The Storm blows by Del Oro boys, 73-39

Del Oro girls pick up first SFL win with stout defensive effort
By: Nick Pecoraro
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ROCKLIN– Both the Del Oro girls basketball team as well as the Rocklin boys team had to go over some speed bumps in the early part of the Sierra Foothill League season.

But each team is trying to repave their respective roads to the SFL title.

Friday night at Rocklin High School, despite being without their injured leading scorer Darrius Kendall – missing his first game with a fractured pinky finger – the Thunder boys brought a storm of suffocating defense and a whirlwind of ball movement and firepower on offense in a 73-39 rout against the visiting Del Oro.

“The key is our kids’ willingness to buy in and work hard,” said Rocklin head coach Steve Taylor. “They have fun playing that way.”

The Thunder entered Friday as the No. 1 team in California in Division II, according to Maxpreps. The Thunder entered league play at 17-1 but suddenly fell to Folsom by 19 points in the SFL opener. Rocklin rebounded with a 21-point victory over Granite Bay to even its league mark at 1-1.

“They’re that good,” said Del Oro boys head coach Luke Vaughn of the Thunder.  “They’re ranked No. 1 in the state for doing what they do.”

Rocklin (19-2, 2-1) held Del Oro to just three first-quarter points. Evan Terry led the Thunder with 15 points and Cory Gohl followed with 11. The Thunder hit nine 3-pointers collectively.

Jack Welty led Del Oro (7-12, 0-3) with 16 points. Up next for Del Oro is Tuesday’s road matchup with Folsom, while the Thunder heads to Oak Ridge.

The Del Oro girls, ranked No. 6 on the Maxpreps Sac-Joaquin Section ladder, burst out with a first-half fury and never looked back for a 49-37 win over the Lady Thunder.

The Lady Eagles began the year at 15-1, but stumbled out of the SFL gate, dropping their first two league contests against Whitney and Oak Ridge.

Del Oro head coach Shawn Huckaby said the focus for his Lady Eagles to contend in the SFL is on the defensive end.

“We’ve got to get back to basics, and it starts with defense” said Huckaby. “We’ve got to be consistent all the way through on the defensive side.”

Following their coach’s sermon, the Lady Eagles held Rocklin to a 27-6 first half.

Madison Parry led the charge with 21 points and Katie Neal followed with 10 for the Lady Eagles’ first SFL win.

Del Oro held Rocklin’s leading scorer, senior Jessie Ruffner, who averages over 15 points a game, to just four points on one field goal. Rocklin (9-12, 0-3) was led by Mira McCarley with 13 points.

Del Oro (16-3, 1-2) was scheduled to play at Del Campo Saturday. It’s next game is a non-league test at Kennedy High before resuming SFL play Wednesday at Folsom.