Rocklin had game but Eagles prevail 63-49

Del Oro controls second half
By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
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Prep sports fans can always be assured that whenever Del Oro and Rocklin meet on the field of competition no one goes away disappointed; even if one team comes in with a record of 13-7 and the other 4-18. It was that kind of game when the Golden Eagles invaded Thunder gymnasium last Friday – at least in the first half. Bearing no resemblance to the team that lost to Del Oro 79-36 earlier in the season, Rocklin came out with a rock-solid defense. The gold-and-black could do no less, but could not get its scoring untracked. The Eagles’ leading scorers Jordan Broyles and Alan Kidwell combined for just nine points in the first two periods; with Rocklin taking a 24-20 lead into intermission. Although Rocklin was held to low individual numbers as well, the Thunder spread the scoring among seven players. “We were more ready for them. We were able to do different things with defense because we had these extra four days to prepare up to (today),” said Rocklin center Drew Ardissone. “We were able to lock up Broyles. Broyles is a great player. He was not able to use his spin move to kill us like he did at Del Oro.” Broyles eventually finished with 18 points to lead the Eagles; he scored a dozen in the third quarter. Del Oro’s Austin Soldano then broke loose in the final stanza scoring nine of his 16 total points. The score remained close until the fourth quarter. After falling behind by five at the end of the third quarter, Rocklin began forcing the ball in the final eight minutes. That resulted in seven turnovers leading to easy baskets for Del Oro. The Eagles committed just one turnover in the second half. “I think we just came out with a little more focus than we had in the first half and played with a lot more hustle,” said Kidwell. “It took a half to really get our heads straight and get back at ‘em.” Del Oro wasn’t able to score inside and wasn’t getting anything to fall from the outside. Broyles eventually hit a three in the third quarter, but that was largely putting icing on the cake. Frustration and a need to stop the clock forced the home club to foul and the Eagles hit 12 of 16 down the stretch. “For the most part I think we fought really until the last three or four minutes, and that’s when you saw us sort of implode,” said Rocklin head coach Mike Lorente, who was disappointed by the loss but encouraged by his team’s effort. “Tonight (the Thunder) played defense in the first half and controlled the boards. That’s two points we circle (and) continue to work on.” Although 1-5 in the Sierra Foothill League, Rocklin was pleased with the way it played against the league’s No. 1 team. Del Oro was rated seventh in the Jan. 30 Sac-Joaquin Section Power Ratings for Division II. Although play got a little erratic toward the end the two teams managed to keep their cool. Rocklin was called for one intentional foul in the fourth quarter but the game remained under control. The Thunder now turns their attention on the final four games of the season. “We feel if we play like we did in the first half we’re not going to have any trouble with the other teams,” said Rocklin’s Steven Valverde, who had two three-point shots in the third quarter. “We just have to get after it, finish the game and play the entire 32 minutes.” Del Oro head coach Geoff Broyles wasn’t surprised Rocklin played his Eagles as tough as they did. He knew his club wouldn’t have a game in Rocklin like they enjoyed at home. “They had a tremendous amount of energy. They came in and played incredibly hard; I thought they did a really good job of changing their defenses up,” said Del Oro head coach Geoff Broyles. “We did a pretty good job of getting some pretty good shots; we just weren’t making any in the first half. Last time we got a lot of easy transition baskets; this time they did a really good job of getting back.” The Eagles improved to 6-0 in the Sierra Foothill League (16-7 overall), and were scheduled to entertain Woodcreek Wednesday. They will then travel to Nevada Union for a game Friday. Rocklin fell to 1-5 in the SFL, and 4-19 overall. The Thunder is on the road next week playing at Roseville Wednesday and Woodcreek Friday. DEL ORO 63, ROCKLIN 49 Golden Eagles 11 9 22 21 – 63 Thunder 10 14 13 12 – 49 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS DO – Kidwell 2-6 6-6 10, Hime 1-4 2-4 4, Broyles 5-12 7-9 18, Covey 0-8 0-0 0, Soldano 6-10 4-5 16, Becker 1-3 0-0 3, Berghold 1-7 7-8 9, Lewis 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 18-53 26-32 63. R – Ardissone 1-3 0-0 3, Valverde 2-5 0-0 6, Gregg 4-6 1-3 9, Cherry 2-6 3-6 7, Moss 2-7 1-3 5, Versoza 2-6 0-0 4, Vandre 0-2 0-0 0, Cook 3-4 5-7 12, Kniffin 1-2 1-1 3 Totals 17-41 11-20 49. 3-Point Goals – DO 1 (Broyles). R 4 (Valverde 2, Ardissone, Cook). Fouled out – none. Rebounds – DO 31 (Kidwell 10). R 32 (Cherry 10).