Bishop O'Dowd sends both boys, girls to state

March 24, 2011 10:15:22 PM PDT
The state high school basketball championships will be held Saturday at Arco Arena in Sacramento and Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd will be well represented. Their boys and girls teams both made the Division-3 finals. The boys play Lutheran of La Verne and the girls will meet St. Josephs of Santa Maria.

For the first time in school history, Bishop O'Dowd will have their boys and girls teams in the state finals. This is the boys' third trip in the last five years, still looking for that first state championship.

"We made it to state last year and lost in overtime, so it's been a goal of ours, all season, all year, to get back get back to the state title this year and take it," said Bishop O'Dowd forward Richard Longrus.

"It's why we run hills, why we lift weights, and it would be the greatest reward ever," said Bishop O'Dowd forward Michael Belick.

This team works hard, but there's something else.

"We're also like a family, I mean, everybody's close on the team and everybody works together. We've got a lot of great team chemistry," said Bishop O'Dowd center Brandon Ashley.

Their coach claims the team has developed some toughness that's been missing.

"We have skill, we have some shooters, we have speed, but up until the last two or three weeks, we haven't had that element," said Bishop O'Dowd boys head coach Doug Vierra.

Meanwhile, this is the first state title game for the girls.

"We made history for our school. It meant a lot to us to leave a legacy," said Bishop O'Dowd center Oderah Chidom.

To have both teams vying for state titles is something special.

"It's amazing. It's awesome to go through our first time at state with the guys, so it's awesome to be able to go through it with them," said Bishop O'Dowd forward Margaret Huntington.

And if they won?

"It would be great history making and I would love for these girls to do it for the school," said Bishop O'Dowd girls head coach Malik McCord.


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