The Berkeley High School (BHS) boys’ basketball season came to a close on February 8. After falling a bit behind in the league standings, with a league record of two wins and seven losses, the Jackets have failed to qualify for the North Coast Section tournament. This record places Berkeley in fifth place out of six teams in the league; they remain ahead of Castro Valley.
One of Berkeley’s more recent games was against Piedmont High School on Wednesday, February 6, which was regrettably a 57-47 loss. Earlier in the season, when BHS played Piedmont, the game was extremely close, with the final score at 57-55. Piedmont is third in the league at the moment, with a league record of five wins and four losses. Their overall record is 17 wins and eight losses, while Berkeley’s is 10 wins and 15 losses.
Beating Piedmont is not out of the team’s reach, and these scores show how frustratingly close Berkeley has come to improving their season record. Clearly, Berkeley is not far behind the other teams and looking at past records. This season seems to be somewhat of a fluke. Last year, the team’s overall record was 23 wins and seven losses; in fact, this season’s record is one of just two sub .500 records in the last two years.
Berkeley’s overall record and limited success are relatively explainable. As said, last year’s team had a very positive overall record in contrast to this year’s negative outcome. However, this is not uncommon for high school sports teams.
“A lot of changes in the roster, with players leaving the team throughout the season, led to us as a team having less experience playing with each other,” said Jordan Ashworth, a senior who has played on the team for four years now. This might explain, to a certain extent, why Berkeley appears not that far behind the other teams, but still isn’t coming through with actual wins.
After Piedmont, Berkeley played an away game at Bishop O’Dowd, longtime rival and disdained adversary of the BHS community. Ashworth said the team’s goal for the remainder of the season was to “finish strong and beat O’Dowd,” and while they played well, they ended up losing 76-65. This was not the first time Berkeley played O’Dowd this season; the last time they faced off was a home game at Berkeley high in which Berkeley, unfortunately, lost 73-58. O’Dowd is undoubtedly a strong team and has not been beaten by a BHS basketball team in more than five years, so these losses are not necessarily indicative of a bad game.
Next year the players hope that the team will be a bit less hectic and have a winning record at the end of the season. With better team chemistry and experience, hopefully Berkeley will get back into stride and play to their full potential.