Vikings dunk Giants in road playoff test

Oakmont advances to NorCal semifinals
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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The Oakmont High boys basketball team is used to being the team with the home court advantage. Thursday night, the Vikings found out they could get it done when the other guy has that edge.


Oakmont was in Larkspur for a quarterfinal battle in the Northern California playoffs of the CIF Division II Basketball tournament, and the Vikings jumped all over Redwood High early and then went on to beat the Giants 59-45. It was Redwood’s first home loss of the season.


The Vikings owned the initial stanza, taking an 18-4 lead out of the chute and holding a 24-9 advantage after one period. Redwood (29-3) has played with the lead all year, and while it made this one interesting in the middle, it did not have a single lead all night long.


It was Oakmont’s ability to get out quickly and finish well that sealed a trip to the Nor Cal semifinals. Tony Gill had 12 points in the first quarter, including hitting on a pair of crucial 3-pointers, and Alex Ford also buried two treys as the Vikings started strong.


In the end, we started strong and finished strong,” said Oakmont coach Rick Campbell. “We went on the road and beat a team that hadn't lost a home game all year.”


As they have tended to do on occasion this season, the Vikings left the door open for the Giants in the second and third quarters as they scored just six second-quarter points. A 13-for-23 performance at the charity stripe contributed heavily to that open-door policy.


“Redwood did a good job in the second quarter defensively and we struggled a bit to score,” Campbell said. “We had some careless turnovers and gave up some second shot opportunities that hurt us.” 


An 8-0 run to close out the third quarter after Redwood had pulled within three sent the Vikings on their way. The Giants made one more surge in the fourth, closing back within five points, but Oakmont forward John Adenrele delivered a traditional three-point play that ended the surge. 


“Their swing man, DeMarques Wiggins, was all we had heard about,” Campbell said. 

Wiggins scored 16 points to lead the Giants, while Gill finished with 19 to lead all scorers.


The Vikings found their free throw stroke in the fourth period, hitting on 12-of-16 to put the contest on ice. Adenrele hit 4-of-5 down the stretch and was a commanding presence on the glass right from the start.


The win ends the season for the No. 3 seeded North Coast Section champions, but sends sixth-seeded Oakmont (24-7) on to the NorCal semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday night in Mountain View against No. 2 St. Francis (28-3).



The CIF Division II Tournament continues Saturday night with the semifinals in the Bay Area. Oakmont and Woodcreek, the top two teams in the Sierra Foothill League, are on the road to take on St. Francis of Mountain View and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, two powerhouses of the Central Coast Section’s West Catholic League in battle for Northern California basketball supremacy.

Saturday’s NorCal D-II semifinals (tip time is 7 p.m.)

No. 6 Oakmont (24-7) at No. 2 St. Francis of Mountain View (28-3)

No. 4 Woodcreek (27-5) at No. 1 Archbishop Mitty of San Jose (21-9)


NorCal championship game – 4 p.m. next Saturday  at Arco Arena

State championship game – 8 p.m. Friday March 26 at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield