Bishop O’Dowd 66, Campolindo 65 (OT)
The Star: Annie Ward and Amanda Forshay each had 16 points for the Cougars.
The Turning Point: Campolindo charged back in the fourth to tie the game and force overtime, and played neck and neck in the extra period, until Margaret Huntington’s put back jumper in the closing seconds put the Dragons up one with less than five seconds remaining. Forshay’s desperation shot from midcourt fell short, giving O’Dowd the North Coast Section title.
The Quote: “We played with heart. I don’t think anyone thought we could win this game,” Cougars coach Clay Kallam said.
Who's Next? Campolindo will play in the Northern California Championships next week.
The Bottom Line: The Cougars showed they’ll be a legitimate threat to go deep in to NorCals, after taking O’Dowd to the wire in what many figured would be a runaway blowout for the Dragons.
It’s one of those games that the Campolindo High girls basketball team will have to forget about quickly, but doing that to focus on the Northern California Championships next week won’t be easy, knowing what they were on the verge of completing.
The Cougars almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in North Coast Section championship game history last night, but Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland showed why they were a No. 1 seed in the closing seconds of overtime Saturday night.
Dragons’ forward Margaret Huntington hit a put-back jumper with less than five seconds in the extra period, and Amanda Forshay’s desperation shot from midcourt fell short, leaving Campolindo with a 66-65 a heartbreaking defeat in the NCS title game at McKeon Pavilion at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga Saturday evening.
Cougars’ coach Clay Kallam knows what winning would what have meant, but was proud his team came back the way they did.
“We played a great game and I felt like we had a great chance. They beat us by 42 last year,” he said.
With O’Dowd’s big victory against Campolindo in the NCS playoffs last season, a 75-33 first round defeat of the Cougars, Kallam knew many people had already written them off for this game.
“We played with heart,” he said. “I don’t think anyone thought we could win this game.”
That generalization started to become a reality, when the Dragons pulled ahead at the half by eight points and 13 after three quarters.
Then Campolindo squashed any hint of that assumption possibly coming true in fourth.
After the Cougars cut the deficit to eight, Annelise Ito drove to basket and drew a foul, making it a six-point game. Forshay’s easy basket on the next possession cut it to four, and seconds later, she drew another basket and foul, cutting the O’Dowd lead to just one.
The Dragons broke the 10-0 Campolindo run with a Kendall Waters lay-up to make it a 57-56 game, but Ito found Ashley Ewing open for a three-point shot, which she sank to give Campolindo a two-point lead.
O’Dowd would end up tying the game at 59. Huntington had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds, but her put-back shot with less than three seconds to go in regulation went around the rim before bouncing out, forcing overtime.
Both teams played a tit-for-tat extra period, but Huntington’s second chance at a put-back in the waning seconds didn’t disappoint this time, falling in and giving the Dragons the NCS Championship, and leaving the Cougars just short of completing an epic comeback.
“We’ve been that type of team all year, every year since I’ve been here,” said Kallam of the charge from behind in the fourth.
Campolindo’s tough and gritty defense put them in control in the first quarter. The Cougars forced 10 turnovers and grabbed seven steals from the Dragons. The strong defensive effort gave Campolindo a 15-9 lead after one.
Annie Ward then padded that lead in the first minute of the second. She sank back-to-back three’s that gave the Cougars a 10-point lead.
Then O’Dowd turned it up.
The Dragons exploded, using drives to the basket and taking advantage of Campolindo mistakes to go on a 15-0 run, turning a 10-point deficit into an five-point lead. Khloe Hall ended the O’Dowd run with a three that cut the lead back to two points. The Dragons would take a 36-28 advantage into the locker room.
Campolindo didn’t spend a long-time in the locker room after the half started; they were out shooting around with over six minutes left in the intermission break, while O’Dowd took spent the entire half in the locker room.
Turns out the Dragons didn’t need the extra practice at the moment.
O’Dowd outscored the Cougars 16-10 in the third, giving them a 51-38 lead heading into the fourth, where Campolindo charged back.
The Cougars will have to rebound quickly to play well next week, and Kallam thinks his team could possibly have another shot at the Dragons.
“We got NorCals next week, and we look forward to playing them again,” he said.
——————————Bishop O'Dowd 66, Campolindo 65
1 2 3 4 OT F
6 65 O'Dowd 7 28 16 8
7 66 Individuals — (fg ftm-fta tp) Campolindo Brown 1 0-0 3, Ito 3 2-3 9, Hull 3 1-1 8, Ewing 3 1-3 10, Forshay 4 8-8 16, Ward 4 6-7 16, Hickey 1 1-3 3. Totals 15 19-25 65. O'Dowd Bostick 5 1-2 12, Jackson 3 0-0 6, Huntington 2 0-0 4, Powell 1 1-2 6, Chidom 5 4-6 14, White 1 0-0 2, Brown 1 0-0 2, Waters 10 0-0 20. Totals 28 8-10 66.
3-point goals: Campo - Ward 2, Ito, Hull, Ewing. O'Dowd - Bostick, Powell. Records: No. 2 Campo 23-6, No. 1 O'Dowd 22-7. NCS championship, girls basketball, 3/5/2011 Follow Patch Sports East Bay on Twitter