Alexander great in three NorCal wins for Bruins
Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch once remarked, “And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Although the St. PatrickSt. Vincent High boys basketeven
ball team doesn’t have a king of
the ancient Greek kingdom or
opponents. just someone idolized by “Die Hard” villain Hans Gruber, the Bruins do have an Alexander — Jaden — and he’s helping his team get rid of all possible
This week alone he scored 68 combined points in helping St. Pat’s dispose of three more teams as the Bruins now prepare for the championship game in the Northern California Division II State Playoffs Tuesday night against Weston Ranch. For the second time this year, Alexander is the Times-Herald Athlete of the Week.
Although the Bruins have been helped by a core of three players (Jalen Scott, Dishon Jackson and Alexander) as well as a number of solid role players, Alexander has been the one relied on the most.
“He’s been our most consistent player, no doubt,” St. Pat’s head coach Derek Walker said. “A lot of that is because he’s played every game and been healthy. But it’s also because he has found out how to play to his strengths this year. He’s more comfortable and has more confidence.”
Alexander, a junior who transferred from Vanden High last year, agrees with Walker.
“I had a little bit of a learning curve last season,” Alexander said. “It was my first year on varsity and I was a little afraid to make mistakes. Also I’ve gotten a little more open shots this year because of my team.”
Although Alexander averaged about 23 points a contest during this week’s three playoff wins, he’s comfortable knowing that on any given night he can be picked up by Scott or Jackson. For instance in the first-round matchup this week, Scott was the hero with a gamewinning shot in the final seconds against San Ramon Valley. In the quarterfinals Jackson came up big with 29 points against De Anza.
“I’m never going to force anything, because I know D.J. or Jalen can get us a big shot too,” Alexander said. “On any night both of those
guys can get us 25 points.”
Alexander was no slouch scoring in three contests this week as he added 18 against San Ramon and another 24 against De Anza, but he really came ready to play in the semifinals against Sacred Heart Prep on Saturday. In the first quarter against the Gators, the Bruin junior had 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting. He had four dunks in that contest too.
That being said, Alexander didn’t know for sure he was going to have a huge game by the way he shot in warm-ups.
“No, not really, it’s always hard to tell that early,” the 17-year-old said. “It’s usually all about my teammates and whether or not I’m aggressive or not. If someone else has the hot hand, I’ll gladly give it to them, but we were getting a lot of steals and fast break points. I was able to get into the lane and not settle for anything less.”
St. Pat’s lost to Weston Ranch earlier this year on Jan. 25, but the Bruins are hoping for revenge at home on Tuesday. If St. Pat’s wins they would play in a state title game at Golden 1 Center on the weekend.
“We’re locked in and focused right now during this seven-game winning streak,” Alexander said. “But we need to stay hungry and stay focused. Weston Ranch is playing very good too right now and they already beat us once, so we can’t look past them if we want to get to Sacramento.”
• Ashley Cayabyab, Vallejo badminton. Cayabyab won her singles set 212, 21-9 against De Anza and also teamed up with Katelyn Lozada to win their doubles match 21-15, 21-12.
• Lian Chang, Benicia baseball. Chang pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief against American Canyon and struck out 11 batters in a win.
• Ethan DeLange, St. Pat’s boys swimming. DeLange won the 200 IM and 100 backstroke against Bethel
• Julio Escobar Jr., Bethel boys tennis. Escobar won his singles match against St. Pat’s by a score of 6-1, 6-2. He also won his singles match on Tuesday against Pinole Valley.
• Sameerah Evans, Vallejo High girls track and field. Evans took first place in the triple jump, long jump and 100-meter dash at the Vallejo Relays Saturday at Corbus Fied. Her leap in the triple jump (40 feet, 1 inch) was a new school record.
• Marshaun Gaines and David Whitten, Vallejo baseball. The two pitchers combined for a five-inning nohitter against Richmond.
• Dishon Jackson, St. Pat’s basketball. Jackson had 29 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots in a win over De Anza on Thursday.
• Alexci Johnson, St. Pat’s softball. Johnson went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and four runs scored against St. Mary’s. She also had three hits against Bethel.
• Lorenzza Marcacci, Benicia High softball. Marcacci was 3-for-3 with three runs scored in a win over Lodi on Thursday. She was also 3-for-3 with two doubles in a win over Amador.
• Diego Menjivar, Benicia baseball. Menjivar threw a complete-game, four-hitter in a victory over Deer Valley.
• Angelina Rodriguez, AmCan softball. Rodriguez threw a complete-game four hitter and struck out seven in a win over San Rafael on Friday.
• Tameiya Sadler, St. Pat’s girls basketball. Sadler scored 24 points in a win over Aragon on Tuesday in NorCals.
• Mateo Santos, Bethel baseball. Santos struck out 13 batters in a completegame, one-hitter for the Jaguars over Hercules on Wednesday.
• Jalen Scott, St. Pat’s boys basketball. Scott hit a gamewinning shot in the finals seconds of a win over San Ramon Valley on Tuesday.