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Woodcreek sneaks by Oakmont in tuneup game

Prep Hoops Roundup
By: Cameron Salerno
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ROSEVILLE– If you are a fan of defense, Wednesday night’s girls basketball game between Oakmont and Woodcreek was your ideal game. In a game that saw only a total of 84 points scored, the Timberwolves did just enough to get by Oakmont in the fourth quarter to seal the 47-37 road victory.

Heading into the locker room up 33-18, the Timberwolves looked well on their way to sealing a big victory to head back into league play. The Vikings, however, had other plans, holding Woodcreek to only two third-quarter points while scoring 10 in the process.

“I thought our team didn’t quit tonight, even after trailing big at halftime,” Oakmont girls head coach Rachel Stewart said on her team's performance. “We came out of the half and made some adjustments which helped us limit (Woodcreek) to two points in the third quarter. They showed a lot of grit tonight.”

Oakmont cut the lead down to 37-35, but a flipped 10-2 run by Woodcreek helped seal the victory.

“I thought down the stretch, our teamed calmed down enough to knock down shots,” Woodcreek head coach Ray Beck said. “(Oakmont) had two big and-ones to start the third that flipped the momentum, but we had a very key run at the end of the game that sealed the win for us.”

The Vikings (6-10) will open up Foothill Valley League play vs. Lincoln Jan. 8.

“The FVL will be tough for us,” Stewart said. “Playing a team like Woodcreek, who is very similar to how we play, is a good tuneup for our team.”

As for Woodcreek, they will be battled-tested in the next few weeks. Returning to Capital Valley Conference play with a 1-1 record, the Timberwolves will take on Inderkum Jan. 4 and Antelope Jan. 7.

“This week will tell a lot about our team,” Beck said on the CVC outlook. “I think our team is somewhere in the top four, but we will have to see how we play.”

GIRLS ROUNDUP

Granite Bay

Heading into Sierra Foothill League play, the Grizzlies are right where they want to be. In the three tournaments Granite Bay has played in this year, the Grizzlies have gone 2-1, 2-1 and 3-0.

The non-league slate saw Granite Bay (10-5) pick up big wins over Vista Del Lago, Franklin and SFL foe Rocklin. In order for Granite Bay to make the postseason for the third straight year, it will have to defend home court. In the two games at home this season, the Grizzlies have put up big point totals, which will be needed to compete in league.

The departure of Nevada Union and Woodcreek and adding Whitney makes the SFL one of the toughest girls basketball leagues in the state. With the likes of powerhouses in Folsom, Oak Ridge and Del Oro, the Grizzlies will have their hands full all year.

Granite Bay opens up league play on the road vs. Oak Ridge Jan. 4.

Roseville

Don’t let Roseville’s 8-8 record fool you. The Tigers have played one of the toughest schedules thus far in the area and it won’t get any easier. Roseville scheduled and lost to powerhouses in Capital Christian, St. Francis and Del Oro.  

However, there have been bright spots for the Tigers this season. Roseville’s “Big 3” is made up of double-digit scorers Alyssa Sandle (13.9 points per game), Madi Law (12.5) and Jordyn Hilliard (10.8). That sort of scoring has the Tigers averaging nearly 61 points a game, which ranks second in the CVC behind Antelope’s 69 points a game.

In order to get back to the playoffs once again, Roseville will need to pick up key league wins down the stretch. Roseville split it's first two CVC games, knocking off Woodcreek and falling to Antelope.  

League play resumes on the road vs. River Valley Jan. 4.

Valley Christian

The team with one of the highest winning percentages in Placer county resides at VCA. The Lady Lions are trying to avenge their devastating playoff loss they suffered last season to Forest Lake Christian in the Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals.

VCA (10-2) started off the season with seven straight wins and have since won three of five to close out 2018. Bernada Rreshpja, who averaged 25.9 points in her first seven games of action, including a 35-point performance vs. Highlands, will be asked to carry a majority of the offensive load. Freshman Grace Williams will also look to make an offensive difference for the Lions this season with her 12.9 points a game average.

VCA opens Sacramento Metro Athletic League play vs. Sac Country Day Jan. 3.

BOYS

Roseville

After starting the season 0-4, the Tigers looked as if they were heading for a long, miserable season. However, since the loss to CVC foe Yuba City, Roseville (12-6)  has won 12 of its last 14 games.

Jaylen Solich has led the Tigers’ offensive attack this season. Their 69 points-a-game average ranks the highest in the CVC. Roseville is atop the CVC standings and are the only team to start league play of 2-0 this season. The Tigers in two road games this season traveled to Woodcreek to knock off the Timberwolves in overtime and the defending CVC champion Antelope in a blowout win.

In order to take the CVC title, Roseville will have to keep its offensive output high and win the big games when they need to. CVC play resumes for Roseville Jan. 4 at home vs. River Valley.  

Woodcreek

The Timberwolves suffered a major setback on Dec. 18, losing to their cross-town rival Roseville for the first time since 2012. Woodcreek (11-3) still controls its own destiny in hopes of capturing a league title.

Harkaran Sidhu (9.6 PPG), Dane Johnson (9.3) and Carter Krupp (9.1) have all paced the Timberwolves’ scoring attack this season.

 

New starting point guard AJ Gbeintor (8.9) has also been a spark for Woodcreek so far in the early season. The Timberwolves have won big games so far vs. Del Campo, Del Oro and most recently, league opponent Bella Vista.

The Timberwolves look for revenge when they take on Roseville on the road Jan. 18. In the meantime, Woodcreek resumes CVC play at home vs. Inderkum Jan. 4.

Granite Bay

After missing the postseason last year in close fashion, Granite Bay is looking to get back to the dance this year. Granite Bay (7-11) will look to put a disappointing 2018 behind them in preparation for 2019 and the SFL.

Doug Christie, Jr., Jack Milne and Adam Honer have all led the Grizzlies offensively this season. Granite Bay started the season on a high note, knocking off Vacaville on the road, but an 0-3 showing at the Rocklin Tip-Off hurt the Grizzlies’ momentum.

The Grizzlies did gain some traction after the Rocklin tourney, knocking off Antelope, St. Mary’s and Lincoln before going 0-3 recently at the Surf-N-Slam tournament in San Diego.


The Grizzlies’ league play opens up Jan. 4 on the road vs. Oak Ridge.

Oakmont

Starting the season off 7-3, all looked good for the Vikings. However, back-to-back 0-3 showings at the Mike “Tako” Takayama and Kendall Arnett Tournaments have dropped the Vikings to 7-9.

In the six-game losing streak, the Vikings lost to Del Oro twice, Granite Bay, Placer, Franklin and Nevada Union. Although the losses hurt, they may play to Oakmont’s advantage come FVL play.

Oakmont will look to leave their losing streak in 2018 and come onto the scene in 2019 strong. The Vikings open up FVL play Jan. 8 at home vs. Lincoln.

Valley Christian

After a playoff appearance last season, VCA’s 1-11 record in 2018 is something the Lions will hope to put behind them in the new year.

The lone win of the season came by virtue of an 83-38 victory over Sierra Academy. In that game, three Lions scored in double-figures: David Bacon (16), Bradyn McIntosh (14) and Reagan Valenzuela (11).

The Lions open up SMAL play Jan. 3 on the road vs. Sac Country Day.