Whitney High School

Basketball preview
By: Andrew Hazard Placer Herald Correspondent
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BOYS BASKETBALL Riding a four-game losing, the Whitney boys basketball team could use some victories. The Wildcats (13-8 overall) host Mira Loma (0-4 CAL, 4-16 overall) on Feb. 3. Whitney’s leading scorer Evan Orrick should have a big game, but his numbers have declined. Orrick and the ‘Cats need to come up with a better formula. Two big factors in that formula are junior guard Nolan Eger (10.7 ppg) and senior guard Sean Smith (11.3 ppg). Mira Loma does not have anyone scoring double-digits. Junior forward Wes Vander Mik tops the Matadors at 9.7 ppg. In the first meeting between the two Whitney walked away with a 43-point victory – at Mira Loma At Rio Americano _ The Wildcats’ second game of the week will be tougher – a lot tougher, Feb. 8. The Raiders toppled the maroon-and-gold, 56-51, on the ‘Cats home turf in the first match up. Rio Americano is 3-1 in the CAL, 8-12 overall. The Raiders struggled in non-conference play but have played great in the CAL. The CAL schedule has not gone as planned for Whitney, but a couple of wins this week could get them back in contention. The Wildcats are rated No. 20 in the Division III power ratings. GIRLS BASKETBALL Whitney travels to Mira Loma (0-4, 1-15) to face a Matadors’ team that is struggling. Mira Loma averages only 26.9 ppg, and junior Shireen Sayareh is the team’s leading scorer at 7.4 a game. In their first meeting, the ‘Cats won by over 20. Whitney should begin the week with a win, but road wins never come easy. At Rio Americano _ The Wildcats end the week on the Raiders’ (4-1, 14-8) home court on Feb. 7. Senior guard Alex Rodriguez (18 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and junior point guard Kristin Ladas (11.3 ppg, 2.7 steals per game, 2.5 assists per game) must have a big game for Whitney to upset Rio Americano. In the Wildcats’ den the Raiders came away with an 11-point victory. The Wildcats’ defense must stop junior guard Elizabeth Moulton (12.7 ppg). Whitney might not make the postseason, but some big wins could bounce the ball their way. They stand 25th in Division III. El Camino, Rio Americano, Antelope, and Cordova are all Division II.