Dons Fall to San Lorenzo

Dons Fall to San Lorenzo

On January 5, the Dons traveled to San Lorenzo High for their last non-league matchup.  Sophomore guard Scott Ruegg scored 10 points to help get the Dons an early lead, as the first quarter ended with the Dons up 16-11.  The teams played evenly in the second quarter, and the Dons held a 28-23 lead at intermission.  San Lorenzo came back in the third quarter to capture a 43-42 lead heading into the final stanza.  Despite another 12 points from Ruegg in the fourth quarter, the Dons came up short, losing 64-60.  Ruegg led the Dons with 27 points, while senior guard Ian Archer scored 11.

The  Dons travel to Miramonte on Tuesday, January 8, to start league play.  The varsity game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 p.m.

Photo: P. Wickline

Dons Fall to Tam on Last Second Shot

On December 29, the Dons faced Tamalpais for the championship in the Chris Huber Classic. Led by 8 points from senior guard Ian Archer, the Dons jumped out to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter. Although the Dons extended their lead to double digits, Tam captured some momentum heading into halftime with effective full court pressure and cut the Dons’ lead to 32-27 at halftime.
After the intermission, Tam picked up where it left off and dominated the third quarter. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Dons trailed 46-40. Senior guard Jack Wickline then led the Dons’ fourth-quarter comeback. Drawing fouls by aggressively attacking the hoop, Wickline made Tam pay by going 5-5 from the charity stripe. After Wickline converted a 3-point play with a free throw, the game was tied at 52 in the fourth quarter. Tam kept pressing though and was up a point on what figured to be the Dons’ final possession. Archer made a beautiful pass to sophomore guard Jackson Aris-Dumas who made an equally impressive finish in traffic to put the Dons up 62-61 with 8 seconds left. Unfortunately, Tam responded to convert a driving layup in the last second to win the championship.
Archer, who was named to the all-tourney team, led the Dons with 19 points, junior center John Kalil capped off a strong tourney with 13 points, and sophomore guard Scott Ruegg had 10.
The Dons conclude non-league play on Saturday, January 5, at San Lorenzo High at 4 p.m. League play starts on January 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Miramonte High.

Dons Advance to Championship Game of Chris Huber Classic

On Friday, December 28, the Dons faced DeAnza in the second round of the Chris Huber Classic. The game was a rematch of their game earlier in the month, when DeAnza beat the Dons by 7 at the Amador Valley Tournament.  Seeking to avenge that defeat, the Dons jumped out to a an early lead with two 3-pointers from senior guard Ian Archer, 7 points from sophomore guard Scott Ruegg and another 6 from sophomore forward Joey Carrillo. The first quarter ended with the Dons up 22-16.
The Dons’ offense stagnated, as they scored fewer points in the next two quarters combined than they had scored in the first quarter. Still, the Dons led 39-34 when the buzzer to end the third quarter sounded. However, the officials put two seconds back on the clock, and DeAnza then converted a 4-point play to cut the Dons’ lead to 39-38 and captured momentum heading into the final stanza.
Led by Archer who scored 9 points in the fourth quarter, the Dons responded with poise to the disastrous end of the third quarter. Junior center John Kalil and Archer each hit two free throws and Archer hit another 3. DeAnza kept pace though and the Dons were up 46-44 when Kalil hit another free throw. Archer then hit yet another 3 to put the Dons up 50-46. After DeAnza answered, Ruegg’s layup made it 52-48. Junior forward Aidan Bodner made a free throw but then DeAnza hit a 3 to cut the lead. Bodner then converted two free throws to put the game out of reach. The Dons won 57-51, and Ruegg led the Dons with 18 points, Archer had 15 and Carrillo had 12.  The Dons next face Tamalpais in the championship Saturday at 5:30 at Acalanes. 

Dons Post Highest Point Total of Season, Blow Out Concord

On Thursday, December 27, the Acalanes Dons hosted the Concord Minutemen in the opening round of the Chris Huber Classic, named after longtime coach and teacher Chris Huber.  The Minutemen came into the contest with a 4-2 record. The first quarter was evenly matched, as it ended with the Dons up 19-18 behind 9 points from senior guard Ian Archer.   Sophomore guard Scott Ruegg took the game over in the second quarter with 15 points while Archer and senior swingman Clark King each had 5 points, and the Dons lead 48-34 at halftime.  The Dons continued to run their offense effectively and coasted to an 80-60 victory.  Ruegg led all scorers with 27, Archer had 20, and sophomore forward Joey Carrillo had 10.  The 80 points posted by the Dons were a season high; they previously had not scored more than 63.

The Dons next face DeAnza on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Acalanes in the second round of the Chris Huber Classic.  In addition to recognizing Coach Huber, the tournament is a major fundraiser for the team so come out to support the Dons!

After Battling San Leandro, Dons Hosting Chris Huber Classic

After Battling San Leandro, Dons Hosting Chris Huber Classic

On Saturday, December 22, the Dons faced off against the San Leandro Pirates for third place in the annual El Cerrito Tournament. The Pirates posed a tough test for the Dons. Two nights earlier, they had defeated Campolindo and earlier this season had taken down College Park. The Pirates are led by 6’7″ Keshad Johnson, who had 18 Division I scholarship offers before committing to San Diego State.

The Pirates jumped on the Dons and raced to a 13-4 lead after the first quarter. The Pirates, led by a couple of dunks by Johnson, expanded their lead and were up 30-15 at half.

