“Silent Night” has become America’s favorite pseudo-traditions over the last ten years, but outside of Upland, Indiana and Taylor University, it’s comes off as disingenuous.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t fire a crowd up, and spark a team that comes out of the gate slowly.
Dublin’s varsity boys started slowly on Friday, Jan. 22, inside the silent gym. In fact, Alhambra’s boys beat them to the ten-point mark and got a small ovation from traveling parents and friends.
But when sophomore guard Connor Jackson’s layup rattled round and went in, the eruption from the student section buoyed the Gaels to an 18-2 run.
Points came from any player on the court for the Gaels. Junior guard Tim Falls led the way with seven points in the first quarter, while senior Andre Nguyen dropped six points. Senior Kobe Toney and junior Steven Houston each had five points.
Alhambra was forced to put a smaller than usual lineup in the first half after junior Jordyn Eglite recorded two early fouls. One came on a blocking foul that almost certainly should’ve been a charge.
Coach Anthony Ertola instead brought in junior varsity call up, sophomore Tyler Clemons into the game to try and account for the lack of size.
The Bulldogs, who have struggled rebounding in the past, did an adequate job on the boards. Their real trouble came turning the ball over.
In just over a quarter Dublin’s Falls had three steals on his own that went for points on the other end.
With 13 and 12 point outputs in the opening two quarters, Alhambra struggled to match up with the Division I Gaels’ offensive firepower.
The matchup basically served as the prime example for the need to restructure the conferences. Dublin, a school with nearly double the population of Alhambra, needs to play up with opposition with equal talent pool size.
The Gaels scored 23 points in the second quarter to keep their sizable lead, but they really ran away with it from that point on.
Dublin reeled off a 15-3 run to open the third quarter that turned a rout into a forgone conclusion. By the end of the quarter the Gaels opened up a 40-point deficit that would be impossible to come back from.
The Dublin crowd urged their players to score until they reached the 100-point mark, but with substitutes finishing out the fourth quarter, the Gaels only outscored Alhambra 8-3 in the final quarter of play.
Dublin’s offensive outburst was it’s third-highest output in the season, with only their wins over Granada-Livermore (91-54) and Las Lomas-Walnut Creek (87-80) seeing more points in regulation.
Their margin of victory over Alhambra was their second-biggest of the season. Only the 45-point victory over Division II Maria Carillo-Santa Rosa was a larger difference.
After the game Ertola mentioned his displeasure with the carelessness with the ball, but he too acknowledged that the level of competition the Bulldogs will face in next season’s league campaign will be much more evenly-matched.