The Bishop O'Dowd High girls basketball team struggled at times to find their offensive flow but still cruised to a 55-30 victory over Brookside Christian-Stockton in a first-round Northern California Regional Open Division playoff game at Chabot College on March 8.
The Dragons advanced to the Open Division championship game with a 50-40 victory over St. Mary's-Berkeley in the semifinals on March 12.
On March 8, Oderah Chidom had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Breanna Brown added 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 1 seed O'Dowd.
The Dragons didn't play particularly well for the first 1½ quarters, although they did hold Brookside Christian scoreless for a six-minute stretch in the first quarter.
Nearing the midway point of the second, O'Dowd -- which is scoring 66 points per game with an average margin of victory of 30 -- held only a 13-9 lead.
The Dragons found their stride over the final 4:08 of the quarter and took a 25-15 lead into the break.
Piedmont 48, Argonaut-Jackson 45: The game was knotted at 32-all at the end of three quarters, but the host Highlanders edged the Mustangs 16-13 in the fourth quarter for the final margin of victory in this Division IV quarterfinal game.
On March 12, Piedmont beat Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento 31-28 in a semifinal game to advance to the championship at American Canyon High. It will take place on March 16 at 2 p.m.
Lowell-San Francisco 63, Oakland Tech 50: The host Cardinals broke open a close game with a 23-11 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter to end the Bulldogs' season.
London Robinson scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Tech (21-7). Teammate Kelea Pickeral-Dennis added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Modesto Christian 57, Bishop O'Dowd 42: There are no easy games in the new Open Division Northern California regional playoffs.
The Dragons learned that March 8 as its season ended with a first-round loss to Modesto Christian.
The Open Division was designed to pit the best teams in the state -- regardless of division -- against each other, and these teams clearly fit the bill.
Both teams' game plans were clear. O'Dowd (26-4) wanted to pound the ball to 6-foot-9 Ivan Rabb, the top-ranked sophomore in the nation. Modesto Christian's goal was to throw double- and sometimes triple-teams at Rabb.
That strategy worked for the Crusaders as Rabb was held to 12 points and, perhaps more importantly, limited to seven rebounds.
"I think they did a real good job," O'Dowd coach Lou Richie said of Modesto Christian. "They were more physical than us. They hurt us on the boards, and we couldn't adjust and make answers."
Rabb scored the game's first two buckets, then started getting swarmed every time he touched the ball. The Crusaders took a 13-8 lead after a quarter and a 27-20 lead into halftime. The Dragons got within five points a couple times early in the fourth, but Modesto Christian ran away with it late.
Michael Perri led O'Dowd with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
-- Jimmy Durkin
Head-Royce 64, Pinewood 56: Ryan Diew scored 24 points to lead the Jayhawks in a Division V first-round game in Los Altos Hills on March 6. Three other Head-Royce players scored in double digits: Sammy Greenwall and Scott Miller both had 13 points and Nico Dorado had 11. The Jayhawks fell in the quarterfinals on March 9 to Capital Christian-Sacramento 79-59.
-- John Reid, Palo Alto Daily News