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Girls Basketball Competes in the CIF D1 State Championships

CIF D1 State Championship
CIF D1 State Championship
“Throughout my time in O’Dowd’s basketball program, I have been surrounded by coaches and players who embrace one another’s uniqueness. As a team, we know everyone is giving their all, not just for themselves, but for each other.” - Savannah Jones, Varsity Girls Basketball Captain

For over 10 years, Head Coach Malik McCord has led O’Dowd’s girls basketball program. During his tenure, the program has earned 29 championships and counting, with three CIF State Championships (2012, 2013, and 2015), seven NorCal Championships, seven NCS Championships, and 12 WACC League Championships. The program also boasts an impressive roster of student-athletes who have pursued basketball beyond O’Dowd, with 45 players going on to play in college, and five Dragons who have played professionally.


time out at State Championship

Joining Malik on the coaching staff are assistant coaches Shannon Donahue ’95, Matt Lane, and Lariel Powell ’11. Together they’ve built a competitive program, well-known throughout the Bay Area. And this year, the team has really turned heads. “Our program has always had special team dynamics and competitive seasons,” shares Shannon, who also serves as Dean of Students at O’Dowd. “This team has continued that legacy by playing their own game, working as a team to make shots and defend aggressively.”


As the season took off and the potential for playoffs crept closer, coaches and fans watched the team further lock in, displaying impressive defensive and offensive skills. When our Dragons took on league rivals Piedmont High School in the packed Knauss Family Gymnasium, the crowd got a heart-pounding preview of their enormous talent in a game that foretold the girls’ season would go well beyond league play.


Savannah Jones ’24 at State Championship
Savannah Jones ’24 at State Championship

Seniors Nyah Greenwood ’24 and Savannah Jones ’24 showed phenomenal leadership this season, leaving their mark on the program and passing the torch to the younger members of the team.


After winning the WACC League Championship, the team qualified for the NCS Open Division Playoffs but fell short in a hard-fought game against San Ramon Valley in the semifinals. The team then qualified for Division I NorCal Playoffs and went on to beat Carondelet in the regional championships, solidifying their ticket to the CIF Division I State Championships in Sacramento.


CIF Northern Regional D1 Champions!
CIF Northern Regional D1 Champions!

“Winning NorCal in our home gym was incredible,” says Shannon. Especially since the team dedicated their season to our longtime dean of students, Gary Mason, who passed away last March. “Each day the girls challenged themselves to give their all and ‘Ball for Mace,” Shannon shares. “It became their saying and inspiration because he was a huge supporter of the program.”



At the state championships the stands were filled with Dragon supporters, including students who made their way to the state capitol in a chartered bus to root the Dragons on against Bishop Montgomery High School, a powerhouse from Southern California. Though the team came up short, they never gave up and had an impressive third quarter. “They have been a joy to coach on and off the court,” says Head Coach Malik McCord. “This team truly became a family.”


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