San Ramon Hands Pirates Loss in NCS Playoffs, 59-34 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 05 March 2015 15:32

030515s2By Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times

The San Leandro High boys basketball team’s season came to a close on Friday night in a 59-34 loss at San Ramon Valley in the second round of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs.

The Wolves took charge with their big forwards, 6-foot-7 Kyle Spackman and 6-foot-10 Greg Polosky, controlling the boards. San Ramon’s speedy point guard Keith Smith got his share of rebounds with seven, right behind Spackman who led in rebounds with eight.

“We didn’t box out,” said San Leandro forward Brandon Harris after the game. “We gave them too many second and third chances.”

Harris scored 7 points for the Pirates. Osi Nwachukwu led San Leandro in scoring with 12 points.

Harris and Nwachuku hauled down five rebounds apiece and Nwachukwu made two steals.

San Leandro had an excellent season with a 17-9 overall record, advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

San Ramon Valley (23-5) advanced with the win to the NCS semifinal game at De La Salle.

CAPTION: Pirates forward Brandon Harris drives for the basket under pressure at San Ramon Valley.


Pirates Basketball Breezes Past Granada in NCS Playoffs PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 26 February 2015 15:34

022615s1By Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times

The San Leandro High boys basketball team breezed through the first round of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs with a 70-44 win over Granada High on Monday night at home.

Osi Nwachukwu led the Pirates with 17 points, followed by Daniel McClure with 13 points, including three 3-point buckets, and Alvon Marshall knocked down 11 points.

“We just wanted to execute and play solid defense,” said San Leandro head coach Darrnaryl Stamps. “We could have rebounded more but I thought we played a solid game.”

San Leandro advances to the next round of the playoffs, traveling to San Ramon Valley in Danville for a game on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Pirates already had a good lead, 53-27, at halftime. They started the second half with 3-pointers – one by Anthony Onciano and then by McClure from the top of the key and there was no doubt where this game was headed.

“We knew it was loser goes home – it’s the playoffs,” said Onciano. “Our No. 1 goal was to play good defense and play as a team.”

Concord 60, San Lorenzo 59

Concord held off San Lorenzo by 1 point for a 60-59 win in the first round of the NCS Division II playoffs on Tuesday night in the Rebels gym.

The Rebels finished the season at 21-9.

CAPTION: San Leandro High sophomore Alvon Marshall takes off on a fast break and scores two points in the Pirates win in the first round of the NCS playoffs on Tuesday night.


Bancroft Basketball Wins Middle School League Championship PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 26 February 2015 15:33

022615s2The Bancroft Middle School boys basketball team led by coaches Reggie Walker and William Mustain won the S.A.C.M.L. Middle School league title for the second year in a row with great team work and excellent defense.

In the championship game, Bancroft beat Canyon Middle School 43-30.

The players are #1 Jayland Bailey, #3 Jordan Mason, #5 William Mustain Jr., #10 Ajuna Turner, # 15 Thomas Kilgore Jr., #21 Mack Pennewell, # 25 Osaro Aihie, #32 Isiah Mellor. Not shown #11 Lamontae Mustain.


Cunningham Returns to Pirates’ Gym PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2015 13:32

Former Pirate star’s No. 33 jersey retired

021915sBy Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times

Former San Leandro High basketball star Jared Cunningham made an appearance back at the Pirates’ gym on Friday night as his jersey number was retired in a halftime ceremony.

Cunningham’s No. 33 jersey now hangs in a frame on the north end of the San Leandro gym, as a former coach described Cunningham as the best basketball player to every play at San Leandro High.

Former coaches Todd Petersen and Sean MacKay spoke at haltime. Petersen recalled Cunningham showing up as a freshman in 2005, looking too small to play. But by his junior year, Cunningham was averaging 28 points per game. MacKay said he remembered every game being sold out because the fans all wanted to see Cunningham.

After the coaches spoke, Cunningham took the mike and thanked all his coaches and the fans for supporting him.

After graduating from San Leandro, Cunningham went on to become a star at Oregon State where he was a crowd favorite. After his junior year, he went pro and was signed by the Dallas Mavericks, and has since gone to Atlanta and the LA Clippers before being waived by Philadelphia last month.

