By GERARDO RECINOS
Alhambra’s boy’s basketball team had it’s worst defensive performance of the season at the worst possible time.
That’s because they were visiting College Park.
If there’s anything either team on the opposite side of the rivalry wants to do, is lose against the other.
Alhambra’s 84-55 loss on Jan. 5, was the worst scoreline in a match up between the two teams since 2010, when the Falcons won by a score of 75-31.
It also marks the fifth time in a row that the Pleasant Hill team has beaten the Martinez team.
From the way the team warmed up, to the way they took the court in the first few minutes of the game, Alhambra fans should’ve known they were in for a long night.
After an early three-pointer from sophomore Wyatt Hammer, the Falcons went on a 9-0 run capitalized by a lay up alley-ooo by senior Raazhel Watkins.
A 24-point outburst by the Falcons in the first quarter alone showed how much depth the team jump-shooting team had. Seven different players scored in the quarter, and they knocked down three from long range. The Falcons hit 11 three-pointers on the evening.
They beat that mark in the second quarter by scoring 28 points, again by out shooting the Bulldogs, who only had two double digit point scorers on the night, compared to College Park’s four.
It didn’t take long before the game got out of hand. College Park forced the game into a quick-paced, back-and-forth race. That style of play can suit the Bulldogs at times, but with an opponent the quality of College Park it seemed hard to cope with.
Even when the Bulldogs played a zone defense, it seemed hard to stop College Park. The Falcon shooters looked unstoppable.
Thankfully the Bulldogs had their own player who looked unstoppable on the court. Senior Thomas McDonald showed his pure scoring ability off by still getting to the basket and draining jumpers even when the Falcons knew he was the target of the play.
His 22 points on the night led all scorers, but only he and fellow senior Jordyn Eglite reached double figures for the struggling Bulldog squad.
In contrast Watkins led the Falcons with only 15 points, but was helped by efforts from sophomore guard Zyon Pullins, who had 14 points, senior guard Nick Lombardi, who had 11 points, and junior guard Andre Sunga, who added 12 points.
Despite the loss for the Bulldogs, the match up did give them a tune up, and a taste of what a playoff environment could provide should they be able to come out of Diablo Athletic League play with a winning record.
With both sets of fans making their voices heard throughout the gym at College Park, the only thing that lacked the playoff feel was the score line.
Alhambra opens the DAL season at home against the Berean Christian Eagles on Friday, Jan. 13. The Eagles hold an 11-3 record, but will have already played a game in league play after they met up with Northgate on Jan. 9, after Tribune deadline.