets Invitational with a 54-49 victory in the championship game over San Ramon Valley on Dec. 8. The Hornets' Marie Bertholdt, who was named all-tournament, scored 28 points and pulled down 26 rebounds in the win. Alameda's Tori McGovern was the tournament's Most Valuable Player, and teammate DeJa Johnson also was named all-tournament. The Hornets advanced to the championship game with a 62-37 victory over College Park on Feb. 6 and a 68-53 win over Arroyo on Dec. 7. Alameda entered this week with a 5-1 overall record.
On deck Alameda at Mats Tip Off Classic, girls basketball, Miramonte High, Dec. 14, 5 p.m. -- The Hornets put their outstanding early season record on the line against Clayton Valley Charter. Drew Gooden Invitational Showcase, boys basketball, El Cerrito High, Dec. 15, 1:30 p.m. -- This outstanding set of games starts with Bishop O'Dowd vs. Pacific Hills-West Hollywood at 1:30 p.m., followed by El Cerrito vs. Palma-Salinas (3 p.m.), Newark Memorial vs. Inglewood (4:30 p.m.), Salesian vs. Serra-Gardena (6:30 p.m.) and Archbishop Mitty-San Jose vs. Lincoln-San Diego (8 p.m.)
Stars of the week Cassidy Allen, St. Mary's girls soccer -- Allen scored two goals and had four assists in a 13-0 victory over Pinole Valley on Dec. 4, then scored in the 75th minute to help St. Mary's tie Ygnacio Valley 2-2 on Dec. 8. Rae Jackson, El Cerrito boys basketball -- Jackson scored a team-high 22 points in the Gauchos' 79-69 victory over Grant on Dec. 8 in the championship game of the McDonald's Classic Tournament and was named the tournament's MVP. Marie Bertholdt, Alameda girls basketball -- Bertholdt had a monster game with 28 points and 26 rebounds in the Hornets' 54-49 victory over San Ramon Valley in the Lady Hornets Invitational final on Dec. 8 and was named all-tournament. Jordan Santa Maria, Encinal boys basketball -- Santa Maria scored a team-high 11 points in the Jets' 72-45 loss to St. Joseph Notre Dame in the Island Classic semifinals on Dec. 7. Leo Smith, Oakland Tech boys basketball -- Smith scored 16 points, passed for 10 assists and had four steals in the Bulldogs' 60-57 win over Lincoln-Stockton on Dec. 8. Darrien Washington, Skyline girls basketball -- The junior center scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had three blocks in the Titans' 69-23 victory over Grace Davis on Dec. 7. Temidayo Yussef, St. Joseph Notre Dame boys basketball -- Yussef scored a game-high 20 points in the Pilots' 72-45 victory over Encinal in the Island Classic semifinals on Dec. 7, then had 12 points in the Pilots' 49-40 loss to Montgomery in the championship game on Dec. 8.