After the program's most successful year since 2010-11, Convent enters the postseason with a 10-game winning streak and the confidence befitting a league champion. Varsity head coaches look ahead to the BCL-West tournament doubleheader on February 15 starting with Stuart Hall vs. Lick-Wilmerding then Convent vs. Marin Academy.
With a 40-29 win over University on February 7, Convent High School's varsity basketball team finished an undefeated season in the BCL-West, going 8-0 and claiming its first league championship since 2010-11.
Head Coach Reynolds Marquette credits a rugged early season schedule with preparing his team for demanding league games. In early December, the Cubs knocked off Central Catholic, a highly ranked Division IV team from Modesto, to win the Nike Hoops vs. Cancer Classic tournament. Convent kept rolling with hard fought third place finishes at tournaments in Pacifica and Redding in which they were the only Division V team.
Three four-year varsity players, who each offer "a different piece to the team puzzle," according to Reynolds, lead the team. Alyssa Alvarez paces the team in scoring and assists, Gia Monachino is the leading rebounder and second leading scorer, and Alison Arora anchors the Cubs' defense and leads the team in steals.
After a non-league loss to Enterprise on January 6, the wins have continued to stack up for the defensive-minded Cubs, who enter the BCL-West tournament on a 10-game winning streak.
Top-seeded Convent will face Marin Academy in the semifinals on Wednesday, February 15 at 8 p.m. at historic Kezar Pavilion. The winner will play Lick-Wilmerding or Urban in the finals with an automatic birth to the North Coast Section Championships on the line.
"The postseason is always so agonizing," Reynolds says. "It will all boil down to how we handle the nerves, focus on each possession, defend, rebound against bigger teams, make free throws and finish at both ends of the floor."
At 19-4 overall, Convent enters the week as the number one ranked NCS Division V team and fourth in California.
Read more: Three seniors received special recognition at their last home game.
A wild finish to the regular season has Stuart Hall in a first place tie with rival University going into the BCL-West tournament. The team that goes farthest in the tournament will be recognized as the league champion.
Stuart Hall's (20-6, 7-1) quest for its third league title in four years begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Kezar Pavilion against Lick-Wilmerding. The winner will face University or Urban in the finals on Saturday.
"There's a real sense of optimism," says Head Coach Charley Johnson, "and that the sky's the limit. All our goals are attainable and the team has a quiet confidence going into the postseason."
Stuart Hall ranks fourth among NCS Division IV teams and sixth overall in the state.
Photo credit: Michael Hong