By GERARDO RECINOS
Opening night at Alhambra was spoiled by the one-man wrecking crew named Amir Boddie.
The senior captain of the South San Francisco Warriors dropped a 37-point effort on the Bulldogs, making the Bulldogs’ new coaches first night at the helm less than perfect.
Alhambra’s 56-48 loss in Chris Petiti’s first game saw the Bulldogs hang with the Warriors for 40 minutes in spite of Boddie’s hot-hand.
But at no point did they make a run that would allow them to take a lead in the game.
In the first quarter the Bulldogs went down by as many as eight points. But a 6-0 run at the very end of the opening period cut the lead down the two due to some pesky defense. Steals from Tyler Clemons and Luke Brown turned into points on the other end.
However they did struggle keeping Boddie off the free-throw line. The senior shot 10 free throws in the first quarter alone.
Cold shooting plagued them throughout the rest of the second half, but a big three-pointer in the closing minutes of the half by junior Vincent Bruno to build a bit of momentum.
With senior Thomas McDonald coming into the game in the second half, the Bulldogs had a bit more punch in attack, and his nine points in the second half bolstered the efforts of sophomore Wyatt Hammer, who lead the team with 10 points on the night.
Defensively both teams rebounded with some strength but it looked like the two teams had yet to find a rhythm. That’s understandable, early in the season team’s have their athletes who compete in other sports come in after training on a different team.
McDonald nailed a couple of free throws in the first minute of the fourth quarter to cut the lead down to four points, but could not do any better than that.
Sloppy play from both teams ramped up the pace of the game, with both teams missing open layups and playing poor passes. Despite being in the bonus due to foul trouble by the Warriors, the Bulldogs shot only 10 free throws in 7:37. Of those ten they only converted half.
The loss is the third time in the last four years that the Bulldogs have opened their season in defeat. The last win came in 2014-2015 when the Bulldogs broke their playoff drought.
Petiti will however work with a new slate in the Diablo Athletic League. The new league will allow the Bulldogs to avoid match ups with Miramonte, Campolindo and Acalanes, each of whom have participated in the North Coast Section Division III playoff semi-finals.
Alhambra goes on the road to Kennedy-Richmond on Dec. 1, the first of a five-game road trip that includes a trip to Vacaville four a tournament. They’ll take on Kennedy on Thursday, after Tribune deadline.