Cunningham is now a free agent in the NBA development league with a team in Deleware, which is for promising players who need a little more playing time. He said he feels confident that he’ll be back with another NBA team before long.

“I know it’s going to happen,” Cunningham said Friday night in the Pirates’ gym. “I just have to keep playing and stay in shape.”

CAPTION: Former San Leandro basketball star Jared Cunningham (left), who later played for Oregon State and the NBA, chatted with his former coaches at San Leandro, Todd Petersen (right) and Sean MacKay, before the Pirates’ game against Berkeley on Friday.


Osi Leads San Leandro To Win Over Berkeley PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2015 13:28

021915s2By Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times

The Pirates boys basketball team evened their season series with Berkeley on Friday night with a 66-60 win in the San Leandro gym.

San Leandro led at halftime, 32-23, and held off Berkeley the rest of the night. At halftime, former Pirates star Jared Cunningham was honored with a ceremony retiring his No. 33 jersey and the current Pirates had a chance to meet the former Pirate and Oregon State star.

But it was Pirates senior Osi Nwachukwu who was the star on Friday night. Not just Osi’s game-leading 19 points, but his 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots put away Berkeley’s hopes for the night.

Onciano Scores Double Digits for San Leandro

Also for the Pirates, Anthony Onciano scored 10 points, Camani Grace scored 9 points, and Alvon Marshall and Brandon Harris scored 7 points apiece.

Bryan Morris led Berkeley with 17 points, followed by Casey Roquemore and Zach Copeland with 11 points each.

San Leandro lost at Berkeley, 77-69, at their first meeting this season in January. San Leandro improves with the win to 17-7 for the season, 5-3 in league play. Berkeley is now 16-8, 5-2.

San Leandro travels to Bishop O’Dowd for a game this Friday at 7 p.m., the last regular game of the WACC season.

CAPTION: San Leandro sophomore Camani Grace gets away a shot under pressure against Berkeley on Friday night.


Pirates QB Johnson Bound for UCLA PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 12 February 2015 15:26

021215s2San Leandro High quarterback Stephen Johnson signed a letter of intent to go to UCLA on a football scholarship in the fall at a ceremony held last week at the high school.

Johnson was sidelined by an injury most of the 2014 football season but his speed and athleticism were noticed by UCLA.

The 5 foot 11, 180 pound Johnson is considered a dual threat with ability to both throw the ball and to take off as a running back.

He signed his letter with his family, friends and coaches looking on.

CAPTION: Stephen Johnson (left) is congratulated by coach Brad Bowers at the singing ceremony last week at San Leandro High.

Pirates Turn Up Heat, Beat CV PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 16:24

012215sAustin Harris and Osi Nwachukwu battle with a Trojan for the ball as the San Leandro High boys basketball team beat Castro Valley, 61-47, on Friday night at home. The Pirates held a 3-point lead at halftime before opening up a lead in the third period. “We came out hard in the second half,” said San Leandro forward Osi Nwachukwu. “That’s the only way to get the win, to continue that in the second half and then the next game and the next and keep going.”

Dons Rally in San Lorenzo PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 15 January 2015 16:09

011515sBy Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times

The San Lorenzo gym shook like a 7.0 earthquake on Friday night as crosstown rival Arroyo rallied in the fourth period for a 55-48 win.

The Rebels led throughout the game and held a 27-21 lead at halftime. San Lorenzo forward Jeremiah Alston led the charge with 17 points in the game, including four 3-pointers.

But Arroyo forward Darrell McDavid tied it up, 42-42, with a 3-point shot in the fourth period. And with 4 minutes remaining in the game, Jamaar Sampson gave Arroyo a 48-46 lead with another 3-point shot.

“When Sampson made that 3-pointer, that was the turning point,” said Arroyo forward Josh Bold, who scored 14 points.

The Rebels gym was never louder, as fans from both sides in the stands competed with cheers just as hard as their teams played on the gym floor.

“That was the loudest game of my three years,” Bold said. “It was the most intense, too.”

McDavid led the Dons with 18 points, and Sampson scored 17 points.

Quante Campbell scored 11 points for the Rebels, including three 3-pointers, and Kevin Mosi added 5 points.

