Oakmont tops Rocklin by two points, earns first league win

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Oakmont High’s varsity girls basketball team pulled even in Sierra Foothill League play with Friday night’s 47-45 victory over Rocklin in Roseville. Oakmont (11-6 overall) is now 1-1 in SFL play while the Thunder (6-9) dropped to 0-2. “(The win) was really big – get the monkey off our back,” Oakmont coach Al Voigt said. “Especially with what we have next week, at Del Oro and then (at home against) Woodcreek . . . Every team (in the SFL) is tough – we’re probably considered one of the lower teams but we’ll come out and battle every night.” Rocklin senior guard Morgan Smith tied the game at 45 when she scored inside while falling backwards with just 17 seconds remaining. Oakmont, coming out of a timeout, had junior Sabrina Ali open for a 3-pointer but the shot was no good. The Vikings corralled the rebound and Ali made a lay-up with six seconds left to set the final score. Rocklin had one last chance but a 17-foot shot by Jordyn Wille, with defenders all around, was no good at the buzzer. “They played their hearts out and played well defensively – just too many turnovers on offense,” said Rocklin coach Paul Tompkins about his team. “I’m very proud of them . . . every night is going to be a battle in this league.” Junior Jennifer Gong led Oakmont with 14 points while teammates Shelby Kelch (11 points), Pauline Parker (eight) and Ali (six) also chipped in offensively. Fong made four of Oakmont’s seven 3-pointers in the win. “With the type of defense we play we’re going to give them the opportunity to (hit 3-pointers),” Tompkins said. Voigt was very pleased with the Vikings’ effort. “It was the thing that we didn’t do against Granite Bay (56-51 loss in the SFL opener) – we played all 32 minutes,” Voigt said. Junior Olivia Lane (nine points), Stacy McTaggart (eight), Tori Johnson (seven), Erin Dean (six), Smith (five) and Katie Summers (five) led the Thunder in scoring. Rocklin led 15-13 after one quarter and 26-25 at the half. Oakmont won the third quarter 11-8 and the teams tied 11-11 in the fourth quarter. Oakmont led 13-5 early in the game but Rocklin responded with 13 straight points to go up 18-13. Rocklin will visit Roseville on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. while Oakmont will visit Del Oro on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.