Oakland Tech Lady Bulldogs building a dynasty
OAKLAND, Calif. - Fresh off securing their latest state title, the Lady Bulldogs of Oakland Technical High School are building a dynasty of the best girls basketball team in the state.
They beat Santiago High School winning the CIF Division 1 state girl's basketball championship at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on March 10 – their third state title in five years.
Erin Sellers is the team's high scorer.
"It was super emotional," she said of the win. "I just remember crying and crying and crying because I couldn't believe it."
Head coach Leroy Hurt added the latest win was "incredible."
I never saw them winning back to back state titles," he said.
The team recognizes their accomplishment.
"No one's done it, so for us to be the first to do it, we made history so we gotta be proud of that," Erin said.
Mari "Big Shot Mari" Somvichian, the team's co-captain said that the seniors on the team have never lost a playoff game.
"We're 14-0," she said, noting that score would be 15-0 if they played during COVID.
She considers a win over St.. Mary's High of Stockton their true championship.
2 Oakland basketball teams make history with state championship titles
They lost to St. Mary's twice in the regular season but took care of business in the playoffs.
"Winning is a habit and obviously we've had some really good habits the past four years," Mari said.
Those habits were shaped by Hurt, who graduated from Oakland Tech in 1989.
"It's a little bit sweeter to do it at your alma mater," Hurt said. "It really is. You get addicted to it. Winning is great. It's everything."
One of his favorite perks from those wins in walking up Market Street with the team during last year's Warriors Championship Parade.
Assistant Coach Jasmine Braggs gives credit to all 15 girls on the team, whom she called queens.
"Every single one of them," Braggs said. "Being Black women and women of color, they have set the bar really high for this program."
Both Hurt and Braggs are so proud that they are building a legacy at an Oakland public school.
The girls realize it too.
"[Coach Hurt] was telling us, ‘There’s something special here,'" Mari recalled. "'You have the opportunity to do something great. It would be a shame if you didn't do it.' We were just trying to leave our mark on history. I think it's safe to say we did that."