By GERARDO RECINOS
If you saw the Mt. Diablo boys basketball team play the Bulldogs on Tuesday night, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t believe they were winless on the season.
Not that they didn’t have fire in their play, and an extra incentive to compete hard in the 68-47 win by Alhambra.
The Bulldogs’ coach, Chris Petiti, teaches at Mt. Diablo, and he and his players have been throwing back and forth a bit of playful banter before the Jan. 31 contest.
Make no mistake though, the Red Devils weren’t going to let their teacher off easy. They had something to play for, and it was clear.
But if they were going to do it, they were going to need to rely on one man. Their guard, Jason Glenn, went toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs.
He was a big reason Mt. Diablo was able to overcome a slow start in the first quarter.
Alhambra had one of their hotter quarters of the season against the Red Devils, mostly because they were able to drive to the rim effectively, and slow down a team who wanted to out shoot them. That has not always been a possibility for the Dogs. And it’s hurt them so far this season.
But there’s only so long you can hold a good player down.
Thomas McDonald was leading the charge for Alhambra, and his 16 points in the first half were huge for the Dogs. But with a trio of three-pointers, the senior Glenn matched that output. McDonald had 24 on the night, and Glenn had 29 to lead all scorers.
Only a late fade-away jumper by senior Luke Brown allowed the Bulldogs to go into the half up a single point.
From the break, Alhambra made their first run toward breaking the game open.
A couple of slick passing moves allowed the Bulldogs to go on a 8-0 run that was capped by senior Jackson normed completing a three-point play after going down hard on the foul.
Norried saw an increase in minutes and used the time on the court to rack up his best scoring night of the season. The senior had 13 points on the night, and was one of three scorers for Alhambra to reach double digits.
The third man to reach double figures was another senior, Jordyn Eglite. His 10 points in the second half were a big reason Alhambra doubled their 12-point lead from the third quarter to the fourth.
With Glenn on the bench, the Bulldogs got to work in the paint, and despite only making 50 percent of their shots from the free throw line, they got two Red Devil players to foul out.
With a short bench, Mt. Diablo couldn’t cope, and suddenly their tenacious play and sharp-shooting first half were forgotten.
From a one-point deficit in the first half to a 21-point loss, there was a lot going on the middle that allowed for a more flattering score line.
The Bulldogs will have five games left to play this season, however only two are at home, where they are 5-3. Those two games do come against the teams who handed Alhambra their heaviest defeats in league play, Clayton Valley Charter and Concord.