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Delhi boys clinch playoff berth
Hawks take second in the SAL
Delhi boys 2
Delhi senior Dallas Gregor gets up and over an Orestimba defender during the first half of Fridays senior night. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

The Delhi High (8-3) varsity boys basketball team clinched a playoff berth after toppling Orestimba in a Southern Athletic League showdown at home on Friday night.

On senior night, Dallas Gregor was the lone player competing in his final regular season home game and his teammates made sure he came away with the victory as the Hawks dominated the game defensively with a 36-30 win.

“Tonight was really cool because we only have one senior, Dallas Gregor, and I think if you ask all the guys why they wanted to win tonight it would be for him,” said Delhi head coach Eugene Drummond. “Not for the playoffs or anything like that, but for Dallas so it was cool to get a win like that for him.”

“It feels good. It’s a good team accomplishment that we had been working since last spring to get to where we are and now it’s up to us to keep working till the last game,” junior Jose Cruz said. “Hopefully, we can enjoy the wins while they last.”

Not only did the Hawks secure their spot in the postseason but they also clinched a second place position in the SAL along with a third consecutive eight-win season in league.

“Every game in the Southern Athletic League is a big game because everybody wants to beat you and especially when you’re Delhi,” Drummond said with a smile.

Playing a very aggressive and fast tempo defense, the Hawks have made it very troubling for opponents to score many points, especially recently, but they held the Warriors to a season-low in points allowed (30).

“I told our guys at the half that if they held them to 30 points or under then we will win the game,” said Drummond. “I didn’t expect us to hold them to it because it was a good game, and we will win defensively I told them.”

Delhi played one of the stingiest games they have all season long, holding Orestimba to only 15 points in the first and second half.

The Hawks had taken a six-point lead by the half only to give up the lead midway through the third.

By the start of the fourth the Hawks had gone up by four before surging into a 7-4 run in the fourth, holding Orestimba to only five fourth-quarter points.

“If we play defense then we have a very good chance to win it,” said Drummond. “It’s a learning process and they trust everyone in the process, but we still have a lot of growing and learning with such a young team.”

Cruz led all of the Delhi scorers with 11 points and Chance Browning was second (9).

“We felt really comfortable and really our goal was to improve after every game and get better each day and see how far we can improve,” Cruz said. “I feel like we have came through and been improving a lot as a team.”

Before going on to the postseason the Delhi Hawks will compete in their regular season final as they will travel to Mariposa High to take on the Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“It really is great to make the playoffs and it is nice to get to that point where we wanted,” Drummond added. “It’s good for the community to get everyone involved and we even had the principal come to the game which was awesome and some incentives right there.”