NorCal Tip-Off Classic Recaps

Shane O’Reilly (left) from NorCal No. 1 Campolindo of Moraga & B.J. Davis of No. 2 Modesto Christian were MVPs in the final two games of the NorCal Tip-Off Classic. Photos: Gerry Freitas.

Here’s the results and recap from the 14th Annual NorCal Tip-Off Classic at Dublin. NorCal No. 1 and state No. 4 Campolindo opens its season with a quality win over No. 26 and host Dublin in the marquee game. Preseason state No. 6 Modesto Christian takes down No. 15 San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno and it was a big debut for a new player and new head coach at De La Salle.

RELATED: To see 2021-22 preseason state rankings, CLICK HERE ; To see the list of major tournaments and showcases involving California’s best teams, CLICK HERE ; To see a list of all-time preseason No. 1 teams in our current state Top 20 format (1988-89), CLICK HERE ; To see the vast list of transfers that will impact the 2021-22 season, CLICK HERE

2021 NorCal Tip-Off Classic Results
(Teams listed by preseason state ranking)

Game 8: No. 4 Campolindo (Moraga) 50, No. 26 Dublin 42

The marquee game of an event that resumed after a year hiatus saw NorCal’s top-ranked team up its winning streak to 20 games with a tough win over the host club. Campolindo (1-0) came out firing on all cylinders and took a 16-4 lead after one period with good shooting, crisp cutting and passing. Dublin (0-1) settled down and eventually got some quality looks for top scorer Courtney Anderson, one of the top juniors in the state, despite blanket defense from junior Cade Bennett and Aidan Mahaney, the 2020 Bay Area Player of the Year who came off the bench in the Cougars’ season-opener.

Dublin trailed at halftime, 31-22, and was able to get back into the game by holding Campolindo to four points in the third quarter, but could never get over the hump down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Dublin was in the bonus with 7:22 to go in the game down 37-31.

The Cougars’ transition defense was on point and they made their free throws, going 7-of-8 from the line. Dublin missed eight free throws (14-of-22) and made 2-of-16 on 3-point shots. The Gaels had their chances in front of a raucous home crowd, but could get no closer than four points in the final period.

Anderson finished with 17 points for Dublin, but nobody else finished in double figures for coach Tom Costello. Donovan Cooks, a 6-foot-1 junior, finished with nine points and five rebounds.

Shane O’Reilly, a returning all-league guard, had 19 points for the Cougars, including 14 in the first half. Senior guard Cade Bennett, the son of St. Mary’s coach Randy Bennett, had 10 points and six assists. Mahaney chipped in six points before cramping late in the game when it was still in the balance.

For Campolindo, the 2020 NorCal D1 champs who went 15-0 last season, have not lost since the 2020 North Coast Section playoffs when it lost to Dublin, 64-55. Campo is in D2 in its section and Dublin is in D1, but these two teams could meet again in the 66th Annual Gridley Invitational, December 9-11. A potential roadblock to a rematch in the eight-team field is preseason state No. 18 Salesian of Richmond.

Ryan Beasley bombed away for 44 points in a morning game at Saturday’s Nor-Cal TipOff Classic. Photo: Gerry Freitas.

Game 7: No. 6 Modesto Christian 86, No. 15 San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 71

Both teams looked to get out on the break and make things happen offensively, but it was the Crusaders that had a bit more firepower and showed why they are the No. 2 team in NorCal to begin the season. San Joaquin Memorial (1-1) got a big game for Fresno State-bound JoJo Hunter as it needed to, but as had been the case in games in this event, one team started off slow and it happened to be the Panthers.

Modesto Christian (1-0) went up 9-0 and 12-2, before the Panthers started to settle in. The Panthers trailed 22-15 after one period and 45-34 at halftime, a score that would seem to give the CIF Central Section club some life considering how it played. Hunter got in a scoring duel with Modesto Christian sophomore guard Jamari Phillips and it made the game entertaining. Hunter, a returning first team all-state selection, scored 32 points on 10-of-21 shooting. Phillips, considered one of the nation’s top sophomore recruits, connected on 9-of-18 field goal attempts and finished with 29 points.

San Joaquin Memorial was unable to cut its deficit to single digits, but the difference was the play of B.J. Davis, a returning all-state underclass guard who is quickly rising up in the Cal-Hi Sports Hot 100. His speed and shot making was something the Panthers couldn’t match, as Davis finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Many of the seven assists in the second half went to sophomore forward Manassee Itete, who scored 12 points after intermission.

Modesto Christian also got a good contribution from sophomore Ty Virgil, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

San Joaquin Memorial got a terrific effort from junior forward Mike Davis Jr., who kept working against Itete and 6-foot-9 Prince Oseya to finish with 20 points and eight rebounds.

The Panthers made 16-of-19 free throws, but were out-rebounded by NorCal’s No. 2 ranked team, 41-27.

Game 6: Oakland Tech 71, No. 33 Vanden (Travis AFB) 67

The Vikings came in looking to make a statement as one of NorCal’s best teams, but it was the Bulldogs that served notice they could be major OAL contenders with a dominant victory. Oakland Tech (2-0) jumped out to leads of 7-1 and 17-6 and never looked back. To make matters worse for Vanden (0-1), leading senior Takai Emerson-Hardy picked up his second foul with 3:47 remaining in the first period. Emerson-Hardy then picked up his third with 30 seconds remaining in the first half. It was a microcosm of the game for Vanden, which turned the ball over in the backcourt on plenty of occasions in the first half and took poor, unforced shots.

