SACRAMENTO — Oakland Tech’s girls basketball team craved one final challenge.

For this supremely successful group of Bulldogs, there was a coveted piece of hardware missing from the seniors’ trophy case.

A Division I state title.

The Bulldogs had already won Division IV in 2019 and Division III in 2022.

In 2020, the group conquered NorCal as a Division II team, only to have the state championship game canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coach Leroy Hurt knew his team could compete against stronger competition if given a chance and said as much after the 2022 title game.

A year later, Tech took the Golden 1 Center court as NorCal’s representative in the Division I title game against Santiago-Corona. And just as the team had done so many times over the last four years, the Bulldogs buried their opponent in the fourth quarter en route to a 75-52 victory.

It was the school’s first Division I state championship since the great Alexis Gray-Lawson led Tech to consecutive Division I titles in 2004 and 2005.

The Oakland school trailed 15-14 after one quarter, with Santiago capitalizing on Tech turnovers and free throws to control the tempo of the game. However, the Bulldogs turned it around in the second half. Tech switched to a 2-3 zone, and Santiago could not make its open three-pointers from the corners.

On the other end, Tech’s Taliyah Logwood shredded Santiago’s defense in space, scoring eight first-half points and pushing the ball in transition.

Santiago led 20-18 early in the second quarter. But Tech went on a 7-0 run, keyed by a Mari Somvichian 3-pointer from the right wing, and an old-fashioned midrange bank shot plus the foul for an even more old-fashioned three-point play by freshman Terri’A Russell.

The third quarter started with an Erin Sellers 3-pointer and a Logwood fastbreak layup, but Santiago went on an 8-0 run of its own over the next two minutes. Afterward, the two heavyweights spent the rest of the quarter slugging it out.

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Source:: The Mercury News


Mission accomplished: Oakland Tech girls win Division I state championship

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