Feb 21 – Boys Basketball Advances in NCS Playoffs

The Acalanes boys basketball team beat Santa Rosa last night at home, 75-52, in the first round of the NCS Division II championships. Santa Rosa led at 3-2, but Nick Price put up a three pointer to go ahead–and the Dons never looked back.  The lead scorers for Acalanes spread the wealth, with Mitchell Smith and Jesse Marlow each scoring 12; Carson Etnyre scoring 11; and Robby Rowell, Aaron Hill and Ryan Nall all scoring 10.

Santa Rosa was a solid, physical team, but Acalanes played better “team” basketball to come away with the victory. The Dons took a fairly close game and ran away with it using a string of fast break buckets led by Smith and Marlow. Nall, Rowell and Hill controlled the paint.  The Dons ended the game with a crowd pleasing bucket by Will Grace.  It was 23-18 at the end of the 1st; 37-31 at half; 54-40 at the end of the third.

The Dons play away at Moreau Catholic in Hayward on Friday night in the quarterfinal game.  The boys hope Dons fans will come out to Hayward and support Acalanes!  Go Dons!

Dec 31 – Boys Basketball Wins Huber Classic

The Acalanes boys basketball team won their own tournament last week, beating a solid and athletic Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove, CA) team in the championship game. The tournament is named for Acalanes coach and teacher Chris Huber.

The first game pitted the Dons against Tennyson High School. Nick Price had 12 points and Jesse Marlow 11 on the way to a final game score of 78-47. Robby Rowell grabbed 12 rebounds and Aidan McNamara provided seven assists.

Game two against Tamalpais High School was a more heated match, and although Acalanes led by ten in the 4th quarter, the game felt tight as Tam pressed in the last few minutes. Jesse Marlow had an all around great game with 22 points, ten rebounds and four assists. Ryan Nall was right behind Jesse, with ten points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Robby Rowell had 11 rebounds, Aidan McNamara six assists.

The Dons played a tough and physical Cosumnes Oaks team in the final game, and like the two games before, defense keyed the win. Mitchell Smith and Aidan McNamara contributed 14 points each to the final score of 57-49.

Ryan Nall was named tournament MVP, and Jesse Marlow earned all-tourney honors. Congrats, Dons!

Acalanes’ next game is at home on January 13 at 5:30pm vs. Las Lomas. Come out and watch!

Dec 17 – Boys Basketball

The Acalanes boys basketball team played in the Damian Lillard tournament last weekend, winning one game out of the three.

In the first game, vs. Oakland High, Acalanes struggled from the foul line (10/21) but built up a ten point lead going into the 4th quarter.  With just a few minutes left, it appeared Acalanes would come away with the victory by a comfortable margin.  But Oakland began pressing and making shots, and the last 22 seconds were crazy.  There were multiple unusual calls by the referees, and suddenly Acalanes was down by one.  Robby Rowell inbounded the ball to Aidan McNamara, who launched a half court shot as time was running out.  He missed, but the referee called a foul, giving Aidan three free throws with 1.2 seconds left.  Aidan made two and put Acalanes up by one, and then missed the final free throw on purpose.  Oakland missed their final shot attempt, and Acalanes came away with the victory, 46-45.  Carson Etnyre had 12 points; Mitchell Smith ten.  Nick Price had two three point baskets, and Aidan McNamara was the leading rebounder with five.

Game two on Friday night featured a good Stuart Hall team.  Acalanes was sloppy, turning over the ball 24 times.  Stuart Hall took advantage of the sloppiness and scored 26 points off of those turnovers.  Acalanes only went to the line twice and missed both.  Despite these bad stats, the Dons defense was stellar, holding SH to just 32% shooting, and as the 4th quarter rolled around, Acalanes clawed back.  With 1:23 left, Acalanes was down by two, but it wasn’t to be.  SH came away with the victory, 46-41.  Aaron Hill led the Dons with 11 points and 12 rebounds.  Aidan McNamara had four assists.

Game three on Saturday was a match up between Acalanes and Branson.  Acalanes led most of the game and the Dons were up nine in the 4th.  But Branson made a great comeback, first tying the game, then taking the lead.  The Dons had several chances to tie or re-take the lead late in the game, but could not convert.  Free throw shooting was a problem once again (Acalanes was 17/27). Final score: 41-39. Ryan Nall showed great energy and hustle, tracking down six key rebounds and several loose balls.  Aaron Hill put up ten points; Mitchell Smith nine points; and Nick Price eight points.  Nick also came away with two steals.

