Oakland standout Anthony Lacy, with a NorCal Division III championship medal draped around his neck, cautiously enjoyed his team’s 77-61 win over Oakland Tech, finally getting past the rival that had defeated the Wildcats by seven combined points in three previous matchups this season.
Played at Laney College, the all-Oakland Section final filled the gymnasium’s 2,500 capacity well beyond that total.
Yes, it was that packed.
The matchup was the hottest ticket in town, with Oakland leaders such as mayor Sheng Thao, council member Noel Gallo and legendary Laney football coach John Beam – formerly of Skyline High – in attendance.
Among the spectators were basketball coaches Lou Richie of Bishop O’Dowd and Frank Knight of Moreau Catholic – both Oakland guys – and Edgar Jackson, a graduate of Oakland’s class of 2001 whose son, Eric, is a guard on this season’s team.
“It was lit in here, and it was exciting to watch,” Jackson said. “We’ve had great teams over the years, and it’s great to see the team make it to this part.”
Oakland High coach Orlando Watkins, right, and the bench react in the second half of their CIF Northern California Division III championship game against the Oakland Tech at Laney College Gym in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March. 7, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
The victory Tuesday moved Oakland into the Division III state championship game against Buena-Ventura on Friday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
In the first half of the regional final, it was unclear if Oakland or its rival would advance.
But Oakland blew it open in the third quarter and never was threatened again. Lacy scored 17 points, Te’Shawn Gamble added 13 points, and senior guard Jimon Campbell impacted the game with hustle plays on both ends of the court. Ahmaree Muhammad had 23 points and ArDarius Gates finished with 14 for Tech.
Bragging rights against his team’s rival restored, Lacy wants one more trophy to cap the season, a first state championship for Oakland.
Oakland Tech’s Devin Haynes (24) steals the ball away from Oakland’s Anthony Lacy (12) in the second half of their CIF Northern California Division III championship game at Laney College Gym in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March. 7, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
“It feels great to finally get the win over Tech, but the job’s not done,” the junior forward said. “We still got one …read more
Source:: The Mercury News