The Dublin High School Varsity Boys Basketball team put together its most complete performance of the season in the Semi-Finals of the Don Nelson Classic, defeating Placer High of Auburn 78-54 to advance to the Championship of the 16th Annual Don Nelson Classic (DNC). Dublin will be hosting Elk Grove on Saturday, December 18th at 7:00 p.m. after the Thundering Herd made a last-second shot to defeat California 37-36.
Placer came into the game against the Gaels with a mark of 9-1 overall, but Dublin forced numerous turnovers and jumped out to a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter. The Gaels led 41-31 at the half, but then proceeded to go on a 22-7 to take a 63-38 lead and put the game out of reach.
Courtney Anderson Jr. led the Gaels with 19 points, but Friday night’s victory featured another balanced scoring attack. For the second night in a row, five players for Dublin scored in double figures. Freshman Jalen Stokes scored 17 points, Donovan Cooks added 13, Adam Moore contributed 12, and David Filopovas finished with 10 points.
If Dublin wins on Saturday, it will be the 5th season in a row in which the Gaels have won the DNC. The Gaels defeated Foothill of Palo Cedro in 2019 and had championship victories over Heritage in the proceeding three seasons (2016-2018). In total, Dublin has won the DNC on 7 occasions.
The DNC is named after Don Nelson, who was a Physical Education teacher and coach at Dublin High School from the year it opened until 2004. Don Nelson served as a Varsity Boys Basketball Coach for several years, and also was the DHS Athletic Director and was the East Bay Athletic League for nearly 30 years until retiring from that post and moving to Lincoln in 2018. Dublin High School is fortunate that he returns every year for the tournament, and he will be presenting the awards on Saturday night just as he has every year since the inception of the DNC in 2005.
Admission is free to the DNC with a DHS Digital Sports pass and/or an ASB sticker For those purchasing tickets, the Dublin High School GoFan page for all events is here. Other games taking place as part of Saturday’s DNC action include Foothill-Palo Cedro v. Fairfield (2:30), the Consolation Championship between Castro Valley and Heritage (4:00), the 3rd Place Game between Placer and California (5:30) followed by the Championship Game with Dublin and Elk Grove at 7:00.
Saturday night’s Championship game (and the entire tournament) will be shown on GaelsTV. Highlights as they happened can also be viewed on Dublin High School’s ScoreVision FanApp. If you can’t catch the action on Saturday, the highlights will remain posted on the FanApp so be sure to download it today.