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Thunder continues to fight in SFL

Rocklin drop two to Nevada Union, Granite Bay
By: Danielle Huddlestun Placer Herald Correspondent
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Completing the second week of Sierra Foothill League play, the Rocklin High boys basketball team faced Nevada Union and Granite Bay last week. Though they absorbed losses in both games, they came out strong and fought hard. The Thunder fell 70-53 against Nevada Union in Grass Valley. “Nevada Union is always tough, but we should have been more ready,” said Rocklin head coach Mike Lorente. “We don’t have a true big (player) and Nevada Union has a couple of bigs who can bang down low around the rim. Next time we can do a better job and hopefully control the glass more.” Rocklin outscored the Miners in the first and fourth quarters, which Lorente said he owed to his team’s ability to come out strong and finish well. They suffered a lull during the middle quarters, but remained resilient. “We often dig ourselves a hole and have to fight from behind,” Lorente said. The boys in blue are learning team effort works better than trying to follow behind one superstar. Freshmen guards Keyshon Williams and Vinnie Safin are doing well this season. Sophomore guard Nate Versoza has been improving as the season progresses. “I am excited for the future,” Lorente said. Granite Bay _ Earlier last week the Thunder lost in Granite Bay, 55-46. “I felt like the kids gave a valiant effort, but we lost on free throws and lay ups” Lorente said. “We played decent defense for 80 percent of the game. We had few turnovers. It was young mistakes.” After the first quarter, the Thunder trailed by 14 after scoring just six points. In the second quarter, Rocklin got the edge in scoring, 13-9, but trailed 33-15 at intermission. The Thunder came out slow in the second half, but bounced back to again outscore the Grizzlies by a margin of 20-17 in the final period. Lorente said he owed the strong fourth quarter to his club’s toughness. “There were two turnovers and four or five missed free throws. It really shows that free throws, turnovers, and lay ups can win a game,” said Lorente. Leaving the gym, the boys felt proud and kept their heads high. “It was a lot about just figuring out varsity basketball,” Lorente said. Looking forward to their future games, Rocklin (1-4 in league) will play Del Oro, Thursday, and Roseville Feb. 8.