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Second half starts Thursday for Whitney boys

Wildcats went 2-4 in first round of PVL play
By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Whitney High’s varsity boys basketball team will open the second half of the Pioneer Valley League season at Mesa Verde on Thursday. The Wildcats (10-11 overall, 2-4 in the PVL) beat the Mavericks (9-12, 0-6) when the teams played in the league opener on Jan. 6. Thursday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. Whitney closed the first half of the PVL schedule with a 47-37 loss at Bear River (11-8, 2-4) on Friday night. Bear River led 20-15 at the half and 31-26 entering the fourth quarter. Seniors Eric Gee (11 points) and Brenden McCue (nine) led the Wildcats in scoring while nobody scored in double figures for Bear River. Whitney lost to visiting El Dorado, 69-61, on Jan. 20. El Dorado is 14-6 overall and 4-2 in the PVL. Whitney led 18-8 after one quarter and 37-23 at the half but the Wildcats struggled in the second half. El Dorado won the third quarter 20-7 and the fourth quarter 26-17. The Cougars went on a 10-point run at the start of the third quarter. “They had 23 in the first half and then (20) in the third quarter – and we’ve had this problem,” Whitney coach Bryce Newell said. “We’re a little inconsistent for four quarters and we just didn’t compete like El Dorado did (in the second half). They just played harder than us. Right off the bat (of the third quarter) we came out sluggish and we were not ready and maybe we thought the game was over – I’m not sure.” The second half was especially disappointing for the Wildcats as Whitney was coming off a 69-58 victory over visiting Placer. “(The Placer game) was probably our best game of the year – by far,” Newell said. “And we looked strong in the first half (against El Dorado) and then didn’t play inspired basketball (after that). We just looked sluggish and we were not guarding anybody and we just didn’t play hard. And we’re not the kind of team that (is good enough to) not play our hardest. That was really disappointing.” Cody Borst (21 points), Gee (13) and Michael Burkhalter (nine) led the Whitney offense.