With four Division I signees, some are calling the Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland's girls basketball team the most talented in Northern California history.
Despite that, and even with a No. 3 national ranking by Maxpreps.com, the Dragons entered Saturday night's inaugural CIF State Open Division final at Sleep Train Arena as decided underdogs.
Their opponent, Windward of Los Angeles, was ranked No. 2 nationally and unbeaten. The Wildcats also had defeated the Dragons in a Southern California tournament in December and had beaten O'Dowd the previous season.
But O'Dowd (30-3) took what everyone thought would be a down-to-the-wire game and turned it into a 60-45 rout. The Dragons raced past a stunned Windward 20 to 12 in the final quarter.
"It started as a game of runs, and in that fourth quarter we stepped on the gas and showed no mercy," said 6-foot-4 McDonald's All-American Oderah Chidom, a Duke signee who had nine points and 12 rebounds.
Chidom, who had to sit nearly 12 minutes because of foul trouble, was the only O'Dowd starter not to reach double-figure scoring.
Point guard Ariell Bostick (San Diego State) had 17 points and three assists; 6-2 K.C. Waters (Cal) had 12 points and 20 rebounds; and 6-4 Breanna Brown (Virginia Tech) 10 points and 14 rebounds as the Dragons won their second consecutive state title after winning last year at Division III.
Windward point guard Jordin Canada, considered one of the nation's top juniors, scored a team-high 19 points.
O'Dowd outrebounded Windward 61-36 and held the Wildcats (32-1) to 22 percent shooting (14 of 64) from the floor.
Division II boys
Redondo Union-Redondo Beach 54, College Park-Pleasant Hill 47 Jeremiah Headley, a 6-6 sophomore, scored 19 points and had 13 rebounds, and the Sea Hawks (28-8) outrebounded their shorter foes 48-31 in their win. Sophomore Joe DeMers had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Falcons (26-6).
Division II girls
Lynwood 39, St. Fran- cis-Mountain View 26 Jazmine Johnson had 11 points, six rebounds and three steals; Amber Blockmon eight points and 13 rebounds; and Nijala Johnson eight points and seven steals as the Knights (29-5) defeated the Lancers (24-9).
Division IV boys
Pacific Hills-West Hollywood 58, Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa 52 Marcus Jackson had 23 points and Namon Wright 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Bruins (29-4) defeated the Cardinals (32-4).
Division IV girls
Serra-Gardena 62, Salesian-Richmond 60 Michigan-bound Siera Thompson scored 26 points and Oregon-bound Deandrea Toler 20 points for the Cavaliers (30-5) to counter a state-record effort by Mariya Moore of the Pride (29-7). Moore (35 points) made 17 of 20 free throws, setting state tournament girls records for free throws attempted and made.
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson (916) 326-5506.