Stingy defense shines in girls’ win

Kiera Rios vs Mt. Diablo 013117
Alhambra junior Kieara Rios reaches over two players to pull in the rebound in the Bulldogs’ 76-19 win over the Mt. Diablo Red Devils. Rios had 22 points in the match. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

Martinez Tribune

Only four days after putting up a season-high 78 points, the Bulldog girls basketball team nearly matched that effort in their latest win.

Only two points short of their season-high in points, they decided instead to beat their previous mark on point differential in their 76-19 win.

With a differential of 57 points, it was clear the two teams playing on Jan. 31 were not evenly matched.

But as the season starts to come to a close, and the playoffs are no longer a pipe dream, the team’s mentality needs to be to win every time they lace up their shoes.

Luckily for the Dogs, their coach agrees.

The Bulldogs went off on a 10-0 run to start the game. But a three-pointer and driving lay up from Mt. Diablo’s Alexa Sotto caused Jason Bautista to call a time out.

Why call a time out? Your team is up seven points only four minutes into the game.

It was clear the coach wasn’t too excited about the effort he saw on defense. The Bulldogs only allowed seven more points in the next 12 minutes of game time, and created five turnovers. In total the Red Devils turned the ball over 29 times due to solid defense from Alhambra.

With the up tick in energy from the Lady Dogs on defense, the offense followed suit. Five girls scored double figures, with junior Kiera Rios taking the most advantage of her extra time on the court. The 6-foot tall wing had 22 points to lead all scorers.

But she wasn’t the only one to have a solid night scoring wise. Lani Lara and Kaylee Pond both had 12 points on top of their strong defensive efforts.

The two guards played a big part in the 12-0 run that ended the first half of play, and the six unanswered points that came after the break.

Over two quarters the Bulldogs only allowed seven points, and despite slowing down on defense, were still able to cruise and allow the starters to take a rest on the bench.

As the second-half of the season gets underway, two dates stand out for the Lady Bulldogs.

In the same week the Dogs will take on Concord and Clayton Valley Charter. The game against Concord on Feb. 7 is especially important, because if Alhambra is able to run the table in Diablo Athletic League play, the two teams would share the DAL title.

Concord would have more losses in the tiebreaker situation.

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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