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Close game curse haunts Rocklin

Del Oro buzzer-beater victory
By: Danielle Huddlestun Placer Herald Correspondent
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It almost seems as if the Rocklin High girls basketball team is carrying a close-game curse this season as visiting Del Oro managed a last-second shot to sink the Thunder in the Sierra Foothill League opener for both clubs, 47-45, Friday. Rocklin has had seven games this season decided by four points or less. Of those seven, they have won one. The six they’ve lost have been by an average margin of two points. And, they have won games by as much as 50 points. “Close losses will test your mental toughness,” said Rocklin head coach Rob Ferraro. “It’s one game and we have to move on. We have to channel energy from disappointment and move forward.” Ferraro said his Thunder had a good game plan and he could not fault his team for the effort they put forth against Del Oro. The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, notched its 60th –straight league victory. Throughout the first quarter, the Lady Eagles and the Lady Thunder played an even game, moving up and down the court. As the game transferred into the second quarter, Rocklin faced a tough match up with Del Oro’s, Stephanie Geyer, but managed to confine Eagles’ Briana Ruiz. Geyer continually received the rebounds, off shots that the Thunder missed. As a result, Rocklin entered half time, trailing Del Oro by 13 points, with a score of 35-22. “I am proud of the attitude and effort the ladies displayed, a lesser team would have crumbled being down by 13 at half, but these ladies refused to quit,” Ferraro said. Entering the third quarter the Lady Thunder increased their defense, led by post Jaime Curtis and senior Allison Wille. Junior Lydia Summers led the Thunder in scoring with 20 points, as well as rebounds with nine. Summers made 9-11 free throws. She, along with junior Shannon Garvella, guarded Del Oro’s Ruiz as she continued to be a concern to the Rocklin team. In the last 25 seconds of the game senior Joie Camalo made her seventh steal. That set up senior Kelsey Garvella to score a three-point shot with only 8.6 seconds remaining. That tied the score at 45-45. With 3.9 seconds left, Ruiz made the final shot of the game to give Del Oro the two-point win. “I thought we did a great job defending Ruiz all night long, holding her to nine points. We had a difficult time keeping a body on Geyer, especially in the first half, and that ultimately cost us. We missed some easy scoring opportunities around the rim early in the game that would have settled us down. I think we may have been a little too amped up which contributed to the missed opportunities,” Ferraro said. The final score of the game was 47-45. “Our players showed great resiliency in battling back from the half time deficit and putting themselves in a position to get a win. As difficult as a loss like this is, we have to channel our focus towards Roseville Wednesday night and not dwell on what could have been,” Ferraro said. Jim Linsdau, Placer Herald Sports Editor contributed to this story Del Oro 47, Rocklin 45 Golden Eagles 17 18 4 8 – 47 Thunder 13 9 10 13 – 45 Sierra Foothill League Girls Basketball Standings Team W L GB Off Def Dif Woodcreek 1 0 - 52.5 46.3 6.2 Del Oro 1 0 - 49.7 45.9 3.8 Nevada U 1 0 - 48.1 43.8 4.2 Rocklin 0 1 1 56.4 49.5 6.9 Roseville 0 1 1 34.2 46.1 -11.9 Granite Bay 0 1 1 62.7 78.2 -15.5 W – wins, L – losses, GB – games behind, Off – scoring average, Def – opponent’s average, Dif - difference