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Hawks fall to Linden in opening round of Denair Tournament
Delhi's Adrian Valladares completes a shot despite his Linden opponent's efforts during Thursday's matchup at the Denair Tournament. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

The fourth quarter didn’t fare well for the Delhi (0-6) Hawks on Thursday night when they took on Linden (5-3) High in the opening round of the Denair Holiday varsity boys basketball tournament.

Delhi led for the first three quarters until Linden took over in the fourth, going up and holding on to the lead till the closing seconds.

Chance Browning finished with 11 points and Adrian Valladares scored a team-best 12 points but the Hawks failed to overcome a late surge and fell to Linden in a defensive game, 38-32.

“It was a good game. I thought both teams played hard, our kids fought hard and I don’t want to sound like a broken record but we are so close, I mean we are right there,” said Delhi head coach Brian de la Porte. “But once we are there, watch out Southern Athletic League.”

Delhi showed signs of improvement since their first preseason game on Nov. 2.

The Hawks held Linden to only five points in the first quarter and after a minor slip up, Linden cut the lead to 21-15 by the halfway mark.

“We have come a lot closer and are nearly there since beginning in November, we just need to tighten things up,” said de la Porte.

Delhi was not able to tighten things up by Thursday night, however, and Linden outscored Delhi 21-11 in the second half.

Missed shots cost the Hawks, who made a habit of shooting from three-point range, despite making six for the game, but hit only one in the fourth.

“They (Linden) did well at getting the ball inside and we didn’t rotate as well, that is what killed it for us at the end,” said de la Porte. “On offense we need to establish that inside game, they moved inside well against our zone and that hurt us.”

Linden now has won three of their last four games and the Hawks of Delhi have lost six straight to begin the year.

“We will get better after tomorrow,” said de la Porte. “Right now we are living by the three and dying by the three and it showed in this game as it does right now. Living by the three leads to inconsistencies because you will not always be making those shots from deep.”

Delhi will take on the loser between Mountain House and Millenium at 3 p.m. today.