Category Archives: CIF regional championship

Warriors face next big challenge: #1 seed


After winning the OAL championship, the Warriors win two playoff games

by Anthony Beron

The Warriors (21-8 with 12 straight wins) are hoping that Danville brings them luck.

After all, that’s where they beat #4 seed San Ramon Valley 57-48 in the CIF Northern California Division 1 quarterfinals Saturday night.

Tomorrow, they play the #1 seed, Monte Vista, who beat them 65-24 in December.

Teamwork, strong defense and a slam dunk at the buzzer by OAL Player of the Year Deion Ellis sealed the deal for McClymonds. Ellis, a 6-foot-4 senior, had 18 points and Mike Walker, a 6-foot guard, had 10.

“We expect them to come out hard, but we have every piece of the puzzle this time,” said Tyrone Spivey, a senior.

“The last time we played them they beat us by 40 points, but that’s because we wouldn’t cooperate and some of our players couldn’t play,” said Spivey. “It was also the day after when our old head coach was fired.”

Warriors into next round of CIF Saturday; Lady Warriors lose in tight game

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photos and story by Khristan Antoine

Wednesday was a night of mixed emotions and results for McClymonds: the Warriors dominated Merced, although they let their huge lead slip. In the end, they won 56-45. The girls lost in a tight game.

The boys  face San Ramon Valley in San Ramon Saturday at 6pm in the next round.

“We didn’t think it would be so tough,” said Deion Ellis. “Their goal was to take me out, but we switched it up on defense and we rattled their guard.”

Although defense was the key, McClymonds featured three double-digit scorers in Mike Walker (17), Deshawn Nelson (13) and Ellis (11).

The Lady Warriors lost 45-43 to Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove in a tight game with lead changes, as McClymonds seemed to run out of steam in the crucial final minutes. Daisy Powell led with 22 points and Gabby Gaines had 14.

“It was a close game, nobody expected our season to end the way it did,” said J’Mya Gray-Martinez, freshman.

Mack’s Girls Hoops Make Top Ten List

Lady Warriors 2013

by Anthony Beron

Another feather in the cap of Dennis Flannery.

His girls’ basketball team at McClymonds earned a spot in the Top Ten list of Bay Area high school sports stories compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mitch Stephens.

“This is a school of champions,” said Aronnisha Smith, a junior who plans to join the team next year. “We fight even harder than the guys,” she says casually.

The results: Dennis Flannery named the region’s girls basketball coach of the year; a school-record 26 victories; the first Oakland Section championship since 1976 and  first ever CIF Northern California playoff victory, a 67-60 Division I win over Armijo (Fairfield); the team boasts a 3.4 average GPA.

“(Mack is) a team of stars”, says Smith with an enlarged grin. “We always play our ‘ball once we get to the court.”

Next year, the team will lose four seniors, including Breannie Robinson. But its star, Daisy Powell, 6’2″ and a sophomore, is expected back.

“It’s my hope that we repeat, though we did set the bar high (this year),” said McClymonds Principal Kevin Taylor. “We perform at the highest, as we always do.”

They Played Their Hearts Out, But Post-Season Ends for Lady Warriors and Warriors

mackgirls1by Khristan Antoine

For the Lady Warriors, it was the end of a Cinderella season.

It was the little engine that could, a team that seemed unfocused in the first few weeks of its pre-season, at a school that takes tremendous pride in the basketball success….of its boys’ team.

It was the girls’ team that made school history. The Lady Warriors won its first Oakland Athletic League Title in 38 years and then pressed its way through the first round of the CIF Regionals (with a great fourth quarter against Armijo) only to fall to Berkeley High School 54-44 in the quarterfinals on Saturday night.

“We played our hearts out,” said sophomore Marcedes Latu. “We shouldn’t forget that we made school history and that we’re champions.”

It was quite a battle. For the Lady Warriors, it was a close first half, with the score tied at 34-34 in the third quarter. “Then suddenly Berkeley scored more points and we forced plays, that didn’t work,” says coach Dennis Flannery.

