|The Last Game of the Season|
Published: Friday, 24 February 2012 01:27
Alameda stings Richmond, 70-51
The last home game of the basketball season — or any sport for that matter — is always a memorable one for the fans, coaches, parents, but especially the seniors on the team. What makes it even more special is when the home team gets the victory on "Senior Night." Alameda High men's basketball team accomplished that goal as they took down Richmond High, 70- 51, at the Hornet's Nest last Friday — "Senior Night."
Four Alameda Hornet seniors — Brandon Morales, Jalen Leathers, Boyang Gai and Elvedin Tudzinovic — were honored before the game with their families and were chosen to be a part of the team's starting lineup.
The Hornets could not get into an offensive rhythm in the first quarter as they only scored five points in the period.
"I think early on we were so emotional because of Senior Night," said Alameda High men's basketball assistant coach Andy Olveira. "Senior night is not only emotional for the seniors, but the whole team. We had to get our emotions in check."
The Hornets did just that in the second quarter as they opened the period on a 12-0 run, powered by Hornet guard Chris Bussey scoring eight of the 12 points. Alameda outscored the Oilers 25-13 in the second, capped off by forward Sam Kunz' unusual 3-point play before halftime.
Kunz was fouled and sent to the line for two free throws. After making the first, Kunz missed the second, rebounded the ball and made a lay-up over two defenders with less than 10 seconds left before the half.
"That might have been our best quarter we had all year," said Olveira. "Our press was working and we were moving the ball well."
Alameda followed their 25-point second quarter, with a 25-point third quarter including a 14-2 run in which forward Julian Lofton scored seven of the 14 points. Oilers' guard Isaiah Brown did his best to keep his team in it by scoring 10 of his gamehigh 30 points in the third quarter. Brown's 3-pointer with 1:51 left cut the score to 50-40, but Bussey's layup, plus a free throw, and Kunz' put back before the buzzer stretched the lead to 55-43 at the end of the third quarter.
Richmond could not muster a comeback as they only scored eight in the fourth quarter. But the seniors were given a chance to hear some cheers in the last period. Gai hit a 3-pointer later in the period that led to cheer from the crowd. But the biggest cheer of the night came when Morales hit a long jumper before the shot clock in the fourth quarter. Leathers and Tudzinovic both had good games as they played great defense and rebounded the ball.
"It feels great to win on Senior Night," said Olveira. "I couldn't be happier with the win because those guys deserved it."
Bussey led all Alameda players with 15 points. Kunz was second on the team with 14 points.
The game was chippy throughout which is not unusual considering it was a league game. Davonte Anderson of Richmond was ejected from the game after receiving two technical fouls.
With the win, Alameda's final overall record moved to 11-15 and 3-9 in the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League.