Whitney closes out tournament with loss to Del Oro

CAL begins Jan. 11
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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It appeared the Whitney boys basketball team would give Del Oro a battle for third place in the Wildcats’ Holiday Tournament but the Golden Eagles prevailed 74-56 Saturday.

Both teams came in smarting from losses the day before with intentions of getting their programs back on track – Del Oro succeeded.

Although the maroon-and-gold outscored the Eagles 15-14 in the first period, it was short lived. The boys in black were 7-for-10 from the field in the second quarter and cashed in five free throws to go up 37-27 at halftime.

Plagued all season by having to make up a lot of ground in the second half, Whitney simply couldn’t get any closer than nine points after the break. Each team shot well from both the floor and the charity stripe but where the Eagles got off 24 shots, the ‘Cats launched just16.

Del Oro controlled the paint. Although Whitney held an advantage on the boards, the team from Loomis scored under the basket whereas Whitney could not. The Eagles improved to 10-4 with the win.

Whitney (2-11) will open Capital Athletic League hosting Antelope (10-5) Jan. 11. The Titans aren’t the team they were last year but the Wildcats will have to regroup if they hope to get off to a good start.

Vallejo 69, Whitney 56

In their second game of the tournament, Whitney made a masterful attempt to get back into the game against Vallejo Friday but eventually fell to the Apaches.

Scoring just 13 points in the first half, the Wildcats entered the locker room trailing by 18. But the team that emerged was not the same one that went in.

Whitney came out attacking the basket and going to the foul line. They scored 15 points from the charity stripe in the second half and coupled that with some solid perimeter shooting. At the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter, the ‘Cats trailed by just two, 53-51.

Still, the maroon-and-gold could not match Vallejo on the backboards. The Apaches’ 6-foot 5-inch, 250-pound center, Sean Taylor, proved too much to handle. With 3:15 left in the game, Whitney’s center Matt Gruber fouled out.

Unofficially, Nolan Eger scored 23 for Whitney and Cameron Ripple added five points on six free throws.

Whitney 68, Paradise 37

Whitney broke out of its slump in a big way by dispatching Paradise in the opening round of the tournament.

The game started slow with Whitney taking a 14-9 edge in the first quarter. But despite allowing the Bobcats only four points in the second period, Wildcats head coach Matthew Rickabaugh wasn’t that pleased with his team’s defense.

“I liked the way we moved the ball around and found the open man,” Rickabaugh said as to his club’s offense. “As for defense, we can do better.”

However, the ‘Cats did take over the backboards allowing Paradise very few second shots.

Whitney, on the other hand, scorched the nets shooting 75 percent from the floor in the second half. The club was 8-for-12 in 3-point shooting. The Wildcats took only two shots from the foul line and made one.

Unofficially, Nolan Eger had 18 points on the night followed by Matt “Lefty” Gruber’s 15. Eight players in all contributed to Whitney’s point totals.