OAKLAND (KCBS) – Despite posting 23 wins this season, the Bishop O’Dowd High School girls basketball team is not expected to compete in the playoffs and defend its state championship.

The team was disqualified from the North Coast Section playoffs after it was discovered the team played one too many games this year.

Bishop O’Dowd Athletic Director Mike Bowler said coaches and the athletic department failed to designate one of their games as a scrimmage this year, meaning they played 27 games, one more than the section allows.

“We have admitted to that wrongdoing. Our girls have been severely punished for, basically an adult mistake,” Bowler said.

The team won the NCS Division III title last year, and also won the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state championship

“They were devastated, but they’re a tight-knit group of kids. They won state championships together the last couple of years, so they have the exhilaration of victory,” said Bowler. “And now, they’re dealing with some hardship.”

Bowler said the entire athletic department is disappointed for the girls, especially since Bishop O’Dowd was expected to be one of the top seeds in the NCS playoffs.

School officials have met with North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon to plead their case and see if there is any way the team might still be eligible for the Open Division state championship.

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