Da Ja Nay Powell led the Lady Warriors with 16 points and nine rebounds. Breannie Robinson had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, in San Jose, the Warriors lost to Bellarmine College Prep 64-46. The Bells made nine 3-pointers in the game from four different players.

Eric Jones led the Warriors with 13 points.

Mack Earns Home-Field Advantage But Has To Play At Its Rival’s Gym


by Anthony Beron

The victory dance should have taken place HERE last Thursday. The championship game should have been in the McClymonds gym.

Yes, the McClymonds Lady Warriors made history by winning the Oakland Athletic League for the first time in 38 years. And the boys team, the Warriors won and were undefeated in the OAL.

So what is the pay-off for their hard work and higher seeding in the CIF playoffs: WE HAVE TO PLAY AT OAKLAND TECH, our rival school, instead of playing in our OWN GYM.

And the school is abuzz with that sad reality. “If I had an option,” said boys’ basketball coach Brandon Brooks, “I’d definitely have our team play here because of our strong, enthusiastic fan base.” He thought it was moved to Oakland Tech because of the smaller size of our gym.

Colleen  Piper, Spanish teacher, called the move to have McClymonds play at its rival’s gym “unfair” and “uncool.”

Teacher Relonda McGhee, who favored playing at Laney College, where the Silver Bowl was played, said that “Playing at Tech is risky, because it’s our rival.”

Most students agreed. “We should play here, on our home field,  because we are the champions,” said Danny Sola, a senior.

But some expressed caution. “Playing here can be dangerous,” said Luckie Lovette, a junior. “In the past, the fans have caused a lot of problems.”

While McClymonds students mentioned the unfairness of the situation, the athletes just practiced for the game.

“As long as we have a court and a hoop,” said Lady Warrior Romanalyn Inocencio, “I’m cool.”

Why Censorship is F****ng Stupid


by Khristan Antoine

Like any other art work, journalism has its own beauty and language.  But what happens when that language is simply not enough?  As student journalists, we are handcuffed by rules that say we can’t use certain words like sh*t, p*ss, f*ck, c*nt, c*cks*cker, motherf*cker, and t*ts.

We resort  to using words  that tame the real, strong emotion behind a significant quote even if it was uttered in the heat of the moment: just last week, an ecstatic Lady Warrior, who recently won the OAL championship after 37 years of deadends, said “We f***ing go.” And we had to use asterisks. In some school newspapers, we couldn’t even use the asterisks or the word.

For f*ck’s sake, we can’t even write a review of a rap album because we won’t be able to quote verbatim a decent lyric that portrays the meaning of the song entirely or precisely.

And there are myriad other examples. In an interview with a student for another story, the student talked about how her parents told her to wash the dishes and she sat on her butt and continued watching TV.  After a while, they began to lose their patience and resorted to the language we all know as authoritative.  She heard a loud bang and a scream that pierced the atmosphere.  “Get your fu***ng a$$ up and do the God da*n dishes!”  As she told us, “sh*t just got serious. ”

Cuss words carry the emotion of the person speaking them. They don’t necessarily harm or insult anybody but they make a strong impression. They change the tone of the conversation.

Words were never meant to be “bad.”  Who gets to decide what is acceptable or not? I fuc**ng think words, all kinds of words, are just that:  words. They were designed to fulfill their purpose to communicate  and express emotion.  If a word achieves its purpose, does it cease to be a good word?  What a silly thing to suppose that words are bad or good.

A word is only as good or as useful as its context.  As some may argue, cuss words  detract from the eloquent nature of language, allowing for a lazier approach to social intercourse (you can SAY intercourse, but not the F word).

What censorship fails to address is inequality:  not everyone has access to an education that provides the tools necessary to develop a more extensive vocabulary fit for use in society or even fit for a high school journalism blog.

I  s**t  you not, sometimes words unify and make it easier to have significant conversations — break ups, family showdowns, disciplinary lectures, just plain hurt feelings.

I do not believe “cuss words” should be the only words used in a daily interaction.  There should be a professional level to everything and anything discussed or shared but cuss words unite us all. They’re so basic that there’s no possible miscommunication.

