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Alhambra outscore Chowchilla in Jamboree opener

Alhambra senior Saelym Schmidt rises to the basket in the Bulldogs’ 55-30 win over Chowchilla High School in the opening game of the Quartz Bracket of the 2016 West Coast Jamboree on Dec. 28, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra senior Saelym Schmidt rises to the basket in the Bulldogs’ 55-30 win over Chowchilla High School in the opening game of the Quartz Bracket of the 2016 West Coast Jamboree on Dec. 28, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

Alhambra’s girls basketball team rolled to their ninth win in a row when they beat the visiting Chowchilla Tribe on Dec. 28, 2016, in the opener of the Quartz Bracket of the West Coast Jamboree.

After a formidable run of unbeaten results, the West Coast Jamboree was meant to offer an increased level of competition for the Bulldogs. But they swept aside Chowchilla 65-30 in the tournament opener with ease.

Sophomore Bry Waters had 10 points in the first quarter alone as Alhambra gashed the Tribe’s defense on the fast break. Waters accounted for half of the Bulldogs’ scoring in the quarter, and allowed the team to open up a 20-8 lead. Abby Brown contributed four assists to cutting runners in the first quarter alone.

A bit rocked, Chowchilla didn’t really seem to know what hit them. But they regrouped in the second quarter and put together a better display defensively.

Or at least so they thought.

The Bulldogs didn’t go about try to out-shoot the Tribe in the second quarter. Instead they worked the ball into Kiera Rios, who converted a pair of three-point plays in the quarter. Senior Lani Lara did so as well. The guard drained along-range jumper for three, then picked off a sloppy pass with only seconds on the clock and laid it in to energize her team.

Chowchilla couldn’t rebound from the attack, nor could they rebound during the game. They turned the ball over three times in the third quarter before calling a timeout to calm things down. At that point the Bulldogs were in full on cruise control, and could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

A three-pointer from senior Karissa Wiebalk activated the running clock, while the Tribe was forced to shoot a plethora of ill-advised jump shots just to pad the stat line and make the result look less lopsided.

Not something that was easy to achieve considering the Bulldogs won by 35.

The win allowed the Bulldogs to move on and take on the winner of the Orland and Kennedy-Richmond game. The Eagles from Kennedy High beat Orland by a score of 55-51.

Chowchilla went on to lose to Orland by a single point in a 34-33 thriller on Dec. 29. The Tribe were finally rewarded for their efforts when they took 7th place after beating Emery-Emeryville on Dec. 30 for their loan win of the tournament.

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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