The Mercury News

Collins, Pittsburg pull off stunning upset of Berkeley

- By Joseph Dycus jdycus@bayareanew­ Staff writers Darren Sabedra and Jesus Cano contribute­d to this roundup.

As the final buzzer sounded on Pittsburg's stunning road victory over Berkeley on Tuesday in the first round of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs, Jeremiah Collins joyously threw the ball as high as he could to celebrate with the rest of his teammates.

Such a reaction was warranted after the No. 12-seeded Pirates, who trailed by as many as 13 points, wrapped up a 47-44 upset win over the fifth-seeded Yellowjack­ets.

Pittsburg (16-11) will play host to No. 13 seed James Logan on Friday.

“Man, this team has been through its ups and downs,” said Collins, who had 18 points. “To get this win and move on to the next round, it's a blessing.”

Berkeley (19-8), playing in front of a raucous home crowd, jumped out to a 19-6 advantage in the second quarter and had a 26-21 halftime lead.

Berkeley's Samir O'Brien scored eight of his gamehigh 21 points in the first half and also helped a defense that frustrated Pittsburg's half-court offense.

But Collins and teammate Paulance Quarles helped Pittsburg go on a 9-0 run in a two-minute span to take a 30-27 lead in the third quarter.

“They made some tough shots, and when momentum happens, it's hard to stop it,” Berkeley coach Mike Hudson said. “It seemed like everything went in.”

After a ridiculous opencourt layup and free throw by Collins put Pittsburg up 45-37, the home team went on a 7-0 run that cut the margin to one with about 12 seconds to go.

During Berkeley's late rally, Jamari Widemon put back a missed shot, and O'Brien finished an and-one layup and hit two more foul shots to bring the score to 45-44. Helping Berkeley's cause was Pittsburg missing the front end of oneand-one free throws on back-to-back possession­s.

But with about 10 seconds left, Quarles made a pair of free throws to put Pittsburg back up by three. The Pirates stole the ball on Berkeley's last possession to seal the win.

Quarles added 14 and Kayshaun Hunte scored nine on three 3-pointers.

O'Brien had 21 to lead Berkeley.

JAMES LOGAN 87, MONTE VISTA 74 >> The Colts, led by first-year head coach Chris Bermudez, shocked the fourth-seeded Mustangs in the opening round of the NCS Division I playoffs on Tuesday.

Julius Wilson finished with 27 points and Anthony Delgiudice had 23 to lead Logan in scoring. Jon Watts and Curtis Haggins protected the rim and Ja'san “Jack” Morton came off the bench to slow Monte Vista's point guard.

CLAYTON VALLEY 56, MT. EDEN 40 >> Clayton Valley caught no breaks from the NCS seeding committee. The Ugly Eagles not only weren't selected for the sixteam Open Division but they also were sent on the road in the first round of the Division I playoffs.

“We believed that we should have been an Open team,” said Jake King, who scored 18 points on Tuesday as the top-seeded Ugly Eagles beat No. 16 seed Mt. Eden. “But we're used to people doubting us. At the beginning of the year, everyone thought we weren't going to be that good. We're used to it.”

MOREAU CATHOLIC 70, AMADOR VALLEY 56 >> Moreau Catholic coach Frank Knight was hoping his team's resume — which included a 14-0 run in league play and wins over Monte Vista and Folsom — would impress the NCS selection committee enough to put the Mariners in the Open Division.

It didn't happen. Instead, the Mariners were seeded No. 2 in Division I.

“I think all coaches want their programs to be whatever the top level is,” Knight said. “It was a little bit of a bummer. But at the same time, we thought a one or two seed in Division I would be a good place to try to make a run.”

A spot in the Open Division would have guaranteed a berth in the Northern California regionals. Instead, MC must be a section finalist to assure that it advance

ARCHBISHOP RIORDAN 66, SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL 54 >> Riordan closed out WCAL play with a win at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Achilles Woodson scored 18 points, Jasir Rencher had 13 and Andrew Hillman finished with 11 for Riordan (19-5,12-2). Jerry Mixon Jr. (18 points) and RL Miller (12 points) scored in double figures for SHC (13-11, 7-7).

NO. 6 ARCHBISHOP MITTY 64, VALLEY CHRISTIAN 51 >> Jaiden Paran (12 points), Gavin Ripp (11) and Derek Sangster (10) scored in double figures for Mitty in its home win, which wrapped up the WCAL schedule. Diego Martinez had 17 points and Matthew Aboujudom finished with 12 for VC. Mitty is 19-4, 12-2. VC fell to 7-17, 2-12.

Girls basketball

LACK OF NCS UPSETS >> There were almost no surprises on the first day of the NCS girls basketball playoffs. Of the 15 games played, the higher seed won 13. Division III's only “upset” was No. 9 Archie Williams defeating No. 8 American Canyon 57-49. In Division V, No. 10 Clear Lake took down No. 7 Internatio­nal 37-30.

There were just three Bay Area games that ended with a single-digit margin of victory. Vintage, the No. 11 seed in Division I, nearly pulled one off against No. 6 seed James Logan, but the Colts won 55-51. No. 9 Mission San Jose lost 58-49 to No. 8 Liberty in the same bracket, and Division III's No. 11 seed Encinal lost 6152 to Sonoma Valley.

NO. 20 CRYSTAL SPRINGS UPLANDS 51, HARKER 18 >> For the first time in program history, Crystal Springs Uplands captured a share of the West Bay Athletic League Foothill Division crown. Raelyn Dela Cruz (20 points) and Jemma Lacap (15 points) led the way in the win over host Harker. Crystal Springs improved to 19-3, 9-1. Harker slipped to 7-15, 0-10.

PINEWOOD 60, MENLO SCHOOL 31 >> Ava Uhrich had 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in Pinewood's win road win over Menlo School in WBAL play. Chlea Facelo (20 points), Lita Fakapelea (17 points) and Jolyn Ding (11 points) scored in double figures for Pinewood, which improved to 13-10, 9-1 to have a share of the WBAL Foothill Division title. Menlo School fell to 12-10, 4-6.

 ?? RAY CHAVEZ — STAFF PHOTOGRAPH­ER ?? Pittsburg's Kayshaun Hunte (30) and Tyberius Campos-Reese (50) celebrate their 47-44win over Berkeley in the first round of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs on Tuesday. Pittsburg will host James Logan on Friday.
RAY CHAVEZ — STAFF PHOTOGRAPH­ER Pittsburg's Kayshaun Hunte (30) and Tyberius Campos-Reese (50) celebrate their 47-44win over Berkeley in the first round of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs on Tuesday. Pittsburg will host James Logan on Friday.

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