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!