Oakland Tech led 43-24 at halftime and 61-41 entering the fourth period and was cruising until the Vikings made a late push to make things interesting. They could have cut their deficit to four points on a three-point attempt by sophomore Tyler Thompson with just under a minute remaining, but the attempt was off. They eventually did cut it to four points on two free throws by senior Mikey Johnson with 26.1 seconds remaining, but junior guard Ahmaree Muhammad iced the game for Oakland Tech with two free throws with 22.6 seconds remaining.

Muhammad finished with 20 points for the Bulldogs, with Mahlik Smith, a six-foot junior, netting 18 points. He made a free throw with under three seconds to make it a two possession game.

Emerson-Hardy scored a game-high 19 points for Vanden. The Vikings connected on 28-of-41 free throws.

Game 5: Grant (Sacramento) 61, Riordan (San Francisco) 50

The difference in this game was the start, as Grant jumped out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back. Riordan (0-1) scored its first basket with 4:20 to go in the first quarter.

Grant (1-0) went up 24-10 in the second quarter and Riordan showed signs of life late in the second quarter, but was never able to put together a sustained run and get over the hump. The Pacers trailed 30-22 at halftime and 44-27 at the end of the third quarter.

Grant had four players in double figures, led by Bethune-Cookman bound point guard Jayson Matthews with 14 points and senior guard Rishod Brown with 13 points.

Riordan, which graduated a strong senior class and lost two talented underclass players to non-CIF program Prolific Prep of Napa, made only 3-of-12 3-pointers and 9-of-17 free throws. Achillies Woodson, a 5-foot-11 junior, led the Crusaders with 11 points.

Game 4: No. 37 Inderkum (Sacramento) 80, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 54

The Tigers outplayed the Dragons in nearly every aspect of the game and pulled away from one of the traditional NorCal powers in the second half. Inderkum (2-0) got balanced scoring and solid play from a host of players despite foul trouble for star senior Derrick Claxton. He picked up two fouls in 10 seconds to give him four with 6:30 to go in the 3rd period and his team up 44-30. It hardly mattered, as the Tigers continued to pour it on offensively.

Claxton finished with 18 points, while game MVP Isaiah Chandavong, a junior, finished with 14 points. Chandavong added four assists and four steals. Seniors Damarieh Osby (6-0) and Anthony Williams (6-8) added 11 points apiece.

Bishop O’Dowd (0-1) was led by senior Cameron Brown with 15 points, as the Dragons must re-group and show improvement if they are to be any factor in the weekly state rankings.

Game 3: De La Salle (Concord) 58, Elk Grove 47

The Thundering Herd trailed 26-15 at halftime, but outscored the Spartans, 21-14, in the third period to get back in the game. Elk Grove (2-1) had momentum in the game, until top player Ameere Britton had back-to-back fouls to get disqualified with 4:37 to go and his team trailing 43-38. He finished with 18 points.

Freshman Alec Blair of De La Salle (1-0) hit a 3-pointer to ice the contest, giving his team a 52-41 advantage with 2:30 remaining. The 6-foot-5 Blair, one of the top first-year players in the region, was named player of the game after scoring 16 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and getting three steals. It was not just an impressive debut for Blair, but also for new Spartans’ coach Marcus Schroeder, a member of the 2006 D1 state title winning team.

Game 2: Clayton Valley (Concord) 72, Lincoln (Stockton) 53

The Ugly Eagles played a terrific overall game, jumping out to a 30-20 lead after one period of play. The Trojans then went cold for the next two quarters, scoring only 18 points as Lincoln (1-1) faced a 63-38 deficit entering the fourth period.

Jeremiah Dargan, one of the top unsigned senior prospects in the state, scored on a variety of baskets and led Clayton Valley (1-0) with 28 points. Junior Jake King added 14 points for the Ugly Eagles.

San Diego St-bound Miles Byrd had a tough shooting morning, making only 3-of-14 field goal attempts for Lincoln (1-1). He finished with nine points. Senior Andre Warren led the Trojans with 13 points.

Game 1: Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) 92, Woodside Priory (Portola Valley) 59

Junior guard Ryan Beasley was too much for the Panthers to handle, as he lived in the painted area and at the charity stripe on route to 44 points. The Wildcats, which upped their record to 2-0 on the young season, led 49-27 at halftime and the younger brother of Montana standout Robbie Beasley had 18 pts.

Woodside (1-1) was led by sophomore center Steve Emeneke with 14 points.

The event record for individual points is by Kendall Smith (UNLV/Cal-St. Northridge/Oklahoma), who scored 52 for Deer Valley of Antioch in 2012 during a double overtime victory over Sacramento.

RELATED: To see 2021-22 preseason state rankings, CLICK HERE ; To see the list of major tournaments and showcases involving California’s best teams, CLICK HERE ; To see a list of all-time preseason No. 1 teams in our current state Top 20 format (1988-89), CLICK HERE ; To see the vast list of transfers that will impact the 2021-22 season, CLICK HERE

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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