The Mark Keppel High boys’ basketball team put on a strong third quarter performance and beat visiting Alhambra High, 53-37, on Friday night in a CIF Southern Section Almont League game.
Keppel outscored Alhambra, 16-6, in the frame on the way to the victory.
Keppel coach Hung Duong said his team needs to play well right after halftime in order to get wins in the book.
“We tell our kids the third quarter, we got to come out and got to get some stops,” Duong said. “We bumped up our lead a little bit in the third quarter. This group did that and we needed to to send a message.”
Alhambra coach Bryan Gonzalez while he felt his team played well in the first half, that didn’t translate into points in the second half.
“We did what we wanted to do in the first half, definitely,” Gonzalez said. “Keppel’s not a team where we can just come in and lay over and just do things half way. The first half I thought we did a real solid job defensively. The second half I thought we came out a little flat. We didn’t have that intensity. They’re going to reach and they’re going to go hard throughout the game. I felt we didn’t take that over to the second half, especially in the third quarter.”
Gonzalez added that’s kind of been the team’s Achilles’ heel all season.
“We’ve lacked there in the third quarter,” he said. “It’s probably been our lowest-scoring quarter all year.”
Duong said the Aztecs played great when they didn’t have the ball.
“The kids played well,” he said. “Defensively, I thought we did a great job pressuring and staying in front and followed our game plan. I was happy with our defensive effort.”
He added the crowd really got into the game, which helped his team.
“Tonight, the atmosphere was just amazing,” he said. “The kids fed off of the crowd and it was just one of the best atmospheres we’ve had in a long time.”
Keppel was led by Adam Thompson and his 17 points. Thompson was 5-for-12 from the floor and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line.
He also had four rebounds and four assists.
Joining Thompson in double digits was Bertram Mak, who finished the game with 15 points. Mak shot 8-for-13 from the floor and had eight rebounds and two assists.
Alhambra was led by Miles Ford, who finished the game with 17 points.