El Cerrito High's Marcellus Pippins tipped in a miss at the buzzer to complete a 15-point comeback and stun host Berkeley 63-61 in Tuesday's Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League basketball showdown.
The Gauchos (13-7, 6-0 ACCAL) surged in the fourth quarter after trailing big early. They tied the game at 50 on two free throws by Pippins with 4:23 left.
Tyrell Alcorn scored with 4:06 to play to give the Gauchos their first lead at 52-50. Later, a three-point play by Justin Johnson made it 57-52.
Five straight points from Berkeley's Langston Morris-Walker, an Oregon State signee, tied the game at 57.
El Cerrito regained the lead on two free throws by Shaquille Smith with 1:14 left before Morris-Walker tied the game with a jumper.
Both teams scored on their next possessions to make it 61-all. The Gauchos had the ball with 36.5 seconds left and Alcorn drove to the hole. His shot rimmed out but Pippins' tip-in won the game at the buzzer.
It was the final meeting in Berkeley in ACCAL play for the longtime rivals. The Yellowjackets will move to the Hayward Area Athletic League next year while the Gauchos will join the new Tri-County Athletic League.
The win keeps El Cerrito in sole possession of first place while Berkeley (10-9, 5-2 ACCAL) falls two games back. The teams meet again in the regular-season finale Feb. 17 at El Cerrito.
The Yellowjackets scored 14 of the game's first 16 points and led 20-7 after a
Berkeley pushed the lead to 15 in the second quarter, but a 5-0 run by the Gauchos helped close the gap to 33-23 at halftime.
El Cerrito closed the gap in the third quarter. Alcorn had 10 points in the period to help the Gauchos pull to within 45-41.
De La Salle 4, Monte Vista 1: The Spartans allowed a goal for the first time since Jan. 3, but extended their winning streak to nine games to stay atop the East Bay Athletic League standings.
Sophomore Fernando Felix gave De La Salle a 2-0 halftime lead with a pair of goals. Evan Molineux and Max Shore also scored for the Spartans (13-3-1, 8-0-1 EBAL). Jack Peterson's 78th-minute goal was the lone score for Monte Vista (10-2-6, 5-1-3) which is second in the league standings.
Bishop O'Dowd 1, Castro Valley 0: Ryan Walker-Hartshorn kept knocking and knocking, and her persistence finally paid off. The tall and fast striker scored in the 59th minute to give visiting O'Dowd a huge victory in Hayward Area Athletic League play.
The Dragons moved into a first-place tie with the Trojans, each with 9-1-0 league records.
Walker-Hartshorn, who has made an oral commitment to Stanford, found herself in space on the left side of the penalty box on her decisive goal. Her hard shot banked into the near corner off freshman goalkeeper Alyssa DuPuis. Kelsie Halstenrud had the assist.
O'Dowd thus avenged a 1-0 loss to the young Trojans in the first round of league play.
"Castro Valley is a really good team, and it is our rivalry match," said Walker-Hartshorn, a U.S. national under-18 women's team pool player. "Anger, fire, everybody is just going crazy. We have wanted to win this game, and league, and we lost the last time. A lot was at stake."
Castro Valley defender Kayla Utley, who has an oral commitment to Cincinnati, and fellow center back Sophia Barnhart played solidly overall, as did Dragons center backs Darby Nordin, who made a strong return from a back injury, and Kate Ranahan.
-- Matt Schwab