PLEASANT HILL -- The reality of what the College Park High boys basketball team accomplished this season still hasn't quite hit coach Craig Battle.

"I'm still trying to come down from it right now," Battle said a week after the Falcons' season ended with an appearance in the California Interscholastic Federation Division II state title game.

"You talk the talk and plan and kind of set those goals," Battle said. "To see it all come together, it was more than a dream."

College Park lost the state title game to Redondo Union-Redondo Beach 54-47, a performance that was plenty impressive. Just reaching that game defied the odds and helped make Battle the Bay Area News Group East Bay Coach of the Year.

The Falcons were the No. 12 seed in the Northern California Regional playoffs, earning a spot in the field only after Newark Memorial was pulled into the Open Division.

They took advantage of that opportunity and won three road NorCal playoff games. Their reward for that was a matchup with top-seeded Dublin in the NorCal title game at Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena.

Despite blowing a seven-point lead in the final minute, College Park earned a 93-90 overtime win over the Gaels to reach its first state title game.

The Falcons may have been considered underdogs throughout their postseason push, but they didn't agree with that characterization.


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"We actually felt going into those games that we could win," Battle said. "We felt Newark Memorial was really, really strong and matchup-wise would be difficult for us. But we felt we matched up with everybody else."

The Falcons never had to deal with powerful Newark and they indeed matched up against anybody else they faced. They did so with a team that shot well from the outside and delivered balanced scoring.

Mikey Eggleton led the team at 12.3 points per game, while three others averaged more than nine points per game. Joe DeMers, a 6-foot-1 sophomore who is also a hard-throwing pitcher for the baseball team, contributed 11.1 points and was the leading rebounder at 5.3. AJ Newell (9.9 points) and Sebastian Flores (9.3) aided the attack.

Battle had particularly high praise for Eggleton, a player who he said could've been a 20 points per game scorer.

"He made some big sacrifices for the team," Battle said. "He became more of a facilitator to get everyone involved."

Follow Jimmy Durkin at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.