Basketball preview

Whitney High School
By: Andrew Hazard Placer Herald Sports Correspondent
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Boys Basketball The Whitney High School varsity boys basketball team is sitting pretty with an overall record of 12-6. Capital Athletic League play is just around the corner as the Wildcats play two out of their next three games at home. Whitney will host Rio Americano (5-11 overall) on Jan. 19. Senior forward Evan Orrick (14.8 PPG), junior guard Nolan Eger (11.0 PPG) and senior guard Sean Smith (10.9 PPG) are the Wildcats’ top-three leading scorers. Two-sport athlete, senior forward, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, is averaging 6.2 PPP for Whitney. The Wildcats average 51.8 PPG as a team. Whitney should have a back and forth game with Rio Americano. The Wildcats’ next game is at home against El Camino (8-9 overall) on Jan. 24. The key to the game for Whitney is simple: Stop Ryan Johnson. The senior guard is averaging 25 PPG for the Eagles. Johnson is also averaging 5.0 RPG. El Camino senior guard Aaron Torres is averaging 5.0 assists per game. Johnson and Torres have made a nice combo for the Eagles. The Wildcats must stop them if they are going to add another victory. Girls Basketball After a tough start to the season, the Whitney High School varsity girls basketball team will look to get things back on track during Capital Athletic League Play. The Wildcats (1-0 CAL, 6-11 overall) have two road games this week. The first game is on Jan. 20 at El Camino (1-0 CAL, 14-3 overall). The Eagles are going to be a tough matchup for Whitney. Senior guard Alex Rodriguez (18.1 PPG) and junior point guard Kristin Ladas (11.3 PPG) must stay on pace with speedy El Camino. Rodriguez is also a force inside averaging 6.5 RPG. Junior forward Masirah Holmes also must have a big game on the defensive end. Holmes is averaging 2.4 blocks per game and 5.8 RPG. Holmes and Rodriguez are going to have their hands full. The Eagles average 60.9 PPG. Sophomore Simone Sheppard is El Camino’s leading scorer by averaging 13.1 PPG, while junior Courtney Brignac is averaging 12.2 PPG and senior Jade Sowell-Hundon averages 10.2 PPG. Defensively, Sheppard is averaging 5.5 RPG and senior Alexis Haffner averages 5.1 RPG along with 8.5 PPG. El Camino presents problems on both sides of the ball for Whitney. The Wildcats should have an easier time at Cordova (0-1 CAL, 4-11 overall. when they play the Lancers on Jan. 25. Cordova only has nine players on its roster. Ladas and Rodriguez could have big games for Whitney. The Wildcats have a tough week ahead of them with both games being on the road with one opponent looking really tough and the other opponent looks beatable.