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The Yellowjackets triunphed on Saturday at the NorCal Division Championship game. Photo: Berkeley Unified School District

Berkeley High’s girls basketball team, a perennial powerhouse, added to a distinguished history with a 56-45 victory over Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills on Saturday in the NorCal Division I championship game. It was the third consecutive NorCal championship for the Lady Yellowjackets and a record 12th NorCal title for the team.

Senior Rachel Howard, a four-year varsity player, led the team with 23 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Desire Finnie had 14 points and eight rebounds. The win took their season record to 22-11.

The Yellowjackets had entered the NorCal playoffs as an unheralded 12th seed. Their tear through the NorCal Division I field earned them a date for the state championship on Friday night at 6 p.m. against Long Beach Poly, who won the SoCal title 63-40 over Canyon Springs-Moreno Valley.

After the game, BHS coach Cheryl Draper told the San Jose Mercury News, “Our expectations are really high and we had a lot of non-believers that told us this team was only going to win five games this year. I took it personally and developed these girls and worked them hard.”

BHS Lady Yellowjackets headed to NorCal champ game [03.14.13]
BHS women’s basketball team in a Cinderella story [03.12.13]
Brittany Boyd, a Berkeley role model, makes waves at Cal [03.29.12]
Lady Jackets fall to Mater Dei in state final [03.26.12]
BHS girls’ basketball team headed to state championships [03.19.12]
Lady Jackets head to NorCal Championships with 49-38 win [03.14.12]

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...