Boys BB State Team of the Year 2015

Bishop O'Dowd's champs collect their gear. Photo: Bishop O'Dowd Facebook

Bishop O’Dowd’s champs collect their gear. Photo: Bishop O’Dowd Facebook

Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland officially named State Team of the Year for the first time in its history, but there are dozens others on the all-time list from the East Bay.

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Mater Dei of Santa Ana’s four-year reign as the final No. 1 team in California boys basketball came to an end in last Saturday’s CIF Open Division championship so it’s obvious that the team that beat the Monarchs, Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, gets the official Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year designation as well.

O’Dowd, like Mater Dei, has one of the state’s all-time best boys basketball traditions. With this year’s final 28-4 record, the Dragons pushed their all-time win total in reported results that we have to 1,559 since the school’s first varsity season (1955-56). The only schools in state history with reported higher totals (but much older schools) are Long Beach Poly, Berkeley, Compton, Fresno Edison and possibly Mater Dei (pre-Gary McKnight era totals not reported). O’Dowd also won more games than any school in the state for the 1960s and 1980s.

Bishop O'Dowd head coach Lou Ritchie gives instructions to guard Austin Walker. Photo: Willie Eashman

Bishop O’Dowd head coach Lou Ritchie gives instructions to guard Austin Walker. Photo: Willie Eashman


In all of those wins, however, none of them earned the Dragons the mythical No. 1 overall final state ranking. The last NorCal team that did that was unbeaten McClymonds of Oakland in 2008. Before that, you have to go back to when Jason Kidd was running the show at St. Joseph of Alameda (1992, 1991) to find a team from the North considered the state’s best.

“It means a lot to people from the Bay Area,” Bishop O’Dowd coach Lou Richie said Saturday night. “I got a bunch of phone calls and hundreds of text messages before the game wishing us good luck and what winning this game would mean to people. I’m now getting a bunch of texts congratulating us.”

Several other facts about O’Dowd’s State Team of the Year honor include:

1. With four losses, you have to go back to 1975 for Elk Grove, when the Thundering Herd had all-time great player Bill Cartwright, to find a No. 1 team for the state with that many.

2. O’Dowd becomes the fourth different school with an Oakland address and the 20th team from the East Bay that is listed in the Cal-Hi Sports state record book as State Team of the Year. Oakland High is, in fact, listed as the first one for way back in 1903.

Two of the four losses by the Dragons this year were to national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy of Virginia with another coming to national powerhouse Montverde Academy of Florida. The only other loss, to Wesleyan Christian of North Carolina, is balanced out by having a huge win over Georgia powerhouse Wheeler of Marietta.

“I thought what this year was about was the legacy of this year and their legacy,” Ritchie said when asked about the team finally breaking an eight-game losing streak in CIF state finals. “The focus should be on what they have done. In the last three years, these seniors have only lost three times in the state.”

Congratulations to Coach Ritchie, to all of the players and all of the other coaches for a truly memorable season.

Cal-Hi Sports Boys Basketball
State Teams of the Year All-Time List
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2015 – Oakland Bishop O’Dowd (28-4)
2014 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (35-0)
2013 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (34-2)
2012 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (34-2)
2011 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (32-3)
2010 – Los Angeles Westchester (32-3)
2009 – Los Angeles Westchester (35-2)
2008 – Oakland McClymonds (32-0)
2007 – Lakewood Artesia (33-2)
2006 – Lakewood Artesia (32-1)
2005 – Los Angeles Westchester (25-3)
2004 – Los Angeles Westchester (23-2)
2003 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (34-2)
2002 – Los Angeles Westchester (32-2)
2001 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (33-2)
2000 – Compton Dominguez (35-2)
1999 – Compton Dominguez (32-3)
1998 – Los Angeles Westchester (29-3)
1997 – North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (35-1)
1996 – Compton Dominguez (34-2)
1995 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (36-1)
1994 – Los Angeles Crenshaw (29-2)
1993 – Los Angeles Crenshaw (26-2)
1992 – Alameda St. Joseph (32-3)
1991 – Alameda St. Joseph (31-3)
1990 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (34-1)
1989 – Los Angeles Crenshaw (25-2)
1988 – Los Angeles Manual Arts (27-3)
1987 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (31-1)
1986 – Los Angeles Crenshaw (25-2)
1985 – Los Angeles Crenshaw (24-0)
1984 – Long Beach Poly (31-2)
1983 – Los Angeles Crenshaw (27-2)
1982 – Carson (26-2)
1981 – Long Beach Poly (26-2)
1980 – Inglewood (29-0)
1979 – Los Angeles Verbum Dei (28-1)
1978 – Pasadena (26-2)
1977 – Oakland Fremont (25-1)
1976 – Long Beach Poly (30-1)
1975 – Elk Grove (27-5)
1974 – Los Angeles Verbum Dei (30-2)
1973 – Los Angeles Verbum Dei (29-2)
1972 – Los Angeles Verbum Dei (30-1)
1971 – Los Angeles Verbum Dei (29-2)
1970 – Berkeley (32-0)
1969 – Compton (30-0)
1968 – Compton (32-0)
1967 – Los Angeles Fremont (16-2)
1966 – Los Angeles Jordan (18-0)
1965 – Long Beach Poly (29-3)
1964 – Long Beach Poly (32-1)
1963 – Oakland McClymonds (19-3)
1962 – Oakland McClymonds (23-0)
1961 – Compton (28-3)
1960 – Oakland McClymonds (22-0)
1959 – Oakland McClymonds (22-0)
1958 – Oakland McClymonds (21-0)
1957 – San Francisco Poly (28-1)
1956 – El Cerrito (31-1)
1955 – Alhambra (27-2)
1954 – San Francisco St. Ignatius (26-2)
1953 – Los Angeles Loyola (34-2)
1952 – Compton (32-0)
1951 – Los Angeles Jefferson (27-0)
1950 – Chico (15-3)
1949 – Los Angeles Washington (21-0)
1948 – San Francisco Lincoln (29-2)
1947 – Los Angeles Mt. Carmel (34-2)
1946 – Stockton (20-2)
1945 – San Diego Hoover (16-1)
1944 – Alameda (15-1)
1943 – San Francisco St. Ignatius (14-0)
1942 – Palo Alto (18-0)
1941 – Glendale Hoover (21-1)
1940 – Long Beach Poly (22-2)
1939 – San Francisco Lowell (17-3)
1938 – Whittier (24-3)
1937 – San Francisco Lowell (17-3)
1936 – San Diego (14-1)
1935 – Santa Barbara (14-1)
1934 – Santa Barbara (16-1)
1933 – Stockton (16-2)
1932 – San Francisco Lowell (18-3)
1931 – Whittier (25-1)
1930 – Palo Alto (13-0)

Note: List continues back to 1903 in Cal-Hi Sports Record Book & Almanac. All selections prior to 1975 made retroactively based on research by our founder, the late Nelson Tennis.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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