The rivals came into the game with identical records. The win improved Arroyo’s record to 11-4 for the season, and San Lorenzo is 10-5.

This week, Arroyo hosts Hayward on Friday at 7 p.m. San Lorenzo travels to Mt. Eden on Friday for a game at 7 p.m.

CAPTION: Arroyo forward Josh Bold (15) goes up for two points at San Lorenzo last Friday night as the Dons rallied in the fourth period to beat their crosstown rivals in a raucous game in front of a full house.


St. Leander’s Wins Snowball Tourney PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 08 January 2015 17:01

010815sCongratulations to the St. Leander’s 5th grade girls volleyball team on winning the St. Felicitas 2014 Snowball Tournament. In the final match against St. Patrick’s, St. Leander’s lost the first set but came back to win the next two sets and the championship. In the photo are (back row) assistant coach Rich Kibanoff and head coach Fredy Oviedo. (Middle row) Maribel Romero, Ysabella Lucero, Jathziry Esquivel and Sophia Alvarado. (Front row) Alexandra Rodriguez, Kendal Kibanoff, Angel Oviedo and Ashley Wehrl.

Register for Winter Youth Jr. Warriors Basketball Season PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 02 January 2015 23:06

The City of San Leandro’s Junior Warriors Basketball program is back for its 15th year, open to boys and girls 5 to 14 years of age.

The 2015 season will be held on Saturdays beginning on Jan. 10, and will run through March 14. The program offers a non-competitive environment where beginners and veterans alike can improve their skills through weekly games and instruction.

This program promotes healthy lifestyle choices for kids by encouraging physically active programming.

Players will receive a reversible micro-mesh Jr. Warrior’s jersey, instruction and league play. This program is co-sponsored by the Golden State Warriors, the NBA, WNBA and the City of San Leandro.

Games will be played at Washington Manor Middle School and the San Leandro High School 9th Grade Campus. Registration for the program is now open.

For more information, call 577-3462 or register online at


Bay Battle Brings Out Oakland’s Best PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:03

121114sBy Greg Benson • San Leandro Times

Coming into the Battle of the Bay, the Raiders were 8-point underdogs to the 49ers. Having lost miserably to the St. Louis Rams, 52-0, just a week ago, Oakland had something to prove. And what better way of making a statement than in front of your home crowd against your cross-bay rivals?

Since losing to Seattle at home the week prior, San Francisco was battling their own demons within the franchise. Rumors circled that head coach Jim Harbaugh could be falling out of favor and the team was not playing up to their potential.

With a capacity crowd split between red-shirted 49er faithful and black-clad Raider diehards, the stage was set for the 13th Battle of the Bay (record being 6-6).

It would be the first play from scrimmage that set the tone for the game, as 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick scrambled out to his left and heaved a long pass over the head of receiver Michael Crabtree. Raiders safety Brandian Ross tracked the ball to the sideline and intercepted the pass.

Going into the locker room at the half tied 10-10, the Raiders still had more to prove. They’ve been in close games throughout the season, especially at halftime, only to have their opponents come out on the winning end by taking control in the second half.

On this day, the tide turned, and it was the Raiders who took control in the third and fourth quarters. Quarterback Derek Carr led the Raiders offense on two 80-yard scoring drives, taking precious time off the clock and extending Oakland’s lead to 24-13.

“Today our guys were really resilient towards the end of the football game,” said Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano. “Putting together those two drives for scores… was critical.”

Throughout the game, the crowd noise was deafening down on the field. At first, it was a combination of 49er and Raider fans. However, after those two scoring drives, it was mostly the Silver and Black sounding off in support of their team.

“Yesterday showed the true character of Raider fans,” said Griz Jones of M.O.B. Charities in Oakland. “We didn’t get caught up in all the 49er fans. We were into the game. I was very impressed with how the diehard fans conducted themselves.”

With a history of beer baths and brawls, it was good to see that the fans could rise above the rivalry and coexist in a peaceful manner. Hopefully, this will bode well for future match ups between the two teams.

Now with another win under their belt, the Raiders travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs. That was the only other win the Raiders had this season, beating the Chiefs in Oakland 24-20.

