Varsity Boys Basketball Ends Season

All good things must end. For Varsity boys basketball, their season ended last night in Marin after an overtime loss against the Tamalpais Hawks, the Dons finishing with a 16-11 record. The Dons played with heart, fighting hard against the Hawks and hustling from start to finish. The loss stings, but we are so proud of these 12 amazing young men — Jackson, Theo, Graham, Scott, Derek, Joey, Aidan, Murphy, John, Jeremy, Shreekar, Jake — both on and off the court. 

Many thanks to Varsity mom and talented photographer Jen Davis for capturing and sharing these fantastic action shots throughout the season; JV mom Rupy Krishnan and dedicated fan Dan Meade for early morning technical help posting these reports; Bob Barker for keeping the scorebook; the Coaches Sol, Robert, James, and Huber for all the time invested in the team; and Amy and Steve Ruegg for all things basketball. Seniors Aidan Bodner, John Kalil, Murphy Baker, and Shreekar Pandey will always remember their four years of Dons basketball. They and their parents thank you, Dons Nation. Good luck next year. Go Dons!

Varsity Boys Basketball Comes Up Short Against Las Lomas

In their last regular season game, the Dons played a high intensity, high stakes game at Las Lomas that ended in a heartbreaking 57-62 loss. 

Joey Carrillo and Scott Ruegg both had great games, with Joey shooting a season-high 24 points and Scott adding 16 more. Aidan Bodner played great defense, especially the second quarter. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the Knights, who were buoyed by their home crowd and accurate 3-point shooting. 

The Knights opened the game by scoring six 3-pointers in the first quarter, leaving the Dons 7 points short, 13-20. The Dons went on a 7-2 run in the second quarter, but the Knights pulled ahead again. Joey hit a buzzer beater from underneath, and the Dons headed to halftime down 29-35. 

Third quarter, the Dons came out strong. They  tied the Knights 41-41 with two minutes left. Five Dons scored, keeping up the offense and defense. Deja vu with the Dons going on another 7-2 run to open the fourth quarter, sparked by steals and fast breaks. With seven minutes left, Scott scored the go ahead basket, and a subsequent 3-pointer by Aidan helped the Dons take a 57-53 lead with four minutes left. But after two 3-point plays, the Knights took the final lead of the night. 

The Dons now wait for CIF NCS playoff brackets to be announced on Sunday. 

FRESHMAN TEAM-DAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 2020: Leave Your Heart on the Court!

FRESHMAN TEAM-DAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 2020: Leave Your Heart on the Court!

Valentine’s Day came early as the Freshman Dons were given a special Valentine…Not chocolate, not flowers… the title of the 2020 Diablo Athletic League Champions.

The Freshman Dons ended their season with beating Los Lomas, 75-44 and placed the DAL champion crown on their heads. Miller Smith wanted to go out big and boy did he! Miller scored EIGHT 3 pointers and put 30 points on the scoreboard for the Dons.

Flashback to November, the Don’s first game was in Mill Valley, they arrived a bit nervous with jittery excitement. They didn’t know what the outcome would be because it was their first time playing together as a team. The Dons ended up beating Tamalpais High and that was the kick off to a successful season. Each game, each player…it was all Won-DON-erful to the very last basket of the season, a 3-pointer by Evren Rose right before the buzzer. Well DON-e!

Basketball has a way of bringing people together — whether on the court as players or parents cheering in the stands, there is a sense of unity.  “Oh that winning feeling” it ‘s contagious! And when you get that winning feeling, nothing else compares. Nothing compares to these men of Blue! They won it all for our school! Acalanes Proud!

Scoring Summary: Miller Smith (30), Jack Bayliss (23), Coco Gannon (7), Justin Zegaroski (5), Landon Best-Santos (5), Bennett Dodge (3), Evren Rose (3) Nathan Bennett (2)

League record 10-2, Overall season 23-3


Happy Valentine’s Day to our Freshman Champions!

Bennett From coast to coast we love you and from court to court we love to watch you play. Great Season! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Miller-We are head over ‘Hoops’ about #24. Everyone can see, feel and hear your enthusiasm, effort, and your Don LOVE. On the court and off the court you make your family PROUD! It’s MillerTime! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dominic…and so I ran. I ran up and down every court after every loose ball. You asked for my hustle I gave you my heart because it came with so much more…Love you always! An excerpt from “Dear Basketball”

Coco– Roses are Red Dons are Blue Coco loves AHS Hoops And being #1 too! So proud and we love you!

