Alhambra boys basketball runs into wall late in home loss

Martinez Tribune

As the season wears on for the Bulldog boys, and the list of games left to play gets shorter, they’re going to want this one back.

The facts are simple. Alhambra had a seven-point lead in the game before basically disappearing in the fourth quarter of their 55-47 loss to Berean Christian-Walnut Creek on Friday, Jan. 13.

And it’s not the first time they’ve had trouble in the fourth quarter of games, but losing in the league opener in that fashion sets a bad precedent for what’s to come.

When they were getting the ball into the paint, whether that be at the hands of Jordyn Eglite or Thomas McDonald, the Bulldogs were at their most successful. The Eagles were not going to match up size-wise with Alhambra. Their only way to win would be to out-shoot the Bulldogs, and force Alhambra to try and do the same in response.

After a brief cold streak, the Bulldogs caught fire and reeled off a 7-0 run to end the first quarter. But Berean’s jump shooters nailed four three-pointers in the second quarter so that Alhambra could not extend their lead.

And that lead going into halftime only existed because of a big three-pointer by McDonald as time expired.

But in the whole second half the Bulldogs only got seven points from players not named Elite or McDonald. Sophomore Wyatt Hammer, who is one of the bigger shooting threats on the team, had an off night, while Kinrick Todd’s four points in the second half only gave him six on the night.

Halfway through the third quarter, things still looked bright, however. Up seven points, the Bulldogs were holding on despite not playing all that well as a unit.

The Eagles went on a 7-0 run fueled by five points from senior forward Josh Lunsford, who ignited his team by dropping a pair of huge jumpers, including a contested three-pointer over McDonald.

That run set the tone for the rest of the contest, as the Bulldogs wilted under the pressure.

Only 10 points were scored by Alhambra, with only two field goals being converted from the field. Hammer’s lay up with 3:27 on the clock in the fourth quarter was the first basket converted in the quarter by the Bulldogs, and Todd’s lay up with 1:28 was the only other field goal.

Still, Hammer’s lay up came with the Bulldogs only being down three points with under four minutes to play. But seemingly everything that came off the hands of the Bulldogs didn’t want to go in.

Meanwhile Berean continued to hit big shots. Lunsford nailed another three-pointer in the final three minutes to help ice the game for the visitors.

On top of that, despite having a size advantage, the Bulldogs struggled to rebound the basketball, a problem that has continually plagued them over the past few years.

With nearly a week off of game action, the Bulldogs will prepare for a Friday night battle with Concord High. The Minutemen are struggling, with a 4-13 record going into the contest. However they will have a Diablo Athletic League win under their belt after taking down Ygnacio Valley on Jan. 13.

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