By LUKE JOHNSON
Special to Martinez Tribune
The damage had already been done by Dougherty Valley High School senior center Jushan Samra and point guard Gokul Srini as they were able to sit in the fourth quarter and watch their team cruise to a 61-38 victory in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League, and improve to a 14-1 overall record.
Host Alhambra boys’ basketball appeared to be out of the winning picture early last Friday night (Jan. 8), already trailing 12-2 to open up the first quarter.
“We knew coming in that they’ve been known for starting hot, so the theme was we needed to make sure we could just hang with them early, and unfortunately we let a couple 50/50 balls go their way,” Alhambra coach Anthony Ertola said.
Srini had the hot hand in the third quarter, collecting 12 of his 15 points, while his team captain, Samra, was the backbone of the squad by scoring 11 and grabbing 13 rebounds.
“I was pushing too much in the first half, but I just let the game come to me in the third quarter, and it came to me. I felt like I could get by anyone on the team, so I just went by them and I had lay ups,” Srini said.
When facing each other last year, the two teams exchanged 30-point wins in their home gyms. The previous time the Wildcats traveled to Martinez, they lost 93-61, so coach Mike Hansen came into last Friday’s game with that memory in the back of his head.
“We came in here last year and got our face kicked in, so this group remembered that, and maybe overlooked that team last year,” he said. “We knew coming in that we’d have to be ready, and our guys came out focused and jumped on them early.”
Stepping up to the plate and fighting through a double-digit loss for the Bulldogs (6-8) was junior forward Jordyn Eglite, who scored 10, had seven rebounds and four steals.
Alhambra drops its first contest in the DFAL, while Dougherty Valley has proven to be the early front runner with a 2-0 record in league.