Category Archives: Basketball

Warriors face next big challenge: #1 seed

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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.

Why McClymonds needs a mascot

Great tradition: in 1950, Bill Russell tried out for team mascot at McClymonds

(photograph from Oakland Museum collection)

by Anique Gichanga

We need more spirit, pep, and cheer at Mack. And a mascot — a warrior with paint on face, spear in hand and ready to go to war — would hype  up the crowd and encourage more cheering at games.

As we head towards state playoffs, with our boys’ team undefeated with a recent, big win against Fremont, and our girls with the BIG WIN against Skyline, it seems ridiculous not to have a mascot to represent our school’s fighting tradition.

We have a venerable history: Bill Russell tried out for mascot (instead, he made the team) and when an undefeated McClymonds won the state basketball championship in 2008 under Coach Dwight Nathaniel, we had a mascot.

So why is not there one now?

It’s not as though we’d be the only school in the league with a mascot. Oakland Tech has a tacky purple bulldog and its team is 11-14, fourth in the OAL. Fremont has an ugly tiger instead of 10 cheerleaders because they don’t have any.

Mascots can be more amusing than cheerleaders: they get laughs, try stunts that cheerleaders are far too graceful and athletic to try (such as doing push ups, lifting barbells, bizarre dunking  or crazy tumbling). They’ve thrown dollar bills or t-shirts  in audience and have caught on fire.

As for mascot selection, let’s not leave it to the school administration.  Like homecoming queen and king, we should vote for our mascot. It should be a freshman, so they could lead the Warriors to victory over four years.

Twin wins: Mack shows its muscle in both OAL championship games

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by Khristan Antoine

Considered the underdog, the Lady Warriors charged into the OAL championship game yesterday at Laney College and totally dominated an undefeated Skyline, winning the game with ease 57-21.

“They underestimated us, and our hard work paid off,” said Charlisse Flemming, a senior, about the win.

Later that evening, the No 1 seeded Warriors, undefeated in the OAL,  beat the Fremont Tigers 64-52. After struggling at the start, the Warriors pulled ahead and never looked back.

“The challenging part was beating them on the boards,” said MVP Deion Ellis, a senior. “I was able to help with low post points and to get my teammates involved.”

The Lady Warriors won their second OAL title, led by MVP 6-foot-3 junior Daisy Powell. The McClymonds girls powered into the game, with lay ups by Powell and successful free throws by Angela Lee, a senior. At the end of the first quarter, Gabby Gaines, a senior, shot two 3-pointers with ease, giving McClymonds a huge 20-8 lead, shocking Skyline.

After that, it was more of the same pattern, with Skyline unable to keep up with the pace, often missing shots , as the crowd chanted “M-V-P” when Powell led the charge and Gaines hit another 3-pointer. At halftime, it was 37-10.

Although McClymonds did accumulate fouls, that did not stop their assault, as Lee and Powell combined to up the lead and by the end of the third quarter, the die was cast with a score of 45-11.

The last quarter was by far Skyline’s best, as they eked out 10 points to McClymonds 12 points on layups by Gaines and Flemming, a Lee 3-pointer and successful free throws by Powell.

The boys’ team took control of the game in the second quarter. “We just played as a team and we played hard,” said senior Tyrone Spivey.

Easy win for McClymonds Warriors, as they breeze into championship

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Cheerleaders at previous game

by Khristan Antoine and Kardel Howard

With ease and panache, the McClymonds Warriors dispatched the Oakland Tech Bulldogs 84-70 on Tuesday.

Today they take on Fremont  Tigers in the championship game at Laney.

“As a team, I feel we been working extremely well, as everyone is starting to come together as one,” said Deion Ellis, a senior.

Despite foul trouble at the start, the Warriors began to dominate in the second half. “Once we put pressure on one of their top players,  I felt it would be a easy game,” said Ellis.

Part of the Warriors’  passion and determination came from the fact that two of their players — Tyrone Spivey and  Deshawn Nelson –did not make all-city. ” I don’t think they can handle us.” said Ellis. “We play with a fire now that we didn’t have before.”

Such challenges — losing their coach and two players –hit the team hard at first. But the team did gel.”With the support in the crowd, it definitely got better and it did boost our players morale on the court,”  said Ellis.

As for the team’s preparation,  “We’re just soooooooooo ready to get this W.”

Lady Warriors edge rival Oakland Tech 67-66 to play in championship

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Full house — fans at an earlier game

by Parrish Kendricks

Close-call game; in the final seconds, McClymonds found the adrenaline to  beat Oakland  Technical High School 67-66 at home.

There were 20 seconds on the game clock when point-guard Gabby Gaines dribbled the ball up the court and passed it to shooting-guard Angela Lee. Lee caught the pass and dribbled closer to the court for a better shot; now, with 10 seconds left on the clock, Lee shot and scored a 2-pointer. She was fouled, but there was no call.

Oakland Tech took the ball out with 5 seconds left.

Elayshia Woolridge shot and missed the game winner for her team, providing McClymonds with the victory, and McClymonds with a spot in the 2014 Oakland Atheltic League (OAL) basketball campionship.

The Lady Warriors had gained confidence in the last few weeks, said coach Dennis Flannery.  “Playing at home was a good advantage for us,” he said.

“I thought the game would be pretty close,” Flannery added.

“My game plan was to not let the press hurt them and take advantage of Daisy’s (Powell,who’s 6-foot-4) height difference over her defender,” he said.

As McClymonds heads into the championship game, the team feels more relaxed. “I feel really good we played Skyline twice although we lost but at the time we didn’t have Gabby (Gaines) so I feel she can step up and contribute to get the win,” said Flannery.

Lady Warriors will face an undefeated Skyline team at Laney College tomorrow, March 6,  at 4:30 pm for the OAL championship title.

Hoop-Coming brings cheer to Mack on a rainy day

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By Anthony Beron with photos by Hailey King

The lockers were festooned in orange. Students donned black for the Black-Out against Skyline.

Hoop-Coming generated much excitement at McClymonds today with a 6th period rally in the gym, teacher-student game and dancing, as the school’s basketball teams prepared to play rival Skyline this afternoon.

“It was sectioned off. All the classes were by themselves.  It all felt kind of dead,” said freshman Keyshawn Roberts. “I expected it to be really fun.”

“We wanted to encourage school spirit, to get everyone hyped for the game tonight,” said Anastasia Walton, a senior and a member of the student council, who helped make posters hailing the rally.

The boys’ basketball team (17-8) remains undefeated atop the Oakland Athletic League (9-0), while the Lady Warriors sit in second place (6-3 in OAL) behind an undefeated Skyline.

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