To sweep Kansas City would be oh so sweet for a 2-11 team that desperately needs some more momentum to carry them through to next year.

CAPTION: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr leads his team on one of two 80-yard drives in the second half to secure a 24-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday at Coliseum.


Raiders End 16-Game Drought PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 21 November 2014 12:29

112014s4By Greg Benson San Leandro Times

You have to go all the way back to Oct. 27, 2013 to have seen the bright smiles and jubilant cheers of Oakland Raiders fans and players celebrating a victory at the Coliseum.

That day the Raiders defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-18 — the last home win for this team that has struggled to find its footing under a new regime, a new era.

That is until this last Thursday night when the Raiders shocked the nation and overcame a 16-game winless drought by downing the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Raiders started fast with two first-half rushing touchdowns by second-year running back Latavius Murray — one from 11 yards out and the other, a 90-yard bolt up the gut — something the Chiefs have not afforded any other team thus far this season, a rushing touchdown of any kind.

The running game with starters Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew has struggled all season. But, now, with Murray’s effort against Kansas City, expect to see this big back get a lot more action.

“The way he ran the ball today, yeah, he earned more snaps. No doubt about it,” said interim head coach Tony Sparano.

Up 17-3 well into the third quarter, the Raiders slowly lost grip of the lead and found themselves down 20-17 with 9:03 left in the game.

That’s when Raiders quarterback Derek Carr took charge and orchestrated an impressive 17-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Culiminating in a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver James Jones, the drive took 7:21 off the clock and gave the Raiders back the lead, 24-20.

“For a rookie quarterback, in that situation… to go 17 plays in a winning drive — that’s impressive,” said veteran defensive end Justin Tuck. “That let’s you know a little bit of the moxie of number 4.”

112014s3Carr is an infectious optimist — always believing, always encouraging his teammates.

“I’m just so happy for my teammates,” said Carr. “To see them smile. To see that we’re running the ball well, and have them come back in the huddle all fired up, feeling good about themselves, that’s the kind of stuff that fires me up.”

Now, with 1:35 left on the clock, the victory rested in the hands of Oakland’s defense.

The second ingredient for success, after starting fast, is finishing strong. That’s the part of the formula that had eluded the Raiders thus far this season. And, on this night, they again struggled to seal the deal.

The Raiders would give the Chiefs another chance after a fourth-down penalty, three on one play to be exact. The Chiefs accepted the illegal hands to the face penalty on defensive end Benson Mayowa to place the ball at the 49 with 1:01 to play and a fresh set of downs.

Raiders players gathered on the sidelines, full of anticipation, urging their defensive counterparts to finish strong.

On third and six, linebacker Sio Moore heeded the call and blitzed Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith, sacking him for a 7-yard loss.

Moore was so excited, he ran towards the south end zone in an eruption of satisfaction and proceeded to celebrate the sack with fellow linebacker Khalil Mack.

But, wait, the clock is still running! Smith, seeing the celebration some 20 yards downfield, hurried to the line to snap the ball.

If not for the quick thinking of Justin Tuck to call a timeout, the Raiders would have been penalized for offsides.

Luckily, the timeout was taken, and the Raiders gained their composure to defend a fourth-and-13 play that ended with an incomplete pass from Smith to wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr.

The Raiders took over on downs, and Carr took a knee to give the Raiders their first win of the season.

The sidelines erupted in celebration, and Moore bolted for the Black Hole in the south end zone of Coliseum.

“I was so glad to get swallowed in by the Black Hole! They deserve it,” said Moore in the locker room after the game. “I love playing in front of them. I love playing with the energy that they give me, because I’m a guy that came from nothing and I’ve made it here, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

While the Raiders record of 1-10 won’t get them anywhere near the playoffs, this win, on this night, will get them back a sense of pride that they can carry to the end of the season — a season of lessons learned and the hope of better things to come.

CAPTION 1: Oakland Raiders linebacker Sio Moore celebrates the team’s first win of the season with the fans in the Black Hole at Coliseum.

CAPTION 2: Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Menelik Watson gives quarterback Derek Carr a big hug on the sidelines as the clock ticks down towards the team’s first victory of the season.




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