Rocklin the top Division II team in the state

Thunder at Golden 1 Saturday
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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Rocklin High boys basketball woke Sunday morning to find they are the No. 1 Division II team in California.

Rocklin improved to 10-1 on the season, winning the championship of the Mel Good Tournament in Yuba City last week.

Behind 20 points each from Darrius Kendall and Evan Terry, the boys in blue pounded Jesuit 87-52 in the title tilt. The Marauders beat San Francisco’s Leadership and the host club to reach the championship game.

“We were more ready to start playing games because of our experience. Where last year, we were really young and we got better as the season went on and we were, by far, playing our best basketball in February;” said Rocklin head coach Stephen Taylor, “where we’re playing really good basketball in December, which is a sign of our experience and also our ability.”

For the second time this season, Kendall was voted tournament MVP, and Terry and Donovan Lopez (15 points) were named to the all-tournament team. 

For those in Rocklin who love basketball now is the time to show that love by getting tickets for the Thunder’s games against Del Campo at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento Saturday.

All three Thunder teams, varsity, junior varsity and freshmen will play. The frosh game is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the varsity will close the bill starting at 4.

“We play a very solid Del Campo team and we’re excited about the opportunity to play in that type of environment,” said Taylor. “We think it’s going to be a great experience for our players and our parents, and the Rocklin High School community so we’re just privileged to have that opportunity to play down there.”

Tickets are $15 and there were 360 available at the Storm Cellar (student store) next to the cafeteria on the Rocklin High campus. The Storm Cellar is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and these tickets must be sold out.

JV – Coach Cesar Sandoval’s club is again on an unbeaten roll at 12-0. The young Thunder is coming off winning the Del Oro Tournament, beating Nevada Union, Del Oro and Granite Bay along the way.

Frosh – Coach Jeff Harter’s youngest Thunder team are averaging around 80 points a game and were runners-up in the Mesa Verde Tournament two weeks ago.

Rocklin’s teams will take a break for Christmas and then the varsity will head for San Diego and the Torrey Pines Tournament beginning Dec. 26. The club won’t return to the home hardwood until Jan. 8, when they host Granite Bay, their second game of the Sierra Foothill League season.

“We always try to play a tournament that’s going to be very challenging right before our league season because we know that’s the way our league games are going to be,” Taylor said. “So we’re looking forward to getting out of town and having a great time with our team and playing against some excellent competition that, we hope, will prepare us for what is arguably the toughest league in the Sacramento area – the SFL.”

The JV and freshmen squads will also start the New Year at home Jan. 8 against the Grizzlies.