Justin – you’re a great team player who gives all you have. That’s Heart! That’s celebrating Valentine’s Day everyday.

Colin– Continue to play with your heart and smarts on the court! Your most loyal Valentines will always be cheering you on.

Landon– This Freshman season has been such an amazing time!  I am so proud of everyone (players, coaches and family), but I have to give the biggest shout out to my favorite human, Landon. Thank you for the ride, I can’t wait to see what is next! Remember you are the ‘BEST’!

Jack- A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player, I’m so happy you are both. Acalanes has a GREAT Frosh basketball team. Thank you for allowing us to enjoy this season of your life. You’ve been a blessing since the day you were born. We love you and are so proud of you. Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Nathan-you worked hard and finished well. We are so proud of our Kim Reaper!

NateWe love to watch your drive, your teamwork, and the way you push yourself every minute to improve. Swishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Zubin-Keep working hard and always show your best attitude and be the best teammate player and cheerer-no matter what comes your way! Loved watching you and your teammates play!

EvrenThere’s a dribble in your step–And the laughter that you kept-At the sillies of being me–Your exuberant mom—on your sideline—for eternity!

Kaleo– Always a team player with a big smile, big heart and big moves. You are a big important part of this Don Family!


JV Boys Basketball Win Big at College Park

In a game which wasn’t nearly as close as the final score suggests, the JV Boys continued their winning ways Tuesday in Pleasant Hill with a 60-53 victory over College Park to notch their 7th win in the last 8 games. Big man Yanaton Draznin put up 9 points in the opening quarter in route to a game high 17 points for the Dons, who also got 11 points and an array of slick passes from point guard Theo Stoll. The Dons were never threatened after they opened the game with a 16 to 8 advantage to end the first quarter and then extended that lead to 13, going into the halftime up 28 – 15. The Dons’ halftime lead shrink by a basket in the third quarter and that 11-point advantage shrunk further still as both teams scrapped and clawed throughout the fourth quarter in an entertaining finish to the game. The JV Boys basketball team concludes its 2019-2020 season on Thursday evening in Walnut Creek against Las Lomas High School at 5:30 pm.

Varsity Boys Basketball: Another D1 Win Against College Park

The Dons clinched an important game last night, defeating Division 1 College Park 71-60 in Pleasant Hill, joining Frosh and JV in a sweep of the Falcons. On Thursday night, the Dons will face Las Lomas in their last regular season game, with playoff standings and home court advantage at stake. 

The Dons’ aggressive defense, confident shooting, and consistent hustle propelled their win over the Falcons. The Dons jumped to an early lead, ending the first quarter 16-11. They headed into the locker room up 38-30. The Falcons battled back during the Dons’ sluggish third quarter, closing within four points, 45-41. But the Dons took control of the game with strong defense and 26 fourth-quarter points, final score 71-60.

On the defense end, the Dons benefitted from great blocking by Jake Davis and Joey Carrillo, key steals by Scott Ruegg and Aidan Bodner, nice rebounds by Jackson Aris-Dumas, Graham Smith, Scott, and Joey, and Aidan, and overall good aggressive defense that limited the Falcons’ shooting opportunities. On the offense end, the Dons posted lots of assists. Joey scored all four quarters, hitting jump shots and scoring from underneath. Scott and Jackson combined for seven 3-pointers and made 100% of their free throws. Four players scored in double digits: Scott (24), Joey (16), Aidan (13), and Jackson (11).

Boys Basketball travels to Las Lomas on Thursday night, the final regular game of the season. Frosh 4:00, JV 5:30, Varsity 7:00. DonsShowUp!

FACT: The Frosh Dons Score 1500 points

FACT: The Frosh Dons Score 1500 points

The Maxpreps website reports the Dons have collected 1500 points with one more game to play in their 2019-2020 season.

FACT: The Frosh team is 9-2 in league and holding on to the first place position.

The Dons traveled to College Park on Tuesday to beat the Falcons 85 to 62. Everyone played and together the Dons won!

Basketball is one of the most loved games on the planet. If you are a fan of the game, there are a few facts about it that you may not be aware of — like that the game was first played with a soccer ball!  Here are some other fun basketball facts:

FACT: A junior high basketball game ended with a score of 139-8. The winning team’s points were all scored by one player.
FACT: This was Jack Bayless and his junior high  team.  Just kidding. Bayless was the high scorer with 33 points to defeat the Falcons. And, that is not fake news!

