This one will sting for 24hr. In a game which Acalanes lead for 90% of the contest, they could not put away the Dublin Gaels in the second half and they let a road league victory slip between their collective fingers. After playing an aggressive first half of basketball against Dublin’s defense, the Dons took a 33 – 22 halftime lead into the locker room. Acalanes attacked Dublin’s full court run and double press and gave themselves some easy baskets. The Dons were in control of this game. But the Dublin gym has never been kind to Acalanes in the 2nd half of games.
Acalanes just needs to skip the 3rd quarter of each game. It seems to be the quarter that has sealed their fate in several losses this season. Last night was no different. In the 3rd quarter, the Dons could only generate two points of offense. It was not for lack of shots. The shots were just not falling for the Dons. Lucky for Acalanes Dublin only scored 6 points in the 3rd quarter. So entering the final quarter of the contest, the Dons held a 35 – 28 lead over the Gaels.
Let’s cut to the chase… coming out of a time out, with Acalanes trailing 44 – 43 and 5.9 seconds on the clock, the Dons inbounded the ball but could not get a shot off. A foul should have been called on the play. It would have put Acalanes on the free throw line for a 1 and 1 effort. But three officials on the floor would not blow their whistles and that was that. Dublin would grab a victory from the jaws of defeat. In the end, Dublin made a couple of more plays than Acalanes late in the 4th quarter. Combine that with the fact that Acalanes only scored 10 points in the second half and that usually means a “L” on the record. I am sure the boys are looking forward to the re-match against Dublin on Senior Night on Tuesday February 16th.
I do not have the game statistics handy. Nevertheless, offensively, the Dons were led by sophomore’s Robby Rowell and Ryan Nall and by junior Jesse Marlow. Marlow and Rowell hit a number of three point shots that helped stretch the Dons 1st half lead. Nall was the recipient of many nice passes which he used to finish with lay-ups at the rim. Most of this offensive production came within the first 16 minutes of the game. It helped the Dons build the eleven point halftime advantage it enjoyed.
With this tough loss, the Dons fall to 8 – 11 on the season. Acalanes has an opportunity to bounce back tomorrow, Wednesday afternoon (1/27), versus Alhambra at home in the Huber Dome. Tip-off will take place at 5:30pm.
It was an entertaining game. The Acalanes players competed hard for 32 minutes. Unfortunately, they could not get shots to fall late in the 4th quarter. This allowed Campolindo to hold-off the surging Acalanes Dons, 63-51.
The 1st quarter started off shaky for the Dons. They were outscored 17 – 9 by Campolindo who were energized by the three point shooting of senior forward, Austin Clarke. In the 2nd quarter, Acalanes got its offense cranked-up and scored 17 points in the quarter. This offensive output allowed the Dons to cut into Campolindo’s lead by two points and only trailed by 6 points at halftime, 32 – 26. The game was there for the taking for Acalanes.
Jesse Marlow Click on image to buy game photos
Junior forward Jesse Marlow was the offensive star for Acalanes in the first half. Jesse stroked shots from all over the floor. He hit three 3-point shots along with mid-range shots and free throws in both the 1st and 2nd quarters of the game. Marlow ended the first half with 15 critical points for the Dons.
The third quarter proved to be troublesome for Acalanes again. Campolindo hit several three pointers including a 4-point play from Austin Clarke to fuel a 22 point 3rd quarter. The Dons scored 12 points in the 3rd quarter which was a solid offensive effort. Nevertheless, Campolindo’s lead going into the 4th quarter grew to 16 points, 54 – 38. The Dons would not go away. Acalanes would rally in the 4th quarter to shrink Campolindo’s lead to single digits. After two free throws by point guard Andrew McKendell, the score was 56 – 49, Campolindo, with 3:01 remaining in the game. From that moment forward, Acalanes went cold from the field. Nothing would fall for the Dons. They had excellent looks at the basket, but the home rim was unkind. In the final three minutes of the game, the Cougars outscored the Dons, 7 to 2, to fend off Acalanes and leave Lafayette with a 63 – 51 victory.