Acalanes had good practices Monday and Tuesday to shake off the losses and get ready for the El Cerrito Holiday Hoops Classic, beginning today (Wednesday, December 21).  Go Dons!

Dec 10 – Boys Basketball

The Acalanes boys basketball team won the consolation bracket of the Amador Valley ABC tournament over the weekend, and the Dons are now 5-1 overall.

Acalanes lost the first game last Wednesday night to a tough Deer Valley team.  The Dons closed the first half with a 21-7 run and led 35-27 at halftime.  But Deer Valley came roaring back in the third period, and Acalanes struggled with their press. Playing without their senior starter and captain, Jesse Marlow, the Dons were cold from the three point line, making only 4 of 21 shots.  Final score: 71-56.   Carson Etnyre had 20 points and six rebounds.  Robby Rowell had ten points, seven rebounds and three steals. Aaron Hill had 15 points and five rebounds.

Game two on Friday night ended better for the Dons.  Northgate started out strong, leading Acalanes 9-8 early in the first quarter, but the Dons went on an 8-0 run and never looked back.  Acalanes led by ten at half and won 50-33.  The Dons will end up playing Northgate two more times in league play, so the game was a good win and a good look at a league opponent.  Jesse Marlow had 20 points (four of those 3-pointers), three assists, and two steals.  Mitchell Smith had nine points and three assists.  Robby Rowell put up 11 points, and Ryan Nall pulled in seven rebounds.  The Dons converted 20 points off of turnovers.

The final game of the tournament pitted Acalanes against Concord, a big and athletic team.  Acalanes was able to control the boards and the game, winning by a score of 69-47.  Jesse Marlow and Carson Etnyre led the way in scoring with 16 and 15 points, respectively.  Aaron Hill put up nine points, and Robby Rowell grabbed ten rebounds. Ryan Nall was a solid inside presence on both ends of the floor.  Will Grace came off the bench and knocked down several shots, including his first 3 pointer of the year, and Ryan Summerlin scored his first varsity points of the year.  Robby Rowell earned All Tournament Team honors.

The Dons will be back in action at 5:30pm on Thursday at the Damian Lillard Classic, where they’ll play Oakland High at Oakland High.

Dec 3 – Boys Basketball

The Acalanes boys varsity basketball team won the San Rafael Classic!  With their new head coach Sol Henik the boys are excited to play and to keep improving.

On Thursday they played Hercules, a team that handily beat Acalanes varsity last year.  This year it looked to be a different story, as the Dons started off with an 8-0 lead and great team defense. Hercules was tough, however, and the game was tied at 29 in the 4th. Robby Rowell hit two key 3 pointers to put Acalanes ahead 35-29, and the team did not look back after that, winning by the score of 46-38.  Standouts included Carson Etnyre with 18 points–nine of those from three pointers–and Jesse Marlow with 11 points.  Aidan McNamara contributed seven assists and eight rebounds. Robby Rowell had nine points and nine rebounds.

Friday’s game was against another opponent, San Marin, that beat Acalanes last year.  The first half of the game was close, but Acalanes broke it open in the second half.  Jesse Marlow led the way with seven rebounds and 10 points.  Mitchell Smith was stellar, with great on-ball defense, including one steal and eight points.  Robby Rowell hit a clutch three in the 4th to extend the Dons lead from 33-27 to 36-27.  The Dons allowed San Marin only 11 points in the second half and outscored them 18-4 in the 4th quarter.  San Marin’s best player was held to just two points, and he fouled out.  Acalanes held San Marin to just 25% shooting (10/40) and 18% (3/17) from the 3-point line.

The Championship game was Saturday night against host San Rafael.  Acalanes started the game with a 16-0 lead and finished the first quarter up 21-3.  The final score was 54-22. Aaron Hill put up 10 points and grabbed five rebounds.  Mitchell Smith contributed nine points and had three steals. Jesse Marlow had ten points and three rebounds.  Carter Diaz and Will Grace scored their first varsity points in this game!

Mitchell Smith ended with All-Tourney award and Jesse Marlow was tournament MVP.  Congratulations Dons!

Alicia Rowell