FACT: We may all be a fan of the three-point-shot, but this was not an NBA standard rule until the season of 1979-1980. Prior to that, a move such as this was considered to be too fancy.

FACT: Zubin Acuna shot one of his smooth 3 pointers against the Falcons. And, yes it was fancy!

FACT: The average NBA player can jump about 28 inches off the ground . The average height for an NBA player is 6-foot-6 inches.

FACT:  Bennett Dodge...well, just look at the above photo.   He is the real deal!

FACT: In North Korean basketball, you get three points for a dunk, four points for a three-pointer that doesn’t touch the rim, and eight points for a basket scored in the final three seconds. A missed free throw means minus-one point.
Fact: Nathan Kim has lineage from South Korea.  His nickname is ‘Kim Reaper‘. Tuesday he was the ‘Rim Reaper’ playing an amazing game on offense and defense.  Also, shout out to the movie, ‘Parasite’, a South Korean film that won the 2020 Oscar for best movie.

FACT: The basketball play “alley-oop” comes from the French term for “allez-hop”.  An alley-oop is a basketball player making a basket while catching the ball in mid-air
FACT: Miller Smith takes French at Acalanes and he had an alley-oop against the Falcons. Allez les Dons!

FACT: Only 0.03% of high school basketball players make it to the NBA and only 0.003% play at that level for longer than 4 years.  FACT: Frosh Dons are focusing on college after 2023

FACT: Michael Jordan had a “love of the game” clause in his contract, allowing him to play basketball against anyone, anytime and anywhere. 

Fact: We LOVE our Dons anytime and anywhere!

Scoring Summary: Jack Bayless (33) Landon Best-Santos (11) Justin Zegarowski (9) Nathan Kim (7) Colin Norstad (6) Miller Smith (5) Coco Gannon (5) Zubin Acuna (3) Bennett Dodge (3) Nathan Bennett (2)

The last game for the Acalanes freshman basketball team will be ab away conference game @ Las Lomas (Walnut Creek, CA) on Thursday, February 13 @ 4pm

Varsity Boys Basketball plays a great game in 58-65 loss to Campo


The joy of home court advantage! Dons’ Sixth Man was out in force, on their feet, energizing the gym last night as the Varsity boys took on Campo. The Dons played so well that their 7-point loss to Campo felt like a win. 

In keeping with the tradition of Senior Night, all four seniors (Aidan Bodner, John Kalil, Murphy Baker, and Shreekar Pandey) started the game along with junior Scott Ruegg. Shreekar started the offense with a layup, followed by Scott’s jump shot. After tying the game 9-9, the Dons traded leads with Campo a couple times and ended the quarter down by one, 17-18. Of those 17 points, Scott scored 10, and Aidan and Shreekar pitched in for the other 7.  

The back and forth continued second quarter. Jackson Aris-Dumas and John scored the first two baskets, giving the Dons a 3-point lead at 21-18. After Campo tied, Graham Smith scored on a steal and fast break, and Scott kept the momentum by nailing a 3-pointer and floating a 2-pointer. The Dons took their biggest lead of the night, 28-21. But Campo eventually cut the Dons’ lead to two, 26-28. Campo continued scoring, but Joey Carrillo’s two baskets and John’s free throw briefly put the Dons up 34-32. Campo tied the game 34-34 as the teams headed to the locker room. 

Campo ate some Wheaties during halftime and opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run. Aidan passed to Jackson, who swished a 3-pointer to jump start the Dons. Campo scored, but Scott spun and cut to the basket, 39-42. After Campo scored on free throws, both teams stalled offensively. Graham showed patience in scoring from underneath, 41-44. Campo continued scoring, but Joey answered each time on assists from his teammates, scoring 9 of the Dons’ 16 third-quarter points. 50-55.

Strong defense prevented both teams from scoring the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. But Campo then knocked down three baskets to our one basket scored by Jackson. Scott stole the ball and hit a 3-pointer, 55-60. The Dons had trouble scoring, but Campo didn’t and they opened their lead to 9 points. It remained 55-64 until the final minute of the game, when Campo hit a free throw and Scott’s 3-pointer sailed in. Final score, 58-65.  

Huge kudos to the Dons’ defense, which managed to limit 2019 Cal-Hi freshman player of the year Aidan Mahaney to 8 points, which is far below his season average of 19.6-points per game. Scott (23 points) and Joey (14 points) delivered big time as our high scorers of the night. 

