Two OUSD Women’s Basketball Teams Take Home State Championships – Oakland Tech Bulldogs and Oakland High Wildcats
It had been more than a decade since any Oakland Athletic League basketball team had won a California Championship. But on Friday and Saturday, two different Oakland high schools took home top honors at the CIF State Championship tournament.
The Oakland High School Girls team won the Division 3 Championship on Friday afternoon. Less than 24 hours later, Oakland Technical High School’s Girls team won the Division 4 State Championship.
The Oakland Tech team made the trip up to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento hours early so they could cheer on their fellow Oaklanders going for the D-3 Championship. They watched a powerful performance by the Wildcats, who beat McFarland High from near Bakersfield by a score of 51-35. Senior Morgan Dunbar scored 20 points to lead the Wildcats to the first Oakland Athletic League girls championship in 14 years.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Dunbar. “To bring home a championship for Oakland, it means a lot, cause I’m from Oakland.”
“We play together as a sisterhood. Nobody puts each other down, and if anyone does have a down play, we just lift each other up,” said Wildcats center Mae Alexander.
Head coach Orlando Gray enthusiastically brags about his current team. “It’s a really good group of kids, great parents, great students. Our team GPA is a 3.6. Not exaggerating that. Four kids are over a 4.0. They’re solid as a group, they’re solid as people.”
Some of the Wildcats made the trip back to Sacramento on Saturday morning to see the Oakland Tech Bulldogs take on Northview High from Covina in the Division 4 State Championship.
The Bulldogs started to dominate early in the game, and turned it up in the second half, running away with it at the end. The final score was 55-27.
“There’s a lot of great success stories in Oakland and us and Oakland High are two of them…Our school is on the rise. And our basketball program is as well,” said head coach, LeRoy Hurt.
Guard Jordan Smith led the way with 19 points and center Stephanie Okowi scored 16 points and snagged an astounding 24 rebounds—a Division 4 championship record. “It was really different playing in a way bigger court where men play. And lights beaming on you and stuff. It’s a lot to take in but it was a great experience,” Smith said.
The Bulldogs’ win came a day after International Women’s Day. “It says a lot because…also in Oakland, our Mack Boys win championships, state championships every year, so it’s good for the women, women’s basketball, and for Oakland High and Oakland Tech to be winning state,” added Smith.
Playing within the Oakland Athletic League, Oakland Tech lost to Oakland High three times this year. “Those experiences led us to win the state championship today, so…we want to play O High (again). Is there like a Division 3 vs. Division 4,” asked senior point guard, Tiffany Siu, to more laughter.
“It’s tough to win a state title. It’s impossible sometimes. I could coach another 20 years and never get to this moment again. I’m just real thankful that they took advantage of it, for them, for ourselves, for our school and for our program,” said Coach Hurt.
The District and the schools are now in the process of planning a celebration for both teams, which will include a parade through Oakland.