Dons Let One Slip Away in a Hard Fought Game Against Eagle Rock High School
The Dons took on the Eagle Rock Eagles Tuesday night for their first game back after the Thanksgiving break. The game came down to the wire, going into Overtime tied 55-55, with the Dons ultimately falling to the Eagles 65-59.
Dons Forward Arlen Tomasian had a solid game, scoring the first five points, and continuing to consistently score throughout the rest of the contest. Halfway through the first quarter, Verdugo Hills’ star player David Marcos came in for his first minutes all season, due to an ankle injury that saw him sidelined until tonight. His entry back into action was electric, hitting his first two three point field goals. The Verdugo Hills fans were elated to see him make an immediate impact. Shooting Guard Andre Javadian followed Marcos with a three pointer of his own, taking the Dons into the first quarter break up 16-10. In a post-game interview, Coach Gibson noted, “Marcos had one practice, yesterday, that was it, and so he played exceptionally well for that, and he’s still a little bit hobbled. You can notice his attacking the basket wasn’t fully there, which he is best at.”
Marcos came in for Dons’ Guard Alex Martinez early in the second quarter after Martinez somehow picked up his fourth personal foul. Power Forward Adrian Mirzakani hit a couple early buckets. Tomasian continued his scoring with six points in the quarter. David Marcos seemed to be everywhere, getting in passing lanes and hitting his shots, ending the quarter with seven, heading into the half with 13 points. However, the Eagles shot well, and they were right there with the Dons the whole way. The score at the half saw the Verdugo Hills leading 33-30.
The third quarter started with a spirited block by Marcos who gathered the ball and sent an assist upcourt to a streaking Tomasian, who then hit another lay-up to make it 37-30. However, the Eagles responded by going on a 10-0 run, towards the end of which Gibson tried to call a timeout to stop the bleeding but oddly wasn’t awarded one by the referee who appeared to be in position to see it. Dons Center Guillermo Lopez picked up the baton and gave the Dons a boost of energy on the glass. Marcos hit a jumper to end the third quarter down 45-47.
The game continued going back and forth, with emotions running high. The Dons were down 47-51 halfway through the fourth quarter when Marcos drained a three pointer. Then immediately on the defensive end, Lopez--who Verdugo Hills fans refer to as “Sunny”--made a big block, garnering roars, and the play turned quickly upcourt, where Tomasien then hit another three pointer, marking an enormous swing in the momentum of the game at a crucial point. The score was now 53-51. Lopez would soon hit two clutch free throws. Soon, the Dons had the ball with :25 seconds remaining with the game tied 55-55. Marcos had a chance at the game winner, but it was not to be.
The five-minute overtime period commenced with a turnover from each team. The Eagles began to hit shot after shot, whereas the Dons did not and ultimately Lopez fouled out. Verdugo Hills were playing without their Guard Alan Hernandez, who had a left ankle brace on and a hobble. Hernandez is a scrapper and smart player, and always manages to make his mark on the game, and he was missed, especially with Guard Martinez in foul trouble.
Coach Gibson relayed that, “it came down to, we’re down one point here in Overtime. I call a play, then somebody goes one-on-one. Ya know, it’s those types of situations we have to work on. If we’re gonna beat a good team in their gym in overtime we gotta trust that the coach knows what he’s talking about. And there wasn’t enough of that today. Certain possessions, if they just ran the play, it would have worked out and they didn’t do it.” He continued, “and the first half we missed a bunch of lay-ups, we gotta get better at making those [easy ones],”. In other words, it all counts, it’s early in the season still, and you never know what will come back to haunt you in the final stretch.