Basketball Wins 1st State Championship

Basketball Wins 1st State Championship

Ava Charlesworth, Staff Writer

Heading into the CIF Division II boys’ basketball state championship game, which was hosted at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center on Saturday, March 9, head coach Steven Dyer said, “We’re confident that we can win the whole thing.”

As is turns out, that confidence paid off. The Cougars defeated Colony High School of Ontario 55-40.  The Cougars held the lead the entire game.

It is the 1st state title for the boy’s basket ball team in school history.

Of the Cougars’ 55 points, Aidan Mahaney and sophomore Emmanuel Callas were responsible for 38, each scoring 19.

“It’s crazy to be here,” Aidan said to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s crazier to win our 1st state title my freshman year. I can’t believe what just happened.”

In the end, it was 6’4″ Callas whose inside work secured the win. Callas scored 13 points in the 2nd half and finished with 9 rebounds, despite a scratch to the eye that forced him to leave the court in the 3rd quarter.

At the buzzer, the bench and Coach Dyer erupted, storming the court in celebration.

Their journey to the state championship began with a game versus the Oak Ridge High School Trojans on February 26. The Cougars won by an impressive 13 points, with a final score of 69-56.

Later in the week, the Cougars battled the the Sacramento High School Dragons in a harrowing over-time win. With less than a minute left in the game, the Cougars were down by 2 points when junior Carter Mahaney was fouled. Mahaney scored 2 out of a possible 3 points, tying the game but leaving him visibly disappointed.

Mahaney redeemed himself in over time, scoring 4 of the Cougars 11 points in the period, leading the Cougars to a 74-72 victory with a last second 2-point shot at the buzzer.

Campolindo moved onto the regional semifinals on March 2, facing the intimidating Grant Union High School Pacers of Sacramento. 3 busloads of fans from Sacramento arrived at Campolindo, along with a band, dance squad, and cheerleaders. Senior basketball player David Ahazie said, “Having a lot of fans there hyped us up and gave us a lot of energy.”

The lead flipped back and forth, with the Cougars pulling out a tight victory of 53-51 after an exhilarating 4th quarter. “After Grant, we were confident going into [the Serra] game. Getting to this point, its important that you stay confident because you’ll keep winning games,” said head coach Steven Dyer.

The Cougars faced the Padres of Junipero Serra High School from San Mateo at home on March 5, with the gym packed with over 1000 fans.

As the game began, the gym erupted with chants from the Campolindo and Serra student sections and cheers from parents and local fans.

The Cougars came out strong, winning the tip off and leading the Padres 30-16 by half time. After an explosive 2nd half, the Cougars claimed an easy victory over the Padres with a final score of 59-38, claiming the title of Division II NorCal champs.

“It’s an awesome feeling for all of us,” said Dyer. “We’ve never advanced past this point so we felt really good about it.”

Co-caption Carter Mahaney and his brother, freshman Aidan Mahaney, scored a combined total of 34 out of the team’s 59 points. Another top scorer was Ahazie, who scored 12 points for the Cougars.