Rocklin wins Holiday opener; Whitney falls to Weston Ranch
Rocklin High’s boys basketball team opened their Holiday 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 forced to foul as the closing seconds ran out in the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Rocklin’s 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 for the Thunder were Taylor Cherry and Hayden Cook. Cherry scored four points in quarter four as did Cook. Cherry and Nate Versoza both went 2-2 from the foul line down the stretch. Cherry added 13 points to the host club’s totals.
Cook had to leave the game in the early going after getting into foul trouble. However, the senior came back with eight points, three rebounds and a blocked shot to close out the final two stanzas.
The game turned out to be the contest of the evening as 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 in the game to Oakmont’s six.
Whitney High couldn’t offset the superior size of Weston Ranch and the loss of senior Matt Gruber as the Cougars held off the Wildcats for a 70-61 victory in the tournament opener for both teams.
Gruber was helped off the floor after injuring his right ankle less than halfway through the first quarter. Gruber had five points at that juncture as Whitney went on to hold a 19-12 advantage going into period two. However, Weston Ranch stepped up its defense and advantage on the boards to drop the Wildcats’ shooting from 63 percent in the first quarter to 36 percent in quarter two.
Still, Whitney refused to go away in spite of two opening dunks by Weston Ranch to start the second half. Senior Nolan Eger picked up the scoring pace for the ‘Cats getting 13 of his 15-point total in the second half. Eger began driving the lane and went to the line six times in the final two periods. He was 6-11 from the charity stripe.
Ryan Gee had nine points for the maroon-and-gold going 3-8 from the 3-point arc. Joshua Jackson had seven points; Jackson also had a 3-pointer.
The Folsom Bulldogs overcame a fierce Inderkum Tigers’ rally to win the opening game of the tournament 83-77.
Coming in off a championship in their tournament last week, Folsom quickly took a big lead against Inderkum. The ‘Dogs continued to build on their 42-32 halftime advantage and had the Tigers down by 15 when the Bengals turned up the heat.
Inderkum put on a tight man-to-man full-court press and cut the lead to two, 54-52, by the end of three. Folsom’s Zach Wolking’s hot hand from 3-point range began to cool and seniors Patrick Chen and Edwin Olympio had to pick up the slack.
After the Tigers tied the game 60-60 with 4:46 to go in the fourth period, Chen and Olympio began driving the lanes forcing the Tigers to foul. The Bulldogs steadily rebuilt their lead behind solid free-throw shooting and eventually claimed the victory.
Rocklin Holiday Tournament
Folsom 83, Inderkum 77
Weston Ranch 70, Whitney 61
Rocklin 67, Oakmont 60
4 p.m. – Whitney vs. Oakmont
5:30 p.m. – Weston Ranch vs. Inderkum
7 p.m. – Rocklin vs. Folsom
2 p.m. – Whitney vs. Inderkum
3:30 p.m. – Folsom vs. Oakmont
5 p.m. – Rocklin vs. Weston Ranch