Cougs Sweep Dons: Securing DAL Title

Campolindo (16-6) beat rival Acalanes(13-12) 68-49 on February 11, securing Campolindo another Diablo Foothill League title.

Just one week prior, the chances of winning the league seemed almost impossible after a loss to Las Lomas, which put Campo a game behind Clayton Valley with only two games remaining in the season. Miraculously, Las Lomas beat league leader Clayton Valley Charter in their last game of their regular season, allowing Campolindo one final chance at taking home the league title.

“Coach put it best when he said, ‘in life you don’t always get second chances, so when you get one you want to take advantage of it,’” said guard senior Logan Robeson.

Unlike years prior, a win against Acalanes was no easy task. Two weeks before this, Campolindo snuck out of Lafayette with a close 64-61 win.

Going into this game, the stakes were high: they had no other choice than to win if they wanted to win League.

Even with the immense pressure going into this game, the plan never changed for the Cougars.
“We knew going into it that we had to get it done,” said guard senior Clay Naffziger. “So [the team] just trusted our preparation and got it done defensively.”

Campolindo got off to a strong start, missing less than five shots throughout the first quarter and scoring 26 points, allowing them to lead with a score of 26-15 going into the second quarter.

Campolindo’s accurate shooting in the first quarter began to fade in the 2nd: as they only scored 11 points while Acalanes put up a sneaky 12 points, narrowing the lead to just ten going into half time.

Acalanes began the third by getting a bucket, narrowing the lead back to single digits. However, midway through the third quarter Campolindo’s relentless pressure defense on Acalanes began to wear out the Dons, forcing early misses and turnovers. This allowed the Cougars to get into transition in which they converted almost every time, taking the shots with little to no hesitation.

Naffziger said, “Just trust we know our guys, trust us to make it when we have to. I trust that the ball is going to come back to me and I trust that if I give the ball to somebody that they’re going to do the right thing with it. So I think we get good looks as a team because we trust each other.”

The Cougars ended the third quarter up by 18 points, just eight minutes of solid play away from that coveted league title.

Even with an 18 point lead the Cougars defense and effort was just as high as it was minute one, making every single possession difficult for Acalanes. With this effort they shut the door one minute into the quarter, with a transition dunk from Robeson, putting Campolindo up 20. The Dons still fought hard until the end, but it was too little, too late as Campolindo won 68-49.

Some of the key contributors were Robeson and Naffziger, combining for 45 points on an outstanding 78% from the field, while hitting multiple extremely difficult shots from just about every spot on the floor. Point guard, junior Tyler Bergren also played a huge role, hustling to get the leading amount of rebounds (seven), even at the point guard position.

Defying all the odds, Campolindo secured their fifth straight Diablo Foothill League title.“This year we lost a lot of talent—two D1 players and three four-year varsity players—and the expectations were that we’re not going to be as good as last year’s team. But I think we’ve shown this year that we can be, maybe not as good as the team last year, but pretty darn close,” said Robeson. “That’s really all that we can ask, especially with so many talented guys leaving. This season has really been a testament to Coach Steven Dyer, getting good results year in and year out.”

Campolindo will go into NCS as the number one seed in the Division 2 bracket. They won against the Vintage Crushers on February 15 with a final score of 78-56.