Folsom girls split four games in Southern California Holiday Prep Classic

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Folsom suffered its first two losses of the season at the Southern California Holiday Prep Classic, but it was still a good trip for the team, according to coach Lynn Wolking.

Wolking said it was a good team-bonding trip, and the team also did some good things and beat some good teams. The team even happened to run into rival Oak Ridge while visiting the beach. Oak Ridge played in the same tournament but at different locations during the four-day trip.

“It was awkward for the girls seeing Oak Ridge at the beach,” Wolking said. “The girls weren’t sure if they were supposed to talk to them or not, but I think it was a good thing. I think it should be a friendly rivalry anyway instead of being enemies so maybe this experience will help.”

For a team that’s had trouble scoring this season, the Bulldogs topped 70 points in both of their wins, so Wolking was happy to see some offense. In their first game of the tournament, Folsom defeated North Creek, 75-74, when Charity Gallegos put back her own miss as time expired. Gallegos scored 36 points in the win, while Annie Malekos scored nine, and Parker Gordon added seven.

It was a great victory after a long travel day, but the team also lost Hanna Beckman for the rest of the tournament when she collided with another player in the third quarter. Wolking, who has yet to field a complete, healthy team for a single game this season, hopes Beckman is back sooner than later.

The Bulldogs then suffered their first loss of the season on Dec. 27, losing to JSerra Catholic, 54-48. JSerra was the biggest team Folsom has seen this season and they controlled the boards, but Wolking said he would have liked his team’s chances if they were playing at full strength. Gallegos and Devry Millett each scored 13 points, while Keara Colombo finished with seven.

“Down by four points, we missed three front ends of one-and-ones late in the game,” Wolking said.

Folsom got back on the winning track with a 75-44 win over Mira Mesa on Friday. Switching to an all-guard lineup allowed the Bulldogs to pull away to a big win after holding a narrow lead midway through the third quarter. Gallegos scored 22 points, while Malekos added 14, and Millett, 11. Gordon finished with eight points, and Colombo scored seven.

Folsom’s final came of the tournament was played at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, and it clearly was a game they were not prepared for.

“We played poorly,” Wolking admitted. “Who plays at 8 a.m. in a freezing gym? Again, if we were fully healthy and playing at a normal time, I would have liked our chances.”

Gallegos, who scored 20 points in the loss, was the team’s lone all-tournament selection.

Folsom, 11-2 in non-league, now turns its attention to the Sierra Foothill League schedule, which begins with a home game Friday against Rocklin (9-9).

“I think this is the most balanced our league has been since I’ve been coaching here,” Wolking said. “I think Del Oro is the favorite, but I think us and Oak Ridge are a toss-up, and Granite Bay is right there. I know one thing, we better be ready to play every night.”