By LUKE JOHNSON
Special to Martinez Tribune
Turnovers ended up being costly with a ratio of 37-14 in Dougherty Valley High School’s 55-40 win against host Alhambra last Friday night (Jan. 8) in a Diablo Foothill Athletic League girls’ basketball game.
“For our guards, this is the first taste of varsity basketball that they’ve had. Some of them made the team last year, but as far as playing most of the game, this is their first experience, so the speed of it is something they’re still getting used to,” Alhambra coach Jason Bautista said.
Leading the way for the Wildcats (10-5) was a trio of guards. Senior Abby Tayag scored 17 and collected five steals with four assists, juniors Kaylee Wong scored 15 and grabbed seven rebounds (three offensive), and at the point Alyssa Cruz had seven points, eight assists and zero turnovers.
The Bulldogs (2-9) had one player give up 15 turnovers on her own. They actually outrebounded the Wildcats by a significant margin, 48-36, but it was not enough to get the proverbial “W.”
Alhambra’s junior center Karissa Wiebalk dominated in the paint with 14 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks. She helped erase a double digit deficit by making a basket, drawing the foul and draining the and-one to give her team a one-point lead momentarily in the third quarter.
“If the tempo of the game slows down, they’re bigger than us and they’ll have an advantage on the basket,” Dougherty Valley Coach Doug Vanderhorst said. “We weren’t hitting shots tonight. We are usually a better shooting team than we were tonight. But a slow tempo is their advantage, and the best thing we can do is just get that ball going up and down the court.”
The Wildcats even their league record at 1-1, while the Bulldogs suffer defeat in their first taste of the DFAL in the 2015-16 season.