By GERARDO RECINOS
After back to back weeks against the toughest the Diablo Foothill Athletic League has to offer, the Bulldogs were able to take a break, and cruise to a 12-8 win.
All due respect to Dougherty Valley, but the phrase “take a break” was appropriate for the match, because most of the first team unit only saw about three minutes of pool time in Wednesday evening’s win because they were subbed off.
Even team captains Nick Lucido and Bailey Abbott only managed to get on the score sheet once each. Abbott on a goal assisted by his co-captain, and Lucido on a steal that led to a goal from Luke Brown.
From that point on, Coach Garran Blach used his second-string and tested them on their preparedness for their upcoming games. The chance to give players who don’t see as much game time a shot, and rest starters, could set up a big finish for Alhambra before the playoffs.
Immediately doing his best to make the most of his time in the pool, Donovan Ballot scored right after he was substituted on. The junior scored while playing in the hole set despite his diminutive stature when compared to Abbott or Lucido, who trade off in that role.
Ryan Mates, who usually sees time as a squad rotation player, was one of the more experienced players in the pool for most of the game. So when he lead a break by grabbing a steal and streaking across the pool for a goal, the rest followed suit.
Two goals from the Wildcats were immediately answered by a big steal and goal from Tony Moore. He scored once more before the half on a nice dish from fellow junior Aiden Concepcion.
Concepcion was rewarded for his unselfishness in front of goal when he was set up by Ballot to notch the game’s eighth goal four minutes before the half.
Dougherty scored three times to pull themselves to within three before Alhambra could respond with a goal from Kyle Johnson. And then right after the Wildcats would go on to score again before a two-for-one with goals from Concepcion and Tadeo Lima increasing the lead to four for Alhambra.
A quiet fourth quarter was made lively when Abbott came in to play goalkeeper in the final 40 seconds, but by then the game had been settled.