Girls’ basketball in the Valley division of the East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) has gotten off to a great start.
Out of the five teams in the league, three have winning records, including Granada High, who enters the regular season with an undefeated record.
Dublin Gaels’ center Rachel Grier looks like an early candidate for EBAL MVP, as she is averaging 9.9 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game. The Amador Valley Dons have picked up notable wins over Berkeley, Washington and Half Moon Bay. Despite all of these great storylines, attendance at these games are low and are made up of mostly parents.
Boys’ hoops have dominated the eyes of fans at every level of basketball, whether it is high school, college or pro, but more attention has to be paid to the girls who make Tri-Valley hoops so great. Not only does the Tri-Valley have great talent, but the teams are fun to watch and know how to play the game the right way.
When I was in high school, boys’ hoops almost always took up the attention, whether it be on the school newspaper or the morning announcements. when it came to the girls’ teams, it took a lot for students to show up to a home game, even on Friday nights. Most of the time, it would take a free t-shirt night or some extra credit just to get some students to fill the student section a quarter of the way.
The common misconception is that the girls’ teams lack the quality of play the boys show. Some fans believe girls lack the athletic prowess boys have and opt to not watch girls’ hoops, regardless of the talent that is put on the floor. This couldn’t be further from the case in regards to the Tri-Valley teams.
The Lady Matadors have shown all season they can compete with anyone. Their physical style of play, mixed with their ability to run the fast break, is a sight to see if you’re a big time hoops fan. Some would also say the girls’ teams lack the size the boys do, which makes plays like slam dunks and alley-oops more rare to see.
Though you may not see a 360 alley-oop slam at one of these games, the Dublin Gaels do a great job of using their size to win games. Grier is a talented post scorer who can get any shot she wants when she is in the paint. Teammate Kenya Craven is a tenacious offensive rebounder who gets a lot of her points using her size to clean up missed shots.
One thing about Tri-Valley girls is they play extremely hard every minute they are on the floor. Both Livermore and Foothill have losing records, but stay in games because they do the little things. like offensive rebound and dive on loose balls.
This year looks to be a special one for the Valley division. Amador, Granada and Dublin are all on pace to make the playoffs and each could make a big run. I predict we will see multiple all league selections from these schools when it is all said and done.
Girls’ basketball in the Tri-Valley is more competitive than it has ever been this year. The teams have the talent and the coaching to make deep playoff runs, but fan support needs to be there as well. This year could mark a historic run for Tri-Valley girls’ hoops.