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March 10, 2010 > Newark Memorial upset in NCS Division I final

Newark Memorial upset in NCS Division I final

By Biff Jones
Photos By William Mancebo

Newark Memorial High School Cougars of the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) were able to take its top-seeded boys basketball team all the way to the championship game before being upset in the finals of the North Coast Section (NCS) Division I tournament by second-seeded De La Salle High School, 40-36.

Newark got to the finals by coasting through the first two rounds before handing number-four seed Castro Valley High School from the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) a 51-37 defeat in the NCS Semifinals on Wednesday, March 3, on Newark's home floor.

First quarter was a defensive battle as the two teams kind of felt out each other with Newark taking a 9-5 lead after one quarter. All five of the Trojans' points were scored by junior Roderick Bobbitt.

Second quarter opened up a bit more with the Cougars out-scoring Castro Valley 13-11 for a 22-16 halftime lead. Seniors Isaiah Clark and Khion Sankey each had 3-point field goals for Newark, as did Bobbitt for the Trojans.

In the third quarter, the top seed continued to add to its lead outscoring the underdogs, 11-8, to build a 33-24 lead. Chris Read kept Castro Valley in the game during the second half with lights-out shooting.

Offenses finally got on track in the fourth quarter as the favorite Cougars outscored the Trojans, 18-13, and came away with the victory and a place in the NCS DI boys final.

Leading coach Craig Ashmore's Cougars were seniors Jisuan Randle (14 points), Sankey (13), Clark (9) and junior Kendall Andrews (9). Read and Bobbitt lead Castro Valley, coached by Nick Jones, with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Championship game on Saturday, March 6, pitted the number-one Cougars against number-two De La Salle Spartans at McKeon Pavilion on the campus of St. Mary's College.

Newark Memorial, who had only lost three times all year - to Sacramento power, Jesuit of Carmichael; USA number-one ranked St. Patrick of Elizabeth, NJ; and Bay Area number-one ranked Salesian of Richmond - would have its hands full with the NCS second-ranked Spartans.

Cougars ended up tasting its fourth loss of the season and first since MLK Day on January 18, when De La Salle defeated them, 40-36.

Next-up for the Cougars will be a home game in the second round of the DI Nor Cal bracket of the California Interscholastic Federation state tournament on Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m.

As the number-three seed, Newark will host the winner of the no.-6 Castlemont vs. no.-11 Turlock game. Should Newark advance past the second round, they will play in the Nor Cal Bracket semifinals on Saturday, March 13, at 7 p.m., opponent and location to be determined.

The Nor Cal Final is scheduled for Saturday, March 20, 8 p.m. at ARCO Arena in Sacramento. For results and match-ups of all later rounds of the CIF State Tournament, log onto the Tri-City Voice Sports Web site at www.tricityvoice.com/sports.

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