Whitney boys wrap up season with loss to Cordova

Seniors honored before game
By: Joshua Gutierrez/Placer Herald Correspondent
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The Whitney boys basketball team said farewell to their senior class last week as the team hosted Cordova to cap the season. Despite the excitement before the game, the Lancers left nothing to chance and defeated the Wildcats 63-46.

Before the game, Whitney honored Ryan Gee, Matt Gruber, Soren Smith, J.R. Day, Diego Rosales, and Nolan Eger. Eger was nursing an injured ankle and did not suit up for the game.

Gruber kicked off the night with a field goal on Whitney’s first possession and assumed a 4-0 lead after a pair of Rosales’ free throws.

But a string of turnovers and a 0-for-5 performance at the 3-point line kept the game close as the first period drew to a close.

Cordova’s Jordan Roberson asserted himself in the second period, draining a trio of treys in a three-minute span. A 50-percent shooting performance by the Lancers resulted in a 29-21 lead at the half.

Gee started the Wildcats’ second half, nailing a two and 3-pointer in back-to-back possessions.

      In perhaps the play of the season, Smith exemplified the fighting attitude of the Wildcats’ season.

      With an errant pass drifting out of bounds, Smith relayed the ball to his teammate before running up four rows into the bleachers. After collecting himself, the guard returned to the court, took a pass from Rosales and scored a field goal.

      Unfortunately, Smith’s score was the closest the Wildcats would get as the Lancers pulled away in the final 12 minutes.

      In a sign of the future, the coaching staff brought in James Kling, Joseph Silas, Kevin Hassini, and Kyle Creighton. Each will be seniors next season.

      The Wildcats finished the Capital Athletic League schedule with a 2-8 record, fifth in the standings.

“Day-in-and-day-out, this team just wanted to get after it,” said Whitney head coach Matthew Rickabaugh. “It wasn’t the season they wanted, but they definitely fought all the way.”

Speaking on behalf of the Wildcats’ seniors, an emotional Smith offered his thoughts of being a part of Whitney’s basketball team.

“We might not of had the best year, but these guys will be best friends for life,” said Smith. “They’re the greatest teammates I could ever ask for.”


Lancers          8          21        16        14 – 63

Wildcats         8          13        11        14 – 45


Lancers-20-60, 15-26, 63. 3Pts 4-17. Turnovers 12

Wildcats-12-43, 19-22, 46. 3Pts 3-16. Turnovers 20.


Whitney – Gruber-1-7, 10-10, 12, 3Pt 0-1, Gee 2-7, 2-2, 7, 3Pt 1-6, Gallofin 3-5, 1-2, 7.