Rocklin’s depth shows in decisive victory over rival Whitney
The Rocklin girls basketball team served early notice the cross-town rivalry game at Whitney would go their way last week but the Wildcats did not go down without a fight. Although the host club made an 18-10 run in the final period, the Thunder still claimed a 60-37 victory.
Whitney played without senior point guard Kristin Ladas who was out with an illness. “That’s a big hole to fill,” Whitney head coach Andy Carter said of the importance of not having Ladas on the floor. “We were not able to get into our sets because we panicked and that’s never a good thing.”
Rocklin’s defense proved as good as its offense as the girls in blue raced out to a 20-5 advantage in the first quarter. Led by senior Lydia Summers, the Thunder proved both impenetrable and unstoppable.
Rocklin head coach Rob Ferraro was able to rotate 17 players into the game. That allowed the Thunder to keep up the pressure while Carter’s young squad struggled.
“We’re definitely starting to gel as a team,” said Ferraro. “We’re finishing and when we finish we put up a bunch of points.”
Although Whitney couldn’t match Rocklin’s numbers on the scoreboard, the club continued to battle to the end. The two clubs were about even in turnovers and rebounds.
The Wildcats’ Molly Miles and Alanna Scott combined for 12 of the host club’s points in the fourth quarter run. Scott led the maroon-and-gold with 10.
“Our kids never quit; I mean they battle until the end,” Carter said of his team. “What I love about this group is even when down big they continue to scrap and claw.”
Both teams carry just three seniors and only two for Whitney return from last year.
An advantage for Ferraro is how quickly his underclassmen are developing. Not only does he get solid senior leadership but his younger players battle each other every day in practice to gain playing time.
“The competition (in practice) kind of keeps everybody on their toes,” Ferraro said. “Some girls are not happy about the situation but they push the (other) girls in practice and that makes our team better.”
Summers led all scorers with 23 points and 13 rebounds; classmates Shannon Garvella and Jaimie Curtis combined for 14 points and 11 rebounds. Twelve Rocklin players scored in the contest.
The Thunder (12-5) wrapped up their preseason with a 59-37 win over Cordova Jan. 5. Rocklin will open Sierra Foothill League play Friday in Loomis against Del Oro (9-6).
Whitney (6-11) will travel to Antelope to take on the Titans (11-3) to begin Capital Athletic League competition. Only Antelope and Rio Americano have more wins than the Wildcats in preseason play.