By GERARDO RECINOS
Alhambra’s girls basketball team extended their win streak to seven games on Tuesday night when they beat De Anza easily 54-30.
And that was with the team looking a bit out of sync and coach Jason Bautista letting his girls know they were not at their best in the Dec. 20 win.
Everything looked peachy, which is usually how it goes when you jump out to an 11-0 run in the first two minutes of the game. But credit is due to De Anza’s girls, who toughened up despite not having the same fire power Alhambra has.
The Dons nearly matched the Bulldogs after meeting their first field goal, but that took almost three minutes of game time to happen.
Even then, the Bulldogs still shot their was to a six-point lead at the end of the quarter.
That lead quickly continued to grow thanks to a solid quarter from Saelym Schmidt. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer, who racked up 16 points in the win, had 10 of those points in the first half alone.
But the shot that brought the house down came from senior Karissa Wiebalk.
After having knee surgery nine months ago, there were doubts as to whether she would be able to play her senior season. She’s still wearing a brace and will be limited for a while, but when sank her first shot, a three-pointer no less, the small crowd let her hear it. As did her teammates, coaches, and even the announcer.
That shot was part of an 11-1 run that really bust the game open.
But the one that put it away came after the intermission. In the third quarter the Bulldogs blanked De Anza from the field. The only points the Dons could muster came on a pair of free throws.
All the while Alhambra notched 17 points during that same stretch, with sophomore guard Bry Waters scoring eight of her 14 points on the night in the quarter.
The streak of not allowing a field goal lasted nearly ten minutes of game time until it was broken by De Anza’s Kiki Scott. The junior banked in a jumper from the top of the key to the relief of her team.
While the Dons outscored Alhambra in the fourth quarter, the Bulldog girls were already well not he way to their ninth win of the season. They didn’t come close to that mark last year, and it took them until late January to hit that plateau in the 2014-2015 season.
To put that in context, the previous team to make the playoffs, the 2007-2008 squad, started the season at 6-4. They won their first North Coast Section game before being knocked out by perennial power Bishop O’Dowd.