Making History: Lady Warriors Win Oakland Section Title after 37 Years — On To the CIF State Tournament Wednesday

ladywarriorstrophymarch12013photos by Jonae Scott and Breannie Robinson

by Khristan Antoine (with stats by East Bay Preps)

The McClymonds Lady Warriors made history last week.

On Wednesday, seeded No. 4, they face Armijo in the first round of Division 1 CIF state basketball tournament at Oakland Tech at 6pm. The boys’ team, seeded No. 5 plays against Santa Teresa-San Jose at 7:30 pm, also at Tech.

The Lady Warriors won the Oakland Section Championship for the first time in 37 years, beating rival Oakland Tech 47-40 at Merritt College.

“It’s a moment we’ll never forget for the rest of our lives,” said coach Dennis Flannery, holding the trophy with his team. “The whole team worked hard on conditioning and focus. We are 12.”

Its 26 wins made it the Lady Warriors team with the most wins in the school’s history.


McClymonds had eight 3-pointers in the game, including three by Gabby Gaines and three by Ahjahna Coleman. It was always ahead, with the smallest lead 44-40 with 16 seconds left.

Breannie Robinson had a game-high 12 rebounds and Romanalyn Inocencio passed for 8 assists.

The celebration was loud and fun, as Gaines declared, “We f***ing GO!” and everyone posed with the huge trophy.

“It’s nice to bring it [the title] back to Mack House,” said Flannery.

After the girls’ game, Merritt College filled up quickly for the Warriors’ standing-room-only game against Oakland High.

That game was closer — with McClymonds winning 52-49. It was far more dramatic, as the Warriors (20-7 and undefeated in OAL play) trailed 24-27 at halftime. They were trailing 44-49 once again with over 2 minutes to play, when senior Tahjee Williams picked up a steal, shot a layup, was fouled and made the free throw. He later picked off another pass that led to a 3-pointer by Mike Walker to give Mack the lead.

Williams (the league’s most valuable player) scored a game-high 21 points, drawing chants of M-V-P from the crowd at the end of the game.

“The pressure on defense turned the game around,” said coach Brandon Brooks. “I didn’t know that we would win until 3 seconds were left on the clock.”


The boys’ team, seeded No. 5,  faces Santa Teresa-San Jose (17-11)  on Wednesday night at Oakland Tech in Division 1 of the CIF  Northern Regional Playoffs.


Mack football gearing up: “We treat our guys like Sparta”

Mack team after winning the Silver Bowl

Mack team after winning the Silver Bowl

by Romanalyn Inocencio and Selena Williams

It was the winningest week for Coach Curtis McCauley.

His football team made history. The McClymonds Warriors will play in the CIF Football Division IV Northern Regional Championship game Friday night for the first time ever in the school’s history. It is also the first Oakland Section team to make the state playoffs.

The Warriors(9-3) play the Central Catholic-Modesto Raiders at Lincoln High in Stockton. Two buses — one with players and a second bus for fans — will travel to the game.

“What a great achievement for our school and our community,” said McCauley.

The coach himself earned kudos. McCauley won Oakland Raiders High School Coach of the Year. He already had been selected “coach of the week” in week 8 after the Warriors beat Castlemont 50-0.

Despite sports bloggers’ dire predictions, Mack players feel confident that they have an edge. “Our defense only gave up the fewest points (34 in the OAL to Mack’s 387) of any team all season,” said Louis White. He also cited Mack’s speed and the fact that the team had a tough pre-season schedule.

“We’ve come together as a team,” said White.

Michael D. Peters, a Mack alum from 1986 and receivers’ coach,  said that players were reviewing film and practicing hard. “We were seen as underdogs and they give us no props.  They got to see what is coming at them.”

“Our kids are ready,” he added. “We got a good defense, good receivers, good line.”

The strategy in short: “Punch them in the mouth.”

Is Mack prepared. You betcha. “We treat our guys like Sparta from 300,” said Peters.