It's that time of the year where league championships are up for grabs.
There are several games this week in high school basketball with title implications.
Before we look ahead, we'll look back at some of the prominent performances in some of the big games last week.
And before we get to the players, the big star in the friendly wagering world was Walnut Creek Patch local editor Lance Howland. He picked the Northgate High boys team to defeat Concord High on Friday night.
They did and Lance was treated to lunch at The Hot Dog Palace in downtown Concord by Concord Patch local editor Adalto Nascimento.
Boys Spotlight Player of the Week
Northgate High senior Jonny Crosthwaite had a big night in the Broncos' important 57-29 victory over Concord High on Friday night. Crosthwaite scored 19 points, snared 11 rebounds and blocked two shots as he led Northgate to victory. On Tuesday, he had 13 points, 14 rebounds and three steals.
Northgate coach Steve Mitchell praised Crosthwaite's offense and defense as well as his leadership.
"Jonny is a very relaxed and laid back off the court, joking with teammates and enjoying his senior year of high school." said Mitchell. "On the court he is an intense and determined competitor. He loves the challenge of taking the other teams best player and shutting him down."
Girls Spotlight Player of the Week
Carondelet High sophomore Natalie Romeo scored 21 points in the Cougars' 74-28 win over San Ramon Valley High. Romeo also had a 14-point effort in Tuesday night's 72-43 victory over Monte Vista High. For the week, Romeo had 35 points, 15 assists, 12 rebounds and 11 steals.
Her coach, Margaret Gartner, said Romeo plays hard and "knows how to deliver the ball to her teammates."
"We have to keep up with her, she never lets up. She is such a pleasure to coach," Gartner said.
Northgate High senior guard Greer Kleber had another powerful week. In the Broncos' wins over Mt. Diablo High and Concord High, Kleber totaled 47 points and 18 rebounds.
Dougherty Valley senior forward Caroline Hughes tallied 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Wildcats' 75-31 win over Acalanes High.
Clayton Valley High senior guard Karley Menez scored 25 points in the Eagles' 69-53 victory over College Park High.
Las Lomas High sophomore Zoe McGlynn poured in 24 points in the Knights' 60-47 loss to Alhambra High.
Dublin High junior guard Jamir Andrews knocked down 28 points in the Gaels' 61-56 loss Tuesday to Miramonte High. He also had 20 points and four assists in Friday's game against Las Lomas. Coach Tom Costello said Andrews can score in a variety of ways on the court. He's also an excellent student in the classroom.
Foothill High junior guard Stephen Patrick contributed 22 points in Foothill's 72-58 win over San Ramon Valley High.
Spotlight Games For This Week
The Eagles are 14-8 overall and have a league record of 5-3. Berean Christian has won two in a row after losing three straight.
The Broncos are also 14-8 on the season and 6-2 in league. They have won five in a row, including a 57-29 dismantling of Concord High on Friday night.
Berean Christian won the two schools' first match-up, 53-40, on Jan. 13.
The girls team at Northgate will play at Berean Christian.
The Broncos are 13-9 overall and 8-0 in league. They've won three straight and eight of their past nine games.
Berean Christian is 16-7 on the season and 7-2 in league. They've won four of their past five.
Northgate won their first meeting, 53-48, on Jan. 13.
The Mustangs are 16-6 overall and 8-2 in league play. They've won seven of their past eight games.
Granada is 15-6 on the year and 7-3 in league play. They've won five in a row.
Monte Vista won the first contest, 69-51, on Jan. 13.
The Wildcats have won six in a row. They are 15-7 overall and 7-1 in league. Their only loss was to Miramonte, 72-69, on Jan. 13.
The Matadors are 22-0 on the season and 8-0 in league.
It's a back-to-back Hayward Area Athletic League showdown at Castro Valley High on this evening.
The Trojans' girls team takes on Bishop O'Dowd at 5:30 p.m.
Castro Valley is 15-5 overall and 8-2 in league. They've won three in a row.
The Dragons are 19-2 on the season and 12-0 in league. They've won 11 in a row.
Bishop O'Dowd won the first meeting, 72-29, on Dec. 8.
The boys game follows at 7 p.m.
The Trojans are 17-4 overall and 9-2 in league. They've won six straight.
Bishop O'Dowd is 17-5 on the season and 11-0 in league. They've won 11 of their past 12 games.
The first meeting was a close one with Bishop O'Dowd winning, 49-48, on Dec. 8.
The visiting Colts are 11-12 overall, but they are 8-1 in league. That only loss was to Newark Memorial, 65-46, on Jan. 18.
The Cougars are 19-4 overall and 9-0 in league play. They have won 13 in a row.
The Cougars are 18-3 overall and 10-0 in league play. They've won six in a row. They defeated Granada, 56-42, on Jan. 17.
The Matadors are 15-7 overall but only 5-5 in league play.