Whitney’s depleted ranks fall to El Camino 48-40

Gruber leads Wildcats with 16
By: Joshua Gutierrez/Placer Herald
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In a game filled with turnovers on both sides, the Whitney boys basketball team fell to visiting El Camino 48-40 last week.

The Capital Athletic League matchup was moved to Friday after a power outage on Whitney’s campus forced a postponement of the game the day prior.

Even with an extra day off, Whitney’s leading scorer Nolan Eger was unable to take the court. He was resting an ankle injury he sustained in the final period of the Wildcats’ game with Rio Americano.

The ‘Cats (6-20, 2-7) were also without another starter David Parker. Parker was in Chicago on academic leave, according to Whitney head coach Matt Rickabaugh.

In the absence of Eger, Matt Gruber controlled play inside the paint. Gruber shot 4-for-8 from the floor in the first half. The senior led all Wildcats by the end of the night with 16.

Beyond the arc, Whitney got contributions from Ryan Gee, Diego Rosales, and Cameron Ripple; each drained a shot in the opening half.

El Camino (15-10, 5-4) started slow, shooting 2-13 from the floor in the first period. But the Eagles began to connect in the second, shooting 7-9 to cut Whitney’s lead to one going into the break.   

Turnovers in the second half were prevalent on both sides, with Whitney narrowly leading in that category after the break, 13-12.

“They fed off of our turnovers … . We rushed some of our passes, we rushed what we wanted to do,” said Rickabaugh. “When we’re losing possessions, we weren’t able to get established.”

Whitney shot 1-9 from the floor in the third period, as El Camino assumed control of the scoreboard despite shooting 3-14 themselves.

Midway through the final period, the Eagles held a 10-point advantage. Two consecutive scores by the Wildcats, including a 3-point play by Soren Smith, gave the Wildcats hope in the final minute.

But the clock played against Whitney, as the team suffered their seventh loss in CAL play.

On the last game of the season (Feb. 12), the Wildcats paid tribute to Eger, Gee, Gruber, Rosales, Smith, and JR Day. The seniors played Cordova (15-10, 5-4) their last game for Whitney’s varsity basketball team.


Eagles             6          14        8          18 – 48

Wildcats         10        11        4          15 – 40


El Camino 19-51, 7-17, 48, 3Pt 3-13. Whitney 16-46, 5-8, 40, 3Pt 3-12

Turnovers – EC 24, W 23


 Whitney – Gruber 8-14, 0-0, 16, Rosales 2-5, 1-2, 3Pt 1-3, Gallofin 2-6, 1-2, 5.

Assists – Rosales 2.


After giving league-leading Rio Americano a scare 56-48 Feb. 6, the Wildcats ran out of steam and fell to No. 2 El Camino 49-25 last Friday. Both games were on the road.

Against the Raiders, sophomores Shelbi Meyer, Alana Vieira and Alanna Scott help lead Whitney in the effort. Meyer had 12 points and 14 rebounds, Vieira nine points and Scott scored eight while pulling down six boards.

The ‘Cats could not make up for their 24 turnovers to Rio Americano’s 10.

Whitney (9-17, 3-6) closed out its season at Cordova (5-18, 1-6) Tuesday.