The best sports team in the East Bay this year wasn't a professional team. It was the Oakland Tech High School boys' basketball team, which went all the way to the finals of the state championships. There the Bulldogs finally went down 80-75, losing by just five points to the Westchester Comets, the number-one-ranked prep basketball team in the country. For the season, Tech went 28 wins and 4 losses, and finished ranking 31 out of the nation's top 50 high school teams, according to Student Sports
magazine. The Dogs featured several key players whose names will likely be heard in the college and eventually NBA ranks. The team was led by junior Leon Powe, a six-foot, eight-inch power forward who dunks at will and is considered the second best junior in the country. Joining him in greatness was jet-quick point guard Armando Surratt and defensive irritant Kenneth Smith, who could turn a game around with his constant pressure. At a time when pros are turning fans off with walk-outs, salary disputes, and whining, the Bulldogs showed just how hard work and love for the game were able to win a following -- as this team was very enjoyable to watch. They should be next year, too, since most of the team is coming back.