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Lady Bulldogs beaten by rival Falcons in tight game

Alhambra junior guard Alanis Lara dribbles between two College Park defenders in the Bulldogs’ 50-42 loss to the rival Falcons on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. Lara scored 10 points in the loss. (MARK FIERNER/ Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra junior guard Alanis Lara dribbles between two College Park defenders in the Bulldogs’ 50-42 loss to the rival Falcons on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. Lara scored 10 points in the loss. (MARK FIERNER/ Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

For 27 minutes and 30 seconds College Park kept the Bulldogs at bay, then things were all squared. That lasted 17 seconds as the Falcons held their lead over the final four-plus minutes for the win.

College Park came to Alhambra’s gym and shut down the varsity girls basketball team for 32 minutes in their 50-42 win over the Lady Bulldogs on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015.

Now 50-42 doesn’t exactly sound like a shutdown victory, but what was most impressive is that one player seemed to do it single-handedly for the Falcons.

Senior Casey Doronkina tabbed a double-double in the Friday night contest. She scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. With half a team’s points, its clear that she was the person Alhambra needed to key on.

However, the senior forward seemed to get her way on the boards and on the court. She shot 41 percent from the floor, but took more than double the amount of shots of any of her teammates.

Alhambra kept up with the Falcons all game, and despite some poor play from Jason Bautista’s girls, they ended the first quarter only down by four, and the half down by a single point.

The Lady Bulldogs had junior Karissa Wiebalk to thank for that. The junior, who is the only returning starter from last year’s team, had eight points in the first half, six of which came in the second quarter after College Park had momentarily pulled out to a 10-point lead.

Alanis Lara hit two big jump shots in the final two minutes of the quarter to add to her total of 10 on the night. The junior guard is seeing her most minutes since her transfer to Alhambra last year. As a sophomore she came into the game mostly off the bench.

In the second half, College Park again played themselves into a bigger lead by getting some help from some of their weapons not named Casey. Junior Mei Lynn Kim only had 10 points on the night, but her shots came at just the right time. Kim’s first points came off the back of a jump shot by Doronkina that opened the second half. Kim’s lay up also forced Jason Bautista to call time out and regroup.

Kim and sophomore Nicole Ashmore both hit three-pointers in the third quarter to push the Falcon lead to six points, but Lara and Wiebalk answered back with a couple of two-point baskets of their own.

The Bulldogs got an offensive rebound from senior Aly Najera and a nice spinning move through the paint by Cara DiMercurio to tie it up momentarily, however in this instance calling timeout stunted the momentum.

College Park went on a 9-3 run, eight of those points scored by Doronkina, who put the team on her back to close out any type of late comeback by the Bulldogs.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 1-3 overall.

The Bulldogs played the Petaluma Trojans on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. The results of that game are on page 9.

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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