Clovis West holds off Rocklin for Tip-Off title

Golden Eagles repeat as champions
By: Dan Taylor
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ROCKLIN– It is a new season and the Rocklin High boys basketball team is renewed and off-and-running.


Combining with Whitney High to put on Northern California’s only 16-team tournament, the Thunder made it to the championship game, only to fall to repeat champion Clovis West, 84-70, Saturday at William Jessup University.


After trailing the Golden Eagles 24-15 at the end of the first quarter, the Thunder roared back in the second frame behind the combined scoring of Ethan Remmers and Liam Mays. Grounding the Eagles to just seven points in period two, Rocklin took a 37-31 lead into halftime.


But the Fresno club battled back in the third quarter, making 15 of 16 free throws to eventually take the Tip-Off crown once again.


“It’s early in the season. Everything’s a work in progress, but we’re certainly showing some positive signs both offensively and defensively,” said Rocklin head coach Stephen Taylor at the beginning of the tournament. “And our depth – our depth has really been solid in our first two games. I think that’s one of our strongest suits.”


Remmers was high for the boys in blue with 20, Henry Strecker added 14 and Darrius Kendall dropped in 11.

Remmers, Kendall and Cory Gohl were named to the All-Tournament team.


Rocklin 57, Amador Valley 47, Nov. 30


Kendall led the Thunder with 16 points, eight in the third quarter to help subdue the Dons.


The Storm went up by 10 at half, but Amador Valley made up ground on Kendall and company in the third period to trail by just three, 44-41.


But the Thunder would not be denied as Kendall and Gohl both came up with five points down the stretch for the seminal win.


Gohl finished with 14 points.


Rocklin 98, Burbank 93, OT, Nov. 29


After silencing Yuba City’s Honkers the night before, the Thunder appeared to be running out of energy and trailed the Titans by 16 at intermission.


The home boys rallied to close the gap to six in frame three and the Titans made the mistake of fouling Kendall on a 3-point shot – Kendall canned all three charity tosses.


Burbank managed to hold their 3-point edge until Gohl buried his fourth 3 of the final frame with just a second and a half remaining – overtime.


In OT, Kendall scored twice, Gohl added another 3 and Handre Reinecke and Jayden Siler supplied the difference for the win.


Rocklin 85, Yuba City 65, Nov. 28


Kendall was 4-for-4 from the line and tallied 19 points as the Storm thundered to a big opening victory. Siller dropped in 11 and Remmers 10 in a game that was really never in doubt.


“We got in a little foul trouble the first half being so aggressive. The second half we came out and we played a lot smarter,” Taylor said. “You live by the 3, you die by the 3… (We) have to get better, I think, at recognizing when we have to rely on the perimeter shot and when to get the ball to our post players.”