Carlmont keeps Cinderella alive with victory at Redding

Carlmont keeps Cinderella alive with victory at Redding

On a night when a number of boys’ basketball teams in the Bay Area News Group’s coverage area failed to advance into the CIF NorCal Regionals, one school went on to make history.

Carlmont coach Ron Osorio didn’t expect to be home until 2 a.m. after a 240-mile drive to Redding for a Division IV quarter-final at No. 2 University Prep.

The seventh-seeded Scots, who had previously never recorded a victory in the state playoffs, are now 2-2 this week following a 57-48 win over the Panthers.

“It was really tough,” Osorio said. “Small place, small gym, but crowded on both sides. It was an atmosphere we are not used to. But the guys just came in huge defensively and ultimately had no answer for our point guard Nate Wong. He was simply exceptional, he carried us on the offensive side.

Wong finished with a team-best 18 points.

Fellow juniors Matthew Abiezzi and Enzo Carvalho-Goncalves each contributed 11 points.

“We have fun and are happy,” Osorio said. “Now the team has experience in these situations so the sky is the limit. Forget it, if they were to have us it was before.

Carlmont (18-8) faced a front line made up of a trio of trees – 6-foot-7, 6-5 and 6-4.

The Scots led 31-24 at halftime and extended the lead into double digits after the third quarter.

“The hit on us over the years has been soft – Carlmont, soft basketball,” Osorio said. “It wasn’t tonight.”

Then another bus ride of just over 100 miles to Saturday’s semifinal at Liberty Ranch, the No. 3 seed.

“We’re ready for another drive,” Osorio said. “But we’re excited to continue.”

–Vytas Mazeika

Bishop O’Dowd loses to inspired Vanden

Bishop O’Dowd’s coach Lou Richie was pretty happy with his team’s chances in Thursday’s NorCal Division II regional quarter-final against fifth-seeded Vanden.

Yes, the Dragons had to make the trip from Oakland to Fairfield. But the No. 13 seed had won 17 of 19 since a 1-4 start. Then the Dragons’ confidence was boosted as they took a 22-9 lead after one quarter.

But Vanden roared and beat O’Dowd 74-67 in overtime.

The Dragons had a chance to win in regular time when Vanden fans ran onto the pitch with about three seconds left and were called out for a technical foul. But with the game tied at 63-63, Bishop O’Dowd missed a free throw and then returned the ball after retaining possession due to the technical foul.

It was all Vanden in overtime.

“They got offensive rebounds and made free throws,” Richie said, summarizing what happened in overtime.

Vanden (21-12) will visit Elk Grove on Saturday. The Dragons will have to wait until next season. They will lose the two seniors who made up all but 20 points on Thursday night. Cameron Brown had 25 points and 6-9, 240-pound center knocked down 22. He also had 10 rebounds.

Even after blowing the 13-point lead in the first quarter, O’Dowd led 34-28 at halftime. He was tied 48-48 after three quarters.

Vanden, who was playing in honor of late teammate Daniel Hughes, was trailed by 6-5 sophomore guard Tyler Thompson, who drained five 3-pointers.

Hughes, a football and basketball star who would have been a senior this season, was shot last Easter Sunday and died 14 days later. Vanden dedicated the season to him.

“They played hard and very inspired,” Richie said. “They had a great environment and a great crowd.”

–Mike Lefkow

A learning experience for the San Ramon Valley

It’s a safe bet that San Ramon Valley grew a little Thursday night. The No. 8-seeded Wolves lost to top-seeded Elk Grove 59-55, but the way it happened is a lesson San Ramon Valley won’t soon forget.

Wolves (18-10) led 22-10 after the first quarter. A 3-pointer to start the second period made it 25-10. On the road. Against the No. 1 seed in Division II, no less.

Then the Thundering Herd (25-6) went on a 23-3 run to take a 33-28 halftime lead. He remained close throughout.

There were a trio of turning points that ended Wolves’ season. Parker McClaughry was injured in the second quarter and did not return until the fourth period. Ameere Britton of Elk Grove started turning it on. Finally, the Elk Grove experience began to show itself.

“They hit 3 keys,” San Ramon Valley coach Brian Botteen said. “The (British) number 20 has started to find its rhythm. He’s the best player in Elk Grove. He can score and he can shoot. This team has an excellent chance of picking up a few more wins.

The Thundering Herd host Vanden on Saturday in a NorCal regional semifinal.

What Botteen didn’t talk about was the Elk Grove experience which undoubtedly made a difference when SRV got up at 15. The Thundering Herd put four players on the floor who played together since they were in fourth grade.

The San Ramon Valley was taking baby steps this season. Wolves fire all but one starter.

Seemus Deely, who led San Ramon Valley with 14 points, is a 6-4 sophomore. William Ambidge, who was 12, is another sophomore with a 6-5 record. McClaughry is a 6-3 junior.

Britton led Elk Grove with 24 points.

Botteen was disappointed but not discouraged by Thursday night’s result. San Ramon Valley had a hard lesson in Elk Grove. But watch out next year.

–Mike Lefkow

Company 38, mountain view 36

The No. 8 seed Mountain View nearly upset Redding against the No. 1 seed in the Division IV quarterfinals.

But a whistle on a drop elbow jumper with 3 seconds left proved to be the difference, as Enterprise sank both free throws after Mountain View erased a 10-point third-quarter deficit.

“It’s hard to go back on these things,” Mountain View coach Kevin Mack said. “But I’m proud for our guys to have persevered.”

The Spartans (20-8) attempted only two free throws, while their opponent whistled 18 fouls.

“Both teams played the man and pressed,” Mack said. “I tried to eliminate the best players from the other team and I think both teams did a good job. In the first half we made some mistakes, we turned the ball around a bit, but our guys competed. It’s tough.”

Joey Peir scored a team-high 14 points for Mountain View, while fellow senior Patrick Kane contributed 10 for the co-champions Santa Clara Valley Athletic League.

“It’s been a great year,” Mack said. “To do the race that we did, I am so proud and grateful that they let me do this race with them. I will miss our seniors. They have definitely anchored themselves in our program.

–Vytas Mazeika