DUBLIN -- The Bishop O'Dowd High boys basketball team continues to look like one of the best in Northern California.
The Dragons remained unbeaten against NorCal teams this season with an 89-78 win over El Cerrito in the North Coast Section Division III title game Saturday at Dublin High. It gives the Dragons (26-3) their second straight NCS title and likely sets them up to appear in the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division Northern Regional playoffs, where they'll face the best teams NorCal has to offer.
"We want to play against whomever," O'Dowd coach Lou Richie said. "We have a great bunch of kids. They've exceeded all expectations, and they love playing together."
Much of the focus for O'Dowd is deservedly on 6-foot-9 sophomore Ivan Rabb, and he delivered 25 points and 10 rebounds. But fellow sophomore Paris Austin scored a career-high 27, Michael Perri had 19, and Dominic Gomes added 12 points off the bench.
"We want to run the offense through Ivan, but if they try to bottleneck it, we have other options," Richie said. "The kids played well. They made adjustments."
Despite the loss, the Gauchos (22-10) are still in solid position for the NorCal Division III playoffs.
"It was a good game for the most part, and we've got to get ready for the NorCal playoffs," El Cerrito coach Michael Booker said. "I can tell you this, we will be ready for NorCals."
El Cerrito had a 20-14 lead after the first quarter,
O'Dowd created distance in the third quarter, building a 55-42 lead. El Cerrito found a burst and scored seven straight, but O'Dowd took a 64-52 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Dragons went on an 8-0 run early in the final quarter to take a 74-55 lead with under six minutes to play.
Tyrell Alcorn led El Cerrito with 16 points, and Marcellus Pippins had 15.