copyright photo by Ryan Phillips OaklandNorth
by Eric Gant
Mack is back on top.
After earning the Oakland Section title (with banner and plaque), McClymonds Warriors face Deer Valley in the second round of CIF playoffs Saturday night.
“This game will come down to who is more hungry; that team will get the win,” says Dalvin Guy, McClymonds power forward, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the OAL championship game.
The McClymonds High boys basketball team beat Castlemont 57-51 last week at Laney College to capture its first section championship since 2009 — a long drought by the Warriors’ standards.
“This is something that we’re used to,” Mack coach Brandon Brooks told the Oakland Tribune. “We set our goals high.”
“The team is full of emotion going into the game,” says Guy, whose role will be to guard Marcus Lee, 6-foot-10 center of the Deer Valley Wolverines, and the key to their post game.
Senior guard Lawrence Otis is the lone active holdover from the 2009 championship team, which later made its third straight appearance in the state title game.
“It feels real good to bring it back,” Otis told reporters. “We knew we were going to win it this year because we were determined after the hard loss last year.”
The strength of the team is their press defense. If the starters step up, says Guy, they will get the win.” Earlier in the season, McClymonds beat Deer Valley by 30 points.
In the OAL championship game, Mack led by as much as 20 points in the second half and held a 47-29 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Guy says that this week’s practices were “sloppy” due to high anxiety and pressure. “We are pushing each other to the max,” he said.