The Dons came out for the second half and played arguably their best basketball of the season.  The Dons cut into the Pirates’ lead to start the third quarter but still found themselves down 40-29.  Sophomore guard Scott Ruegg then hit a 3 to cut the lead to single digits at 40-32. Senior guard Ian Archer (pictured above) added a free throw to close out the third quarter with the Dons down 40-33. San Leandro scored first to start the fourth quarter but sophomore forward Joey Carrillo answered to keep the Dons within 7 points. Junior forward Aidan Bodner finished a layup to cut the lead to 5. Archer converted two free throws to make it a single possession game. Ruegg then hit another 3 and the game was tied up at 42, with the Dons having come back from a 15-point halftime deficit. The talented Pirates regrouped and outscored the Dons 6-1 down the stretch to win 48-43. The Dons held San Leandro to 18 points in the second half and kept Johnson in check thanks to adjustments made by Dons Coach Sol Henik and a strong effort from his players. Ruegg led the Dons with 18 points and Archer had 14.

Archer was named to the all-tourney team. The Dons next host the Chris Huber Classic with three games starting on December 27. The tourney is a tribute to longtime Dons coach and teacher Chris Huber.  In addition to honoring Coach Huber, the tourney also is a major fundraiser for the Dons so please come to support the program!  The Dons tip off against Concord at Acalanes on Thursday, December 27, at 7:00 p.m.

Varsity Dons Win Opener in El Cerrito Tourney

The Dons traveled to El Cerrito on Thursday for the start of a three-day tourney featuring high quality competition.  The Dons opened against the host El Cerrito.  Playing on its home floor, El Cerrito jumped out to an early 12-2 lead. The Dons fought back to close the lead to 14-11 after sophomore guard Scott Ruegg hit a 3 but then El Cerrito regained control.  The Dons trailed 31-21 at halftime and went down 12 right away to start the 3rd quarter, but the Dons again came back with a 12-0 run fueled by Ruegg finishing in transition to tie the score at 33.  El Cerrito went back up again and the Dons were down 48-43 entering the fourth quarter. The Dons clawed back once more to tie the game at 52.  Junior forward Aidan Bodner then hit two free throws and a 3 to put the Dons up 57-52. Another 3, this one by senior guard Ian Archer gave the Dons a 60-54 lead, and the Dons prevailed 62-57.  This was a great comeback win for the Dons, coming back from multiple double-digit deficits.  Ruegg led the Dons with 22 points, Archer had 14 and Bodner 12 to lead the Dons.

Frosh Boys Basketball Alameda Tournament Results

The Freshman boys basketball team lost their first game of the tournament to the Alameda High School team 54-31.  They rebounded the next day with a resounding 63-33 win against St. Mary’s.  In the 3rd and final game, the Don’s played Bishop O’Dowd for 5th place.  After keeping it very close through the first two quarters, the offense slowed down and they ended up losing 34-46.  

Varsity Boy’s Basketball Falls to Santa Rosa

Seeking to avenge a previous loss to Santa Rosa earlier in the season, the Dons jumped out to a 9-0 lead on Tuesday night.  The rest of the evening was marred by turnovers and missed free throws, as the Dons fell 58-49. Junior forward Aidan Bodner had a season-high 12 points.  Senior guard Ian Archer also scored 12 while sophomore guard Scott Ruegg had 11 to place three Dons in double figures in scoring. The Dons are off for more than a week before going to the El Cerrito Tourney starting on December 20.

Varsity Boy’s Basketball defeats EL Cerrito to win consolation at Amador Valley Tourney

Varsity Boy’s Basketball defeats EL Cerrito to win consolation at Amador Valley Tourney

After winning two of three to open their season, the Dons traveled to Amador Valley for another tournament featuring high-level competition. The Dons fell to a strong Freedom team in the opener, as senior guard Ian Archer led the Dons in scoring with 14.  In the second game, the Dons faced De Anza from Richmond.  De Anza jumped out to an early 8-2 lead but the Dons battled back to take a 13-12 lead.  De Anza went on a run to close out the half,which ended with the Dons trailing by 5, and the run continued into the 3rd quarter, as De Anza extended its lead to 38-27. But the Dons battled back with a run of their own, scoring 9 straight to end the 3rd quarter and close the gap to just 2 points.  Sophomore guard Scott Ruegg (pictured) hit a 3 to give the Dons a 39-38 lead early in the 4th quarter.  De Anza stormed back with another run and closed out the Dons 61-54.  Archer again led the Dons with 25, with Ruegg adding 18.

In the consolation final against El Cerrito, the Dons jumped out to a 7-2 lead were up 17-10 after the first quarter.  El Cerrito came back to close the gap and the Dons led 26-25 at intermission.  The third quarter was evenly matched, withthe Dons maintaining their narrow lead, up 42-41 heading into the fourth quarter.  The Dons then took control behind Ruegg and junior center John Kalil, who scored 9 and 6 points,respectively, in the final stanza, helping the Dons to a 63-57 victory.  Ruegg led the Dons with 25 including four 3-pointers, and Archer had 16, junior forward Aidan Bodner 9 and Kalil 8.

The Dons host their first game on Tuesday, December 11, against Santa Rosa with a triple header featuring the freshmen, JV and varsity teams. 

Photo: P. Wickline