For everything that Roderick Bobbitt brought to the Castro Valley High boys basketball team, his closing ability may be the most important. For evidence, look no further than the Trojans' two biggest wins this season.
Bobbitt, a 6-foot-2 senior point guard, was held to four points in the first half of the Trojans' regular-season finale against Bishop O'Dowd on Feb. 17. The Dragons led 23-22. But Bobbitt went for 22 points in the second half as Castro Valley earned a 67-51 win that clinched the Hayward Area Athletic League title.
Two weeks later, Bobbitt again rose to the challenge. After being limited to five first-half points in the North Coast Section Division I final against De La Salle, Bobbitt scored 15 in the second half as the Trojans pulled away for a 60-42 win that earned Castro Valley its first NCS title.
Those efforts were among the reasons that Bobbitt was named the Bay Area News Group-East Bay boys basketball Player of the Year.
"He always seemed to step up in the big game when we needed him to," Trojans coach Nick Jones said.
Bobbitt helped Castro Valley to a 30-2 record, which shattered the school mark for wins in a season of 24. Reaching the California Interscholastic Federation Northern regional final was the deepest postseason run in school history. Bobbitt will leave Castro Valley having participated in more victories (81) than any other Trojans player.
"This year was big for us," Bobbitt said. "I shared some wonderful memories with my teammates. Making history, went undefeated in league, winning NCS. It was a good year, even though we didn't finish it like we wanted to."
The season ended a week earlier than the Trojans had hoped with a loss to De La Salle in the NorCal final. But a season that started with a buzz -- and a win over Sheldon-Sacramento -- included many great moments in front of increasingly larger crowds.
The buzz was never bigger than for the NCS final, when an estimated 4,000 fans packed McKeon Pavilion at Saint Mary's College. The Castro Valley student section was forced to line the baseline with the overflow crowd.
"Seeing our Sixth Man right on the sidelines with us was crazy," Bobbitt said. "We've got a lot of fans that came to our games."