The Dublin High School Girls Basketball team became the highest seeded team still alive in any of the 14 Boys or Girls North Coast Section (NCS) Basketball brackets following its 52-41 victory over Clayton Valley Charter on Friday. Dublin entered the NCS playoffs as the #12 seed before upsetting Granada 51-32 in the opening round, and there are no seeds lower than #10 Stuart Hall (Division V Boys) still playing in the postseason.
The Gaels were in control for most of the first half, as Soha Ahmad led the way with 8 points as Dublin entered the break up 25-14 over the Ugly Eagles. Dublin extended their lead to 29-14 in the opening minutes of the 3rd quarter before Clayton Valley went on a furious 17-0 run over a span of 2:14. The Ugly Eagles unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers, making 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and taking their first lead of the game 31-29 with 3:46 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Rachel Grier helped stabilize things for Dublin, scoring all 9 of the Gaels points during a difficult stretch for the team, including a bucket just before the buzzer to give Dublin a slim 34-33 edge heading into the final period. Grier scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half, and also led the way with rebounds (18), blocks (8), and assists (5).
Karina Virk also played a major role for Dublin down the stretch, scoring all 8 of her points in the 4th quarter to help put the game away. Freshmen Zoya Nomani and Sophia Ignacio also hit big buckets for the Gaels in the final period, and sophomore Kenya Craven also made major contributions on both ends of the floor finishing with 13 rebounds, 7 points, and 4 assists.
The Gaels continue their improbable postseason run and will go on the road to face top seeded Monte Vista on Tuesday, February 22nd at 7:00 in the NCS Division 1 Semifinals. Dublin lost both its regular season encounter and East Bay Athletic League playoff game to the Mustangs by double-digits so it will be a difficult task, but a victory will allow Dublin the opportunity to play for the NCS title for the first time since 2015.
Tickets to the NCS Semifinal game at Monte Vista are available on the DHS Athletics GoFan page and can be purchased here. The game will be live-streamed on the NFHS Network and can be found here – https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/monte-vista-high-school-danville-danville-ca/gamffe0225238