League play is fully underway for winter sports team this week after a busy holiday time period with most teams involved in tournaments.
For the first time in memory, Carondelet has a losing record this late in a basketball season. The four-time reigning North Coast Section champions were 6-8 entering the week after playing in the competitive Nike Tournament of Champions and the Pearl Division of the 20th annual West Coast Jamboree.
The Cougars graduated the quintet of four-year varsity stalwarts led by all-State standout Ali Bamberger and has found the going much tougher. Their near two decades long streak of 20+ win seasons is in jeopardy as well as 12 straight NCS championship game appearances.
In the Diablo Athletic League both Clayton Valley Charter (Ruby) and Northgate (Sapphire) won their division at the West Coast Jamboree to lead into DAL Foothill Division action.
The Eagles were 9-6 with six victories in a row and the Broncos 13-4 after winning seven of their past eight games.
Ygnacio Valley at 6-5 is the only DAL Valley Division team with a winning mark before league play starts this week.
Clayton Valley Charter (12-3) and De La Salle (11-3) have the top local records entering mid-January among local schools.
DLS won its own Chris Vontoure Spartan Classic over Bishop Walsh of Maryland in the championship game before losing three in a row against teams from Arizona, Washington and SouCal after opening with a win at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in Rancho Mirage.
Last week Northgate (7-9) beat the Broncos’ crosstown rivals from Las Lomas for the first time since 2011. Northgate and CVCHS are in the DAL Foothill Division.
Ygnacio Valley (9-7) has the best pre-season mark in the Valley Division. Mt. Diablo has won three of its past four game after a slow start. League play is underway this week.
North Coast Section playoffs run Feb. 18-29.
Carondelet broke a string of three straight championship game defeats to win the 2019 NCS Division I championship. The Cougars are 8-4-1 on the season with a 2-1 loss to rivals Monte Vista in East Bay Athletic League play.
Clayton Valley Charter is 8-2-2 and 3-0-1 in the DAL while Concord is 7-1-3 with its only loss 2-1 to Alameda. It figures to be a wild league race with the single round-robin schedule.
Both the boys and girls DAL soccer schedule features all 13 school in the same division.
NCS playoffs follow league play Feb. 19-29.
De La Salle has won seven of the past 11 Division I Section championships but have dropped two of the past three title games to Berkeley, including last year’s surprising 4-1 defeat, the heaviest ever for coach Derricke Brown’s team.
This year the Spartans are 8-1-1 after a 2-0 EBAL defeat last week in Danville to San Ramon Valley. DLS won and drew in two games at the College Showcase last month in Los Angeles.
The DAL boys race figures to be wild with Clayton Valley Charter (9-1-1), Northgate (4-3-1), Concord (5-4-1) and last year’s NCS D-III and NorCal D-IV runner-up Ygnacio Valley (4-4) competing against early favorites undefeated Las Lomas and Acalanes.
De La Salle will look to defend its NCS dual team championship Feb. 8 in Antioch and the NCS team title Feb. 21—22 at James Logan in Union City. The Spartans have won five years in a row in each tournament plus 12 of the past 13 dual titles and 10 of 11 team championships.
Northgate won the annual Bill Martell Invitational beating a 22-team field last month on their campus with four individual champions–Angelo Esposito, Cole Sanchez, Nic LeSieur and Hudson Blaney.
The EBAL league tournament is Feb. 15 while the DAL tourney is in Benicia Feb. 14-15.