McClymonds Warriors vs. Oakland Tech Bulldogs on Feb. 1.
Eight years ago when Dennis Flannery became the head coach of McClymonds' women's basketball team, his goal was to build some consistency on and off the court for the program.
For all eight years, but more specifically this season, coach Flannery's vision has become a reality. His lady Warriors are 21-3, remain undefeated at home and currently hold top honors in the Oakland Athletic League with a 7-1 record.
"It feels good to be number one, the top team in the OAL," senior point guard Romanalyn Inocencio said. "Even though we go through a lot, we get through it. Everybody expects a lot from us. We want to prove ourselves."
McClymonds High School - located at 2607 Myrtle St. in Oakland - has historically produced and is recognized for being a powerhouse basketball school. For her entire four years, Inocencio said she definitely takes pride in representing the Warriors uniform every time she steps on the court.
"We are a school of champions," she said. "It is good to wear the jersey and to be in first place with the boys (McClymonds men's basketball team)."
Fresh off a 60-53 home win over the Skyline High School Titans on Wednesday, Feb. 13, the lady Warriors current winning streak increased to five games. The team's only loss in the OAL this season came against the Titans back in January, in a highly contested and close game.
But according to senior guard Iakiriyya Karimusha, they couldn't have avenged their one-point loss to the Titans and played at such a high level this season, if it wasn't for team chemistry, hard work and great coaching from coach Flannery.
"We needed to build chemistry," Karimusha said. "We were looking forward to that rematch. We needed to work harder and prepare. Coach Flannery is a dedicated coach and the girls are the team are my second family."
The McClymonds women's basketball team is comprised of veteran players like seniors Inocencio, Karimusha, Breannie Robinson and Ahjahna Coleman and juniors Gabby Gaines, Charlisse Fleming and Angela Lee. Not to be forgotten, newcomers Fanae Clark, Ny' Dajah Jackson and Genesis Johnson along with sophomores Da Ja Nay Powell and Mercedes Latu, also are making great contributions this season.
"We have a balanced number of seniors and freshmen on the team," Karimusha said. "It is a good mix."
Off the court, the lady Warriors also excel. According to Flannery, the team's grade point average is 3.3.
"It is wonderful to be coaching this team in this league," Flannery said. "It is competitive and kids play hard. I'm really proud of where the program is and that the girls are both successful on and off the court."
Although head coaches often tend to shy away from the limelight and refuse to take credit for their team's success, as is the case with Flannery, both Karimusha and Inocencio admit that coach Flannery has played a huge role in their lives.
"It has been very fun and interesting at the same time playing for coach," Karimusha said. "Each time that we go on the court and get him a win, it's like a gift."
Inocencio said she wouldn't be half the player she is without the help and guidance from Flannery.
"He has taught me a lot," she said. "He is a big resource in my life. Coach is pretty cool and knows what he is doing. He has a laid back personality and can see your potential."
For more information about the lady Warriors, such as stats and the team's remaining games, visit the school's website or maxpreps.com.