Whitney, Rocklin meet in Thunder Alley for preseason finale

It’s the last warm up before league begins
By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
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It has become increasingly difficult to disguise or overlook any meeting between Whitney and Rocklin when the two schools meet on the field, or court, of competition. This Friday will be no exception as the two collide, 7:30 p.m., Thunder Gymnasium. Both clubs were on the road Tuesday night; the Thunder traveled to Auburn to play Placer, and Whitney took their game to Davis High; the ‘Cats fell to the Blue Devils, 70-43. Rocklin made a strong bid to claim the Lincoln Invitational last week. Last Friday, the Wildcats ripped into Granite Bay, 70-61, in the Grizzly’s den. After the Thunder lost its opener to Bear River in the opening game of Lincoln’s Invite, the Thunder went on the warpath. They throttled Wheatland, 70-25, and then rolled past the host Fighting Zebras, 59-39. Team captain, Lydia Summers, didn’t try to hide the fact she and her teammates weren’t at all pleased about losing their first game to the Bruins – by one point, in spite of picking up two easy wins following that game. “We were really not (pleased) after we lost that first game,” Summers said. “We were kind of mad that we lost that first game. We pulled together in the tournament, but it was frustrating losing that first game by one.” Summers made up for her displeasure by scoring 18 against Lincoln. Although she had only two points against