In the fourth quarter of an emotionally charged, bite your hot dog and miss it final, the jumbotron camera at the Golden 1 Center zoomed in on Oakland Tech coach LeRoy Hurt’s black sweater.
A bulldog yellow stencil reads the words “Dog Food” on the front. Complete with a picture of a bowl of, yes, dog food.
Absolutely impeccable the work of the cameraman. Directly into the next few minutes, the Division I women’s basketball state final between Oakland Tech and Corona Santiago hung in the balance, the Bulldogs devouring what was left en route to a dominant 75-52 victory.
Marching into the postgame press conference, Hurt and her girls delivered endless quotes: feeling like they should have been an Open Division pick in the state game, feeling pride in the city of Oakland, feeling a lot of emotions that came up gloriously in smiles and applause and cheers from alumni in the back of the room.
“They don’t have the team speed that we have … we’re bigger than them, we’re faster than them, we outshoot them,” Hurt said after the game.
Bold. But true in a game where Oakland Tech forced 25 turnovers, just putting their foot down that stretch of the fourth quarter when the Sharks’ fluid offense hit a dam.
By the time the bodies began to hit the hardwood uncharacteristically hard and looks lingered a few seconds after the whistles, it was clear these teams had at least some history and, indeed, unusual for state matchups, had already faced in a regular match. seasonal tournament. In that game, Santiago rallied in double digits before finally falling, and he brought confidence and stamina to Friday night’s matchup.
Except Oakland Tech had an “ace of spades,” as Hurt put it, in junior forward Taliyah Logwood, who didn’t play in that first meeting.
Logwood was the embodiment of chaos on Friday, the 5-foot-9 forward sliding down the court to finish coast-to-coast after forcing turnovers. In that fourth quarter, after the convenient “Dog Food” zoom, he spun on his right shoulder for a layup and then parried a shot from Santiago seconds later.
Nia Hunter dove for a layup, and then a second later Erin Sellers stole and ducked for a layup, and suddenly Oakland Tech was up 11 and running away for an eventual blowout.
“I just thought we had worn them down,” Hurt said. “You saw the robberies at the end. I mean, my kids could play another game right now.”
They certainly had the energy after the game, charging up on the adrenaline of chants of “OT!” in all the sand after the win, the second major win of the night for an Oakland team over a Southern California champion after the Oakland High boys beat Buena in the Division III final.
“It’s a parade within my city,” Sellers said after the game, referring to the chant popularized by Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, her teammates roaring behind her.
The Sharks’ McKinley Willardson put in a great effort with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Logwood finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three steals for Oakland Tech.