Basketball families are grateful to Mila Mathias and Stephanie Liu for performing a beautiful arrangement of our national anthem, Suzanne and Matt Schenone for planning the senior night celebration, varsity team manager senior Krishna Prabaharan for helping the team, and our dedicated Dons nation for ShowingUp. It was a fun night

JV Boys Basketball Gets Back On Winning Track

The JV Boys basketball team defeated visiting crosstown rival Campolindo High School last night by a final score of 48 to 38 to record their sixth win in the last seven games. Coming off a disappointing overtime loss on Monday night to Northgate, the Dons came out scrappy and fired up, and although it wasn’t always pretty, their tenacity and effort resulted in a hard fought 20-20 halftime tie score. The second half pace resembled that of the first with a lot of up-and-down-the-court action by both teams and physical play throughout. However, after scoring 10 points in each of the first three quarters, the Dons exploded in the fourth quarter with 18 points to lock down a very gratifying victory. Reflecting their balanced offensive output, the Dons had nine players who scored in the game, though none in double figures. The JV Boys next take the court on Tuesday, February 11th, in their penultimate game of the season against College Park High School in Pleasant Hlll at 5:30 pm.

We are not ‘Cougars’…We are DON MOMS!

We are not ‘Cougars’…We are DON MOMS!

LeBron James says, “Being a mother—it’s the toughest job in the world. It’s tougher than being a professional athlete or being the president. It’s a powerful thing. It should not be Mother’s Day, it should Mother’s week.”

Dons moms are a rare breed. We eat, sleep, and bleed blue. We value competition, we love a good win just as much as our Don athlete , and we (eventually) accept every loss as a bridge to greatness. We wear the Dons hat, sweatshirts, t -shirts and we hate to miss a game. Somewhere between their first basketball game in preschool and the first high school game, you became that Don mom, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. You scream, yell, get heated, and love every second of it. You bring your ‘A’ game. This is all Don Sports Moms…soccer moms watching games in the cold rain, track moms who wait patiently wait to see her Don run for 28 seconds in the hurdles… tennis, football, water polo, baseball, softball,wrestling, lacrosse, volleyball-whatever sport it is…We are all DONS Sports Moms!

Sports Moms sacrifice a bunch. We dedicate our time to our children. When you add up all the hours spent taking our kids to and from practices, all the time carpooling back and forth to games, and then all the hours spent watching them play, you’re talking about a pretty good-size investment of time and energy and, if you’re like me, vocal cords too.  But then we realize, their high school days are their last years of playing team sports and soon we will miss those freakishly early morning games or those close scoring games or that hunt for the missing basketball shoe when you’re already running late. We do it all with a smile on our face and a full heart because they’re our kids and we love them. 

We love sports because it gives our kids something we can’t give them alone. It gives them the experience of working as a team and of what it means to depend on the people around them and to feel the thrill of the win and the heartbreak of defeat—life lessons you learn best when you live them yourself. You take the time to capitalize on every loss, every disappointment, and every sports-related frustration by turning it into a valuable lesson that will last a lifetime. When you debrief after a game, you listen and teach as only a number-one mom-fan can do. Through sports and your guidance, you’re teaching your children the importance of being part of a team, playing and acting selflessly.  Dons Sports Moms are their kid’s biggest fan, and the truth is, you should be! And your kid knows it . You are their #1 fan on the court, field, pool and their #1 supporter off the court, field, pool. That’s how Don moms roll!

By the way, the Frosh Dons lost Wednesday in a heated battle against Campo Cougars: 46 -52. Jack Bayless scored 21 and Landon Best-Santos with 11 led the Dons. The Frosh Dons are still in the number 1 spot in their league and my golly all the moms are proud!

Next week is the last week of Freshman basketball with both games away at College Park and Los Lomas.

Freshman Dons powered by MOM DONS!

JV Boys Basketball Lose in Overtime

The JV Boys basketball team saw its five-game win streak end Monday night in a see-saw battle with visiting Northgate High School which narrowly edged out the Dons, 54 – 51, in overtime. The game was extremely close throughout as the Dons took a 23 – 22 advantage into the half, fell behind by two to close out the third quarter and then, with the clock winding down, dramatically tied the game with a pressure-laden, desperately needed three-pointer by Noah Bloch. The Dons clearly had momentum going into the OT period, but unfortunately managed to score only four points while giving up seven for the final margin of defeat. Leading the scoring for the Dons was Yanaton Draznin with 18. Tyler Murphy added 12 and Noah Bloch finished with 9 points. The JV team next plays tonight at home at 5:30 pm against Campolindo.