It has been a tumultuous season in the East Bay Athletic League for Boys Basketball, with postponements, rescheduled games, change in format, and the creation of a league tournament all in the past four weeks. At the same time, this season has also seen some of the most thrilling games and a wide open competition for seeding with more legitimate contenders for the top spot than has been seen in over a decade.
Despite these unprecedented circumstances, Dublin High School marched one step closer to the #1 seed in the EBAL Tournament after posting a critical 59-54 win over San Ramon Valley in its Auxiliary Gym on Thursday night. Both teams came into the contest with just one league loss, and the Gaels needed the win to stay in first place tie in the EBAL with a record of 6-1. Following a loss to Amador Valley on Sunday, Dougherty Valley dropped to 5-2 but is still in contention for the #1 seed along with De La Salle and San Ramon Valley.
If Dublin can go on the road to beat the Wildcats on Tuesday, they will likely be able to have home-court advantage throughout the EBAL Tournament provided they beat Monte Vista on Friday. With a loss, there’s a good chance that the Gaels will drop to the #3 seed behind De La Salle and Dougherty Valley in the final regular season standings, forcing Dublin to go on the road for the Semi-Finals and Finals.
Dublin was actually in command for the first three quarters and pulled ahead 49-32 after a monster dunk by Courtney Anderson Jr. late in the third quarter. San Ramon Valley would not go away though, as they scored 13 unanswered points to pull within 49-45. Donovan Cooks hit two free throws to break a five-minute scoring drought, and then Carmelo Clarke-Tarver hit a crucial three-pointer with 1:54 remaining to extend Dublin’s advantage to 54-45. The Wolves continued to respond and pulled to within three points in the final two minutes, and it took Cooks hitting an additional five free throws to put the game away.
Cooks led Dublin with 21 points, while Anderson finished with 19 points and 5 steals. Freshman Jalen Stokes also had a big game for Dublin defensively leading the Gaels with 9 rebounds to go with 8 points.
The general public is now welcome to the game between Dublin and Dougherty Valley provided that they provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Here’s the link: https://events.ticketspicket.com/agency/cf84a8f0-6750-4149-921e-d5a997b3ba03/events/58106814-d910-44f7-b212-62df48983f30