Threes are key to victory

Threes are key to victory

Joseph Park, Sports Editor

There was no stopping Diamond Bar on Friday—the Rowland Raiders had no answer for the Brahma’s never-ending triples. After a back and forth first half, senior captain Christian Manalo led his team in the second half, pulling away to a 75-55 victory.

The Brahmas came out strong in the first quarter, but so did the Raiders. Every time DB built a lead, Rowland responded by narrowing down the gap. That was the story for most of the first half. DB built a lead and Rowland tried to catch up. Rebounds were a key factor in this game as the Brahmas’ outsized the Raiders and gobbled up both defensive and offensive rebounds.

Although DB was a bit lackluster in the first half, it seemed like the word defense was not in Rowland’s dictionary on Friday, as the Raiders left a countless number of three pointers wide open for the Brahmas to take. These three pointers are DB’s specialty, and what they practice most, so leaving it open for some treys is a good way for Rowland to lose the game.

While Manalo could not get things going in the first half, juniors Kenneth Thai and Tyler Peterson made huge defensive plays early in the game to build a solid lead heading into the half. Both teams were playing a little bit slow, but at the end of the half, DB had a 37-30 lead.

“I thought the first half we played a little bit sluggish but in the second half the seniors really stepped up,” coach Henry Frierson said.

The third quarter was the highlight of the night. Everything seemed to be going DB’s way. Excellent defense, going for the loose balls, and simply outplaying the Raiders in every possession led the Brahmas to get red hot in the third. Manalo, alongside seniors Bobby Meshesha, Leo Li, and Sachin Malik, hit a couple of threes to lift the Brahmas into a commanding 55-36 lead. The Brahmas’ defense limited the Raiders to just six points in the third.

With things rolling, it was the domino effect as the Brahmas stayed hot in the fourth. “It was a must win game because right now it looks like DB and Walnut are going for league champs,” junior Austin Kim said.

Frierson kept the seniors in the game until the last minute to guard against any Rowland comeback. It was a smart decision, as DB’s seniors kept pounding the Raiders to the bones and increasing the lead with almost every possession. DB was so hot that every time a three was shot, the crowd was already on its feet in excitement. The buzzer sounded as DB took a 75-55 home victory over the Raiders to improve to 4-1 in league and a perfect 3-0 at home.