Andrew McKendell Click on image to buy game photos
The varsity Dons got a tremendous spark from two junior varsity call-ups, sophomore forward Robby Rowell and sophomore center Ryan Nall. Rowell, known for his success as a quarterback on the football field, showed he was comfortable on the hardwood as well. He ended the game with 11 points (three 3 point shots), 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Nall, a varsity football defensive lineman, scored 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block shot. An impressive varsity debut for these two young men.
Robby Rowell Click on image to buy game photos
Sophomore Aidan McNamara had another very solid game at shooting guard for Acalanes. McNamara ended the game with 6 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. Junior forward Jesse Marlow stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 offensive foul drawn. Unfortunately for Marlow, he could not find his shooting touch in the 2nd half only scoring two points in the final 16 minutes of the game. Senior point guard Andrew McKendell had a tough night from the field, but finished the game with 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Until Alex Kinnear returns to the starting line-up, McKendell will have to quarterback a very young Dons varsity team that will often have three sophomores and one junior on the floor at the same time.
Aidan McNamara Click on image to buy game photos
With their loss to Campolindo, Acalanes falls to 8 – 10 on the season. The Dons can climb over .500 with a successful week of basketball starting on Monday January 25th. Acalanes has three games next week, one on the road and two at home. Let’s fill-up the Huber Dome on Wednesday and Friday.
· Monday January 25th – Acalanes at Dublin – 5:30pm tip-off
· Wednesday January 27th – Alhambra at Acalanes – 5:30pm tip-off
· Friday January 29th – Miramonte at Acalanes – 7:00pm tip-off (notice the game time change)
The Acalanes Dons welcomes their cross town rival, the Campolindo Cougars, to the Huber Dome for a basketball triple header today. The Acalanes Boys Varsity basketball team looks to bounce back from a road loss last Friday night at Dougherty Valley. The Campolindo Boys Varsity basketball team also looks to rebound from a home loss to Dougherty Valley back on January 12th. Acalanes enters tonight’s game with a record of 8 – 9 on the season while Campolindo enters tonight’s game with a record of 7 – 9 on the season.
Here is the line-up for today’s Acalanes vs. Campolindo basketball triple header
· 4:00pm – Acalanes JV Boys vs. Campolindo JV Boys
· 5:30pm – Acalanes Varsity Boys vs. Campolindo Varsity Boys
· 7:00pm – Acalanes Varsity Girls vs. Campolindo Varsity Girls
Finals are over. It’s now time to get the Huber Dome rocking for all three games. We must protect our house!!!
First let me start by saying that Acalanes was without 3/5’s of its starting line-up: Gavin Shipp out (Arm/Wrist), Alex Kinnear out (Mono) and Aidan McNamara out (Sick). It is hard to compete against any team when the majority of your starting line-up is out of action. It is even harder when you are on the road facing the 15 – 1 Dougherty Valley Wildcats (DV) who are coming off a 42 – 38 road victory over Campolindo on Tuesday evening.
This was a tale of two polar opposite halves. In the first half, Acalanes played with poise, defensive discipline and toughness and trailed Dougherty Valley by only 5 points at halftime, 28 to 23. In the second half, much of what fueled the Dons in the first half vanished. In the third quarter specifically, the Dons could not defend the two wing players from Dougherty Valley. These two players combined for 19 points and shot 10 for 11 from the free throw line. With 3:29 remaining in the third quarter and the score, 38 – 33 Dougherty Valley, the Wildcats started full court pressing the Dons. This pressure led to eight consecutive turnovers for Acalanes, either in the back court or front court. The score went from a 5 point deficit to a 26 point deficit in 3 minutes and 29 seconds. DV went on a 21 to 1 run to end the quarter. This third quarter derailment doomed Acalanes. There would be no coming back from these repeated body blows by DV. The Dons were outscored by the Wildcats 31 to 10 in the third quarter…YIKES!! It all happened so fast. The score after three quarters was now 59 – 33, DV.
In the fourth quarter, both Acalanes and DV played a lot of bench players. When the final buzzer sounded, the final score was 72-40, Dougherty Valley. The Dons relinquished 44 points in the second half. They will have to tighten-up their defense over the next seven days as cross-town, arch rival Campolindo rolls into Lafayette next Friday (1/22) to tip-off against the Acalanes.
Captain, Andrew McKendell worked hard to keep this patch-work Dons line-up within striking distance of DV in the first half. McKendell scored 6 points, dished-out 4 assists, collected one steal and drew one offensive foul in the first two quarter. He would end the game with 8 points and 6 assists. However, in his 32 minute effort to make plays for the Dons, he did amass seven turnovers. Acalanes also got solid 8 point offensive performances from Junior power forward Aaron Hill and Sophomore shooting guard Nick Price.
As I stated earlier, Acalanes will welcome Campolindo to the Huber Dome next Friday (1/22) at 5:30pm. Please come-out and support your varsity Dons as they try to improve their record back to .500.
This week was a tale of two completely different games for the Acalanes Boys Varsity Basketball Team. Tuesday night’s DFAL opener at Miramonte was ugly for Acalanes. However, last night’s game in the Huber Dome at Acalanes was awfully pretty for the Dons. The entire look and flow of the Las Lomas game was 100% different than that of the Miramonte game. The boys gave their home fans a lot to cheer about in their DFAL home opener. Acalanes now improves its record to 1 -1 in DFAL play and 8-8 overall. Las Lomas drops to 1-1 in DFAL action and 9-5 overall.
The Las Lomas game started ominously…just like the Miramonte game did. The Dons fell behind 7-0 in the opening minutes of the first quarter and I am sure many in the stands wondered if the boys would fight back and keep this game close. And fight back they did. The Dons made a run and finished the first quarter down by only one point, 14 – 13. Sweet assists by Andrew McKendell (3) and Aidan McNamara (2) set their teammates up for some great looks at the basket. Alex Kinnear was the benefactor of three of these assists scoring 7 points in the first quarter.
Acalanes got its offense cranked-up in the second quarter. The Dons outscored the Knights 17 to 10 in the second. Las Lomas, a team that tends to live by the three pointer, could not get the three ball going with any consistency all night long. The Acalanes defense had something to do with it. The Dons defense extended out on most of the Las Lomas shooters throughout the game, never giving them a clean, uncontested look. Acalanes took the lead into halftime, 30 – 24.
The third quarter was hotly contested. The Dons edged-out the Knights 16 -13 in the quarter to take a 46 – 37 lead going into the fourth and final quarter. Alex Kinnear and Jesse Marlow both had productive offensive quarters. However, a steal and coast-to-coast finish by Marlow with under a minute to go in the third was a wonderful way to top off a 16 point quarter by Acalanes.
Could the Dons close this game out? Would the Dons close this game out? They enjoyed a nine point lead to start the fourth. Which is exactly what they needed. Their lead had been as large as twelve in the third quarter. But Las Lomas would just not go away. In the fourth, Alex Kinnear, the Don’s leading scorer of the game, would foul out with 4:20 remaining and the score 49 – 41 Acalanes. Within the next thirty seconds, Las Lomas shrunk the Acalanes lead to four, 49 – 45. Would it be panic time for the Dons? Not at all. They were as cool as the other side of the pillow (thank you to the late, great Stuart Scott for that line). Acalanes would close out the game on a 10 to 1 run to finish off Las Lomas, 59 – 46. The most exciting three points of their ten point run came on a drive and left handed “and one” finish by Nico Brightbill with 2:06 remaining. Not only did this three point play stretch the Acalanes lead to nine, it fouled out the Knight’s best player on the floor, Devin Payne.
Acalanes got amazing performances from their starters. McKendell, McNamara and Marlow never left the floor for the Dons. The stat lines were impressive for the five starters:
· Nico Brightbill – 9 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist and 1 offensive foul drawn
· Jesse Marlow – 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 offensive foul drawn
· Aidan McNamara – 8 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists
· Andrew McKendell – 3 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 5 assists and 1 offensive foul drawn
· Alex Kinnear – 22 points and 8 rebounds
Acalanes has a BYE on Tuesday January 12th but will be back in action versus the Dougherty Valley Wildcats on Friday January 15th in San Ramon. Dougherty Valley has a record of 14 – 1 on the season and 2 – 0 in DFAL play. Dougherty Valley will have to face off against Campolindo on Tuesday January 12th in Moraga before squaring-off against Acalanes next Friday afternoon.
There was a great home crowd at last night’s game. The Varsity Boys will need even more fans in the Huber Dome when Campolindo visits in two weeks on January 22nd.
There is not too much to say about this particular game. Miramonte played well and was offensively efficient. The Matadors out-hustled and out-muscled the Dons for most of the game. This was not an ideal way to open up league play for Acalanes. However, it is just one loss for the Dons.
Andrew McKendell Click on image to buy game photos
Acalanes will try and bounce back on Friday afternoon against a very good Las Lomas team. This game will tip-off at 5:30pm in the Huber Dome. Las Lomas will enter Friday’s game off of a DFAL opening night win over Campolindo 65 to 56.
Nothing like starting DFAL league play against one of your cross-town rivals. The Dons will travel up Moraga Road and Moraga Way into Orinda to take-on the Miramonte Matadors today. The Matadors are 10-4 on the season but are just 2 and 3 over their past five games. The Dons are 7-7 on the season but are 4 and 1 over their past five games. This afternoon’s game will be a great test for the Dons. Miramonte has height, length and athleticism. The Matadors are led by their two returning senior starters, Ryan Anderson and Eddy Ionescu.
Following the Boys game, the Acalanes Varsity Girls (10-2) will face-off against the Miramonte Varsity Girls (10-0) at 7:00pm. The Lady Dons go into today’s match-up with a number of key players on the disabled list. To beat this year’s Miramonte girls team, a team needs all hands on deck, healthy and available for tip-off. Unfortunately for the Lady Dons, they fall short of that. Nevertheless, Coach Wellon will have the Dons prepared to compete.
Please come out and support both the Acalanes Boys and Girls Varsity basketball teams this afternoon at Miramonte.
The Dons concluded their non-conference schedule with a record of 7 – 7 thanks to a double digit victory over the Analy Tigers, 66 – 51. There was a nice Saturday night home crowd in the Acalanes gym to cheer on their Dons. The game was close for three and a half quarters before the Dons eventually pulled away with a combination of good defense and excellent free throw shooting.
After one quarter, the game was tied at 14 to 14. Both Acalanes and Analy looked comfortable on the offensive side of the court. It felt like another nail-biter was ahead. There was not much scoring in the second quarter and the halftime score was Acalanes 25 and Analy 22. Give Acalanes credit, their defense and rebounding was what propelled them to their three point halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Acalanes could not stretch its halftime margin beyond three. However, it was not for lack of trying. The Dons, at one point in time during the third quarter, held 14 point lead over the Tigers but they could not hold it. The scrappy Tigers not only clawed their way back into the game but took the lead for a moment early in the fourth quarter. It started to look and feel like the Dons would let this game slip away. But not tonight Acalanes righted the ship and with a combination of good defense, rebounding and free throws, the Dons caged the Tigers late in the fourth and won going away by 15 points, 66 – 51. It was a quality win for Acalanes as they prepare for their DFAL opener against rival Miramonte on Tuesday (1/5) afternoon in Orinda.
The Dons got a balanced scoring attack from its line-up. Acalanes was led by the sharp shooting of Jesse Marlow who was 5 of 6 from beyond the arch. While Analy was making its second half comeback, Jesse buried a three pointer in transition to give the Dons a five point lead and they never looked back. Aidan McNamara had another solid game as the off guard. Aidan played strong defense and stayed aggressive on the offensive side of the court. McNamara was clutch in the second half from the free throw line hitting 7 of 8 attempts to keep the Tigers from getting closer. Alex Kinnear worked hard in the interior to score 11 points for the Dons. The two surprise offensive contributors for the Dons were Carter Smith and Ryan Summerlin. The two combined for 19 points on the evening. Smith scored 10 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Summerlin came off the bench and scored 9 points, all in the second half, to help extend the Dons lead. These two efforts proved to be the difference in the final outcome of the game.
The Acalanes Boys Varsity Basketball team begins DFAL conference action this week. Here is the schedule:
· January 5th – Acalanes (7-7) at Miramonte (10-4); tip-off at 5:30pm
· January 8th – Las Lomas at Acalanes; tip-off at 5:30pm
Please make the road trip over to Miramonte to support your Varsity Dons in what should be an entertaining DFAL match-up.
…in the Finals of The 2nd Annual Chris Huber Classic, 69 to 50.
In a hard fought game against a very talented Clovis North team, Acalanes lost 69 to 50 in the finals of The 2nd Annual Chris Huber Classic. I did not get a snapshot of the official scorebook for the championship game, so I do not have individual player point totals to share. But I will share a quick summary of the game.
It was a tale of two different halves for the Dons. In the first half, Acalanes could not slow down the inferno hot three-point shooting of Clovis North and they could not score. A truly terrible combination for any team in any basketball game. Acalanes trailed Clovis North 15 to 2 after the first quarter and 47 to 15 going into halftime. Defensively, the Dons did not contest most of the three point shots that the Broncos made in the first two quarters. In the final two quarters that would change. Both defensively and offensively, Acalanes picked-up its play and the second half of the championship game was far more entertaining than the first. In fact, Acalanes out-paced Clovis North in the second half 35 to 22. The Dons scored 21 points in the third quarter and held the Broncos to just 12 points. This effort helped Acalanes to cut its deficit from 32 points at half down to 19 points as the 4th quarter began. This 3rd quarter rally was led offensively by Alex Kinnear who had an All-Tournament game. Alex hit shots from both inside and out and keep the Dons offense moving forward. Acalanes also got a tremendous spark off the bench from Nick Price, who converted a number of three point plays on difficult drives to the hoop. In the fourth quarter, Acalanes could not draw any closer to Clovis North. Both the Dons and the Broncos scored 14 points in the fourth quarter bringing us to the final score of 69 to 50.
It was a wonderful three days of high school basketball hosted at Acalanes High School. High school teams from all over Northern California and Nevada traveled to Lafayette to compete in The Chris Huber Classic. It was a first class, well run tournament in which Acalanes presented itself beautifully. All of the Head Coaches said that they would like their teams to return next year to participate in the 3rd Annual Chris Huber Classic.
The 2nd Annual Chris Huber Classic All-Tournament Team and Chris Huber Spirit Award Winners:
· Acalanes – Andrew McKendell, All-Tournament Team / Aidan McNamara, Chris Huber Spirit Award
· Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) – Eddie Stansberry, All-Tournament Team / Pete Kolokotrones, Chris Huber Spirit Award
· Clovis North (Fresno) – Jahvon Johnson, All-Tournament Team
· Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) – Brandon Gray, All-Tournament Team
· Galena (Reno, NV) – Dillon Voyles, All-Tournament Team
· Liberty (Bakersfield) – Anieus Medrano, All-Tournament Team
· Monte Vista (Danville) – Austin Fadal, All-Tournament Team
· Tamalpais (Mill Valley) – Jack Duboff, All-Tournament Team
The Chris Huber Classic was not all good news for Acalanes. The Dons have lost sophomore forward and starter, Gavin Shipp, for the season with an arm injury. This injury is a big blow to the Dons as they prepare for league play next week. Gavin is the best athlete on the team and it will be very difficult to replace his skills. Someone from the Dons bench will step-up, step-in and fill Gavin’s role.
The next game for the Acalanes Boys Varsity Basketball team will be against Analy High School at Acalanes on Saturday January 2nd at 7:00pm. Thank you for your wonderful support of the boys in yesterday’s game versus Clovis North. Please continue your support.
In a very physical game, the Acalanes Boys Varsity Basketball Team hammered the Cosumnes Oak Wolfpack, 57 to 38, to advance to the Championship Game of The 2nd Annual Chris Huber Classic. Acalanes will face-off against Clovis North High School of Fresno today, New Year’s Eve, at 3:00pm at Acalanes. The Clovis North Broncos advanced their way to the Championship Game by beating Archbishop Riordan in an impressive showing, 72 to 60.
Jesse Marlow Click on image to buy game photos
Acalanes jumped out to a 13 to 11 first quarter lead over Cosumnes Oak and never looked back. However, it was in the second quarter where the Dons established a double digit lead that they would never relinquish. In the second, the Dons held the Wolfpack to just four points and took a 26 to 15 lead going into halftime. Acalanes was led in the first half by the three-point sharpshooting of Jesse Marlow. Jesse hit four big three-pointers, three in the first quarter and one in the second, to end the first half with a team high 12 points. Gavin Shipp scored 6 points and grabbed multiple rebounds to contribute to the eleven point Dons halftime lead.
Walking into ‘Ice Box” at halftime, the Cosumnes Oaks coaching staff was fuming. They could not understand how this Acalanes team could hold their boys to only 15 points through two quarters. How could it be possible? What could they do to change the tone and flow of the game? As the third quarter began, it was clear that Cosumnes Oaks strategy was to full court pressure the ball handlers and get physical with Acalanes. Little did Cosumnes Oak know, Acalanes was ready to handle that strategy. Also, the Cosumnes Oak coaching staff did not account for the toughest player on the court, Andrew McKendell, to control the second half of the game and lead the Dons to victory.
Andrew McKendell Click on image to buy game photos
The Acalanes five foot seven inch senior point guard showed why he is a captain on this team. McKendell handled the relentless full court pressure applied by the Wolfpack. For most of the second half he was being double teamed on all inbounds plays in order to keep the ball out of his hands. That did not deter him. McKendell worked tirelessly to get the ball into his hands in order to break the press and get Acalanes into its offense. The Wolfpack did not let this happen easily. McKendell was continually mauled, grabbed, picked-up and hammered by the Cosumnes Oaks guards while either trying to get open or dribbling the ball. All of this fouling by Cosumnes Oaks put Acalanes into the bonus early in the second half and like on Tuesday night, the Dons made the majority of their free throws. Battered and bruised, McKendell stepped to the free throw line twelve times in the second half and made ten shots. He also hit two three pointers in the game to finish with 16 points. The most impressive stat from the game was this, McKendell drew six offensive fouls on Cosumnes Oaks…it should have been eight. Can anyone tell me the last time they saw a single player draw four charges in a single game, let alone six? Who has the defense anticipation, toughness and stupidity to take that kind of beating…Andrew McKendell. That was a display of toughness and guts. The other senior captain, Alex Kinnear, battled all night for the Dons on both the defensive and offensive glass. Kinnear like McKendell, was clutch from the charity stripe in the second half, going five for six in the fourth quarter. Kinnear ended the game with 9 points. Marlow scored another 6 points in the second half to close with 18 points. Shipp, who was also a monster on the boards, finished the game with 8 points.
Aidan McNamara Click on image to buy game photos
Acalanes outscored Cosumnes Oaks in the third quarter, 18 to 13, and again in the fourth quarter, 16 to 10. All of this led to an impressive 19 point victory over Cosumnes Oaks, 57 to 38. The Dons showed off their toughness last night as the game got quite “chippy” in the second half. All of the Dons that played last night got beaten-up a little bit by Cosumnes Oaks…some got beaten-up a lot. Nevertheless, the boys were all smiles when they walked back into the gym, after their post-game talk, to greet their families and friends. This afternoon, Acalanes will face their toughest opponent of season, the Clovis North High School Broncos. Clovis North is going to full court press Acalanes from the opening tip through their post-game talk. The Broncos are deep, athletic, long and can shoot. The Dons will have their hands full this afternoon. It will be a great test for them as league play begins next week. With the victory, the Dons are now .500 on the season with a 6 – 6 record.
Alex Kinnear Click on image to buy game photos
Please come out and support your Acalanes Varsity Boys Basketball Team as they compete for the championship in 2nd Annual The Chris Huber Classic. Tip-off is at 3:00pm. Also be sure to find Coach Huber and give him a hug.
Here is the line-up of games for the 3rd and final round of The 2nd Annual The Chris Huber Classic:
· 10:30am – Tamalpais vs. Galena (Reno, NV)
· 12:00pm – Monte Vista vs. Liberty (Bakersfield)
· 3rd Place Game at 1:30pm –- Archbishop Riordan vs. Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove)
· Championship Game at 3:00pm – Clovis North (Fresno) vs. Acalanes
Acalanes Boosters membership cards will be accepted at the gate.
All of these wonderful games will take place at Acalanes High School in the “Huber Dome” (aka – the Big Gym)