Boys basketball notebook: Bishop O’Dowd looks to clinch at least tie for HAAL title
By Jimmy Durkin
The regular season is winding down across East Bay boys basketball leagues. Most championship races are still up in the air, although several could be decided by the end of this week.
Bishop O’Dowd High can clinch no worse than a Hayward Area Athletic League co-championship Wednesday when it faces defending champion Castro Valley. The Trojans are two games back of the Dragons but gave them their toughest test of the HAAL season in the opener Dec. 8. O’Dowd’s Joshua Crum hit a shot at the buzzer to lift the Dragons to a 49-48 home victory. They’ll try to do the same on the Trojans’ home court.
A victory would give O’Dowd a three-game lead with three games to play. Whereas a Castro Valley loss would still leave the Trojans mathematically alive to capture a co-championship, the Dragons would secure the automatic berth to the North Coast Section playoffs via the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Two teams entered Tuesday night’s action with opportunities to clinch league titles.
Bentley defeated St. Elizabeth 66-37 to capture the Bay Counties League-East regular-season title and top seed for the league playoffs, which begin Feb. 17. St. Elizabeth was the defending league champion.
Campolindo had an opportunity to get a stranglehold on the Diablo Foothill Athletic League on Tuesday but lost 67-64 in overtime to defending champion Las Lomas. Campolindo plays at Dougherty Valley on Thursday.
Salesian can secure the Bay Shore Athletic
League regular-season title Wednesday when it hosts John Swett. That would clinch the top seed in the BSAL playoffs, which begin Feb. 14. The top two seeds receive first-round byes, with the Pride and St. Joseph Notre Dame in the driver’s seat to occupy those spots.El Cerrito is in good shape in the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League, which it could wrap up as early as Friday against Hercules. The Gauchos lead Berkeley by two games with three to play.