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Campolindo racks up a season high 31 steals in road victory

Alhambra’s junior guard Jessica Clark looks to make a pass to a teammate in the Bulldogs’ 64-27 loss to the Campolindo Cougars on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra’s junior guard Jessica Clark looks to make a pass to a teammate in the Bulldogs’ 64-27 loss to the Campolindo Cougars on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

Every person involved with the game of basketball has a formula to winning games. The one thing that can be agreed on is that if you turn the ball over more than you score, you’re not going to win.

Alhambra’s varsity girls basketball team turned the ball over 31 times on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, and only scored 27 points in their 64-27 loss.

Coming off the loss to Dublin where the Lady Bulldogs put together a solid second half, you would’ve expected a better battle from Alhambra.

The young team with only four months of playing time together looked rough around the edges because of a lack of court chemistry.

“They’re so young that when it doesn’t work one time, they want to do it all themselves,” said Coach Jason Bautista of his teams struggles dealing with opponent’s press defense.

Bautista cited lack of court time together as a factor, and the numbers back his theory.

Alhambra center Karissa Wiebalk had a game-high 16 points. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra center Karissa Wiebalk had a game-high 16 points. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Of the players with more than one season of varsity experience, only junior center Karissa Wiebalk made her impact felt on the score sheet. The third-year player netted 16 points to lead the Bulldogs, as well as account for more than half the team’s points.

Four other players chipped in two-point efforts, and junior guard Alanis Lara added three points from a solo shot from beyond the arc.

It’s a pretty stark contrast when you compare it to Campolindo’s stat sheet. The third-placed Cougars (as of Tribune deadline), have a young team with only two seniors, but have a pair of sophomores (Haley Van Dyke and Ashley Thoms) that earned All-League honors as freshman.

“It takes teams years and years to develop this chemistry, and I’m asking these girls to develop it in four months,” Bautista said. “They’re progressing and doing a great job and I am proud of their efforts.

Van Dyke led the Cougars with 13 points on the night, but was one of four players who touched double digits. It was another sophomore, Jessi O’Reilly however, that made her mark felt on the game in more ways than one.

O’Reilly not only bagged 10 points, but had seven rebounds and a team high six steals. O’Reilly’s six points in the first quarter alone pushed the Cougars to a 17-8 lead before the first quarter was over that was irreversible.

O’Reilly didn’t see much action in the later stages partly because Campo had already built up a 35-13 lead by the half.

Unlike their recent second-half surge against Dublin, the girls floundered against Campolindo.

They struggled to make adjustments offensively, and only Wiebalk’s efforts even kept the game from going to a running clock.

“Sometimes they have to learn that we need to work as a team and bring the ball up the court controlled, even if we use half the shot clock,” Bautista said. “Our achilles heel right now is handling the press.

“We have to get better, and more confident that any given night, and any given game we can break the press.”

Diablo Foothill Athletic League foes will know how to stymy any Alhambra offensive, but Bautista feels as if the work they put in during practice working on their biggest weakness will soon enough come to fruition.

The Bulldogs took on the Acalanes Dons on Wednesday, Jan. 27, after Tribune deadline.

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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