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Alhambra boys out-muscled in opener

Dogs can’t stop Hawks on the boards, sent packing by 11-2 run in fourth

Junior guard Thomas McDonald shoots by defenders in the Bulldogs’ 61-49 loss to the Tamalpais Red-Tailed Hawks on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Junior guard Thomas McDonald shoots by defenders in the Bulldogs’ 61-49 loss to the Tamalpais Red-Tailed Hawks on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

It’s the beginning of a new season for the varsity boys basketball team, but the story remains the same.

This team needs help rebounding the basketball. In their 61-49 loss to the Tamalpais Red-Tailed Hawks on Tuesday night, they allowed two players to grab double digit rebound totals.

Worse than that was 6-foot-7 senior James Finn’s 21 rebound night that included eight offensive rebounds. Tamalpais had 16 offensive boards as a team.

Even with those skewed totals on the glass, Alhambra wasn’t out of it at any point until the later stages of the game.

For three quarters the teams traded leads nearly 10 times. Shots just weren’t falling, and guys who you could usually rely on just weren’t in sync yet.

Josh Ramirez, one of the team’s captains, had six points on the night, but still looked out of sorts. On more than one occasion he showed visible frustration on the court when a shot wouldn’t fall for him, or when he lost handle of the ball.

Still, he ran the point, and along with junior Jordyn Eglite, was one of the leading scorers at the half. Eglite’s eight points led the way at halftime.

In the first half, Alhambra was saved from going down big, mostly when they were able to work the ball down to their bigs. But in a half that saw 21 fouls, they didn’t do well enough from the free-throw line considering they were in the bonus since the end of the first quarter.

In the second half they got improved efforts from some of their shooters to keep them on the red tails of the Hawks.

Senior Zach Runyon nailed a big three on the back of a solid run of play by fellow senior Tyler Peters. Peters put in a good shift off the bench to start the second half, pulling down to offensive rebounds and scoring four of his eight points to give Alhambra a momentary lead.

After a Tamalpais timeout with 4:41 however, senior RJ Cutkelvin came up huge, nailing three huge shots from beyond the arc for nine of his 14 points on the evening. Those big shots from the Tamalpais guard fueled an 11-2 run that ended up being the Bulldogs’ demise.

From the start of the fourth quarter on, Alhambra could not find a way to chip at the lead. They didn’t hit their free throws when they got them, while the Hawks did. In a game with 44 fouls total, the Hawks scored 20 of their 61 points from the foul line.

Darron Maxwell helped lead a spirited comeback effort by shooting 5-for-6 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, while adding a three-pointer that forced a Tamalpais timeout. He finished the game with 10 points, nine of which came in the final four minutes.

With 1:17, and Alhambra down only six after a jumper made by junior Thomas McDonald, Tamalpais went a crucial 6-for-6 from the line, with sophomore Jack Duboff and junior Luke Toy sealing the victory at the free-throw line for Tamalpais.

Senior basketball player Zach Runyon looks to get around his defender in the Bulldogs’ 61-49 loss to Tamalpais on Dec. 1, 2015. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Senior basketball player Zach Runyon looks to get around his defender in the Bulldogs’ 61-49 loss to Tamalpais on Dec. 1, 2015. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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