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Alhambra boys thrash Ygnacio in 61-41 win

Alhambra sophomore Wyatt Hammer leads the fast break in the Bulldogs’ 61-41 win over Ygnacio Valley on Feb. 14, 2017. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra sophomore Wyatt Hammer leads the fast break in the Bulldogs’ 61-41 win over Ygnacio Valley on Feb. 14, 2017. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

As the games keep coming, the Bulldogs continue to keep their hopes alive for a playoff spot after a three-year drought.

The boys basketball team took care of the first part of their two-legged journey when they beat up on Ygnacio Valley in a 61-41 win on Feb. 14.

With the win the Bulldogs improve to 3-4 overall against teams within their division. Of the three wins, two have come against their Tuesday evening opponents, the Warriors.

The other was a win at home against the winless Mt. Diablo Red Devils.

Between the two Concord opponents, the Bulldogs are only allowing an average of 42 points per game, a stark contrast against their marks with the other three teams in the Diablo Athletic League.

The Warriors were only being propped up early on by a hot start from junior guard Pouyan Haghighhat. His five-point first quarter helped overturn the 11-2 run from Alhambra that started the game off in favor of the visitors.

But neither he nor the Warriors could hold up that output. Anyone in the Ygnacio white jersey seemed to lose their touch on their jump shots in the second half of play.

Credit due to Alhambra for only allowing four points from the Warriors in the second quarter, but a lot of it was due to a cold streak from the home team.

However the opportunistic Bulldogs didn’t shy away from the opportunity. Ygnacio did a good job of surrounding the man with the ball in defense, but usually that meant they were neglecting their assignment.

That left players like Jordyn Eglite with the ability to make an extra pass under the bucket for a high-percentage shot.

Haghighhat’s elbow jumper with 58 seconds left in the first half was the only Ygnacio Valley field goal of the quarter, as the Bulldogs bossed the entire quarter by a score of 14-4.

Despite leading by 16 points, it was clear by the fire coming off the Warriors’ bench that they weren’t done.

It’s just that Alhambra didn’t need to worry about any come back attempt.

The Bulldogs continued to pile on the points, and if at any point the Warriors started to get into a rhythm, Alhambra slowed it down by driving to the basket. In most cases they were able to draw a foul.

Alhambra shot 15 free throws in the second half, and even though they only shot 69 percent from the charity stripe, it slowed down the pace of the game. It also forced the Warriors to make multiple substitutes to avoid foul trouble.

It ended up carrying the Bulldogs over the finish line and setting up an important clash against Mt. Diablo Friday night. The Feb. 17 clash will determine whether the Bulldogs get into the playoffs.

Although the Red Devils are winless, they’ll be geared up to play the role of spoiler.

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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