Dublin Ends Basketball’s NCS Title Quest

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Sarah Naughten, Sports Editor

Top seeded Dublin High School beat the boys’ basketball squad, 64-55 in the North Coast Section tournament semi-finals on February 26.

Playing on the Gaels’ home court, the Cougars fell behind early in the 1st quarter.

“They came out hot, went up 7-0. At one point it was 16-5. So we dug ourselves a hole that was pretty hard to get out of,” said junior Emmanuel Callas.

Campolindo trailed its opponent for the entire game, unable to hold Dublin’s offensive firepower in check.

“They are really talented. They have 5 guys that can score the basketball well so they present a lot of matchup problems for us. That is the main thing. They are just really hard to guard,” said head coach Steven Dyer. 

Dyer also noted, “Offensively we didn’t have enough guys play well.” 

The Cougars were at a disadvantage having to play in front of the Gaels’ home crowd.

“We came in ready but we didn’t make the plays necessary to win a road playoff game against, the #1 seed,” added senior Carter Mahaney. 

After winning at state title last season, Campolindo was moved up to the open division, the most competitive division in the NCS tournament, as per the section’s competitive equity policy.

While some see the policy as a punishment for being successful, Mahaney viewed it as an opportunity.  “We want to play the best teams and this was supposedly the best team in NCS and this is the type of game we want to play in. We don’t want the easy way, we want it the hard way and we’ll just get it done, ” said Mahaney. 

While the squad’s NCS title chase has come to an end, it will advance into the NorCal tournament and still has a shot at repeating as state champions. “1 of our goals this season was to win an NCS championship and we obviously didn’t achieve that goal, and you know, that is behind us now and we are focused on our next game,” said Callas.

Both Callas and Mahaney are confident in their chances as they await the publication of the NorCal brackets. “We just have 1 goal now, so we’ll see where we get seeded; but we will regroup, refocus and put all of our efforts into winning a state championship,” added Mahaney.