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Loss to Eagles puts dent into Bulldogs’ DAL finish

Alhambra senior Lani Lara had 13 points in the Bulldogs’ 59-50 loss to Clayton Valley on senior night. The guard was one of five seniors who were honored after the game. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra senior Lani Lara had 13 points in the Bulldogs’ 59-50 loss to Clayton Valley on senior night. The guard was one of five seniors who were honored after the game. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

Because of the way the schedule was laid out, the Lady Bulldogs will go into the playoffs with a pair of wins, if the results match up with the team’s first two meetings with their final opponents.

But their 59-50 loss to Clayton Valley on Feb. 10 will send the girls basketball team into the playoffs with a bad taste in their mouth.

Because both teams were beaten twice by Concord, and with each team winning the away leg of their match ups this season, the times will tie for second in the Diablo Athletic League should the results hold.

That fact will frustrate the Bulldogs, who would’ve surely believed last week that had the results gone their way against Concord and Clayton Valley Charter, they could have been looking at a share of the DAL title.

The stage was set for them to claim second place outright.

After suffering a blitz from the start of the match, the Bulldogs overturned the big lead that Kat Segovia built up for the Ugly Eagles.

The sophomore had 15 points when the two teams met nearly three weeks ago, but in the return contest at Alhambra, she lead all scorers with 24 points. Of those, 10 came in the first quarter alone, as the diminutive sharp shooter nailed a triple of 3-pointers before the first break.

For Alhambra, the passing looked tentative to start off. And while they boxed out well, it seemed as if some of the players forgot to complete the second part of rebounding the ball; actually getting their hands on it.

But the Ugly Eagles cooled off in the second quarter. And Alhambra saw their opening.

With a 7-0 run in the dying stages of the half, the Bulldogs closed what was at one-point a 10-point deficit. Both Lani Lara and Saelym Schmidt started to heat up after a cold shooting night against Concord.

Schmidt and Lara each had 13 points on the night; Lara collected most of hers when she started to heat up from beyond the arc in the third quarter.

Coincidentally that matched up with the Bulldogs’ biggest push to take the lead.

Lara’s third triple of the night gave the Bulldogs a four-point lead, and Clayton Valley’s best rebounder senior Bridget Hyland had picked up her fourth foul with 5:21 still on the clock in the third quarter.

However her coach didn’t waver, and it made a difference down the final stretch.

Segovia nailed her fourth and fifth 3-pointers of the night to give Clayton Valley back the lead, but in the final four minutes of the quarter, the upper hand changed only once in favor of the Eagles. It wouldn’t change for the rest of the match.

Hyland put together a quarter to rival her teammate Segovia’s performance in the opening period. She scored 11 points in crunch time, and offered and outlet when the Bulldogs were truly making sure they wouldn’t be beat by the collection of shooters the Eagles had at their disposal.

Alhambra couldn’t close the gap to anything close than five points in the final quarter, and it sealed their fate. The best they can finish is in a tie for second place, should they win out.

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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