Rocklin takes two at Holiday Tournament before finale loss

Thunder to play at Whitney Friday
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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It appeared the Rocklin High boys basketball team might sweep its games in the school’s Holiday Tournament but a hot-shooting Weston Ranch club proved too much to overcome Saturday. The Stockton club prevailed 65-48.

The Thunder came out sluggish from the start as the Cougars built an 11-0 lead. Rocklin then fought back with Tyler Chimirusti coming off the bench to score five points as the boys in blue closed the gap to 13-11 by quarter’s end.

Things begin to slip for Rocklin as Weston Ranch went on an 18-13 tear in the second quarter. The Cougars’ Dylan Alexander, Marcus Moore and Eric Duncan warmed up driving the lane and hitting from 3-point land.

Although the Thunder rallied to take the lead 20-21 late in the second quarter they simply couldn’t maintain their intensity.

 “Just a little tired, tired legs,” said Rocklin head coach Casey Cutts, searching for an answer for his team’s lackadaisical performance. “Not making excuses, it kind of falls on preparation. So we as a staff, as a team, we’ve got to get ourselves better prepared to come out ready to go.”

Weston Ranch played without their star center Davieon Laveret but it made little difference.

The third quarter didn’t start any better as the ball just didn’t seem to want to fall for the home boys. Meanwhile the visitors could seem to do no wrong.

Rocklin’s center Hayden Cook played well in the paint but many of his shots from underneath just couldn’t find the net.

“I think we just didn’t come out with energy,” said the 6-7 Cook. “We didn’t all crash the boards and didn’t box out.”

The Thunder also couldn’t find the range from the field. They hit on just four of 21 attempts from beyond the arc; some were air balls.

“That was just kind of the night we had; we just couldn’t put the ball in the hole,” said Cutts. “And we didn’t make a good enough adjustment in attacking the rim.”

Rocklin 61, Folsom 57

Rocklin took part in a thriller with Folsom Dec. 14. The two clubs were amazingly well matched in spite of the Thunders’ 18-point loss to the Bulldogs Dec. 7. This time, Rocklin got the victory.

Cutts out-dueled Folsom in player strategy to come out on top in spite of the Bulldogs’ excellent 3-point shooting. Alternating Cook and Spencer Gregg kept Cook out of foul trouble and helped offset the play of Folsom’s Edwin Olympio.

The Thunder went hard to the offensive boards and it paid off as Rocklin out-rebounded the ‘Dogs by a wide margin. Although Folsom went to the foul line more often it wasn’t enough to make the difference.

Moss was quiet until the second half when he poured in 11 of his 16 points, high for the game. He also had eight boards on the night, five in the fourth quarter.

Cook had 12 points, many on second chances. Jake Faulkner and Taylor Cherry had eight apiece.

Rocklin 67, Oakmont 60

Rocklin opened the tournament using a strong fourth quarter to defeat Oakmont 67-60 Thursday.

The Thunder used perfect shooting from the free-throw line and a deep bench to hold off the Vikings in the closing seconds of the final period.

Devin Moss hit six-straight from the charity line and added five more from the floor to lead the boys in blue. Moss finished the night with 23 points.

Also stepping up were Cherry and Cook. Cherry scored four points in quarter four as did Cook. Cherry (13 points) and Nate Versoza both went 2-2 from the foul line down the stretch.

Cook left the game early with foul trouble but came back with eight points, three rebounds and a blocked shot to close out the game.

The two teams sparred for three quarters before Rocklin got the upper hand. The Thunder outscored the Vikes 40-33 in the second half. The hosts used 10 players to Oakmont’s six.

Dec. 13 – Rocklin 67, Oakmont 60

Dec. 14 – Rocklin 61, Folsom 57

Dec. 15 – Weston Ranch 65, Rocklin 48

Cougars          13        18        17        17 – 65

Thunder         10        14        15          9 – 48



Rocklin – Bridge 2-4, 0-0, 5, 3Pt. 1-3, Gregg 1-1, 1-1, 3, Cherry 2-6, 0-0, 4, 3Pt. 0-2, Cook 4-6, 1-2, 10, Ardissone 1-4, 0-0, 2, Moss 2-11, 6-6, 10, 3Pt. 0-2, Chimirusti 2-3, 1-1, 7, 3Pt. 1-2 Safin 2-7, 0-0, 5, 3Pt. 1-3, Peterson 1-1, 0-0, 2.



Weston Ranch – 23-40 (58 pct.), 11-19 (58 pct.), 3Pt. 6-13 (46 pct.). Rebounds – 22. Turnovers – 15.

Rocklin – 17-49 (35 pct.), 9-10 (90 pct.), 4-21 (19 pct.). Rebounds – 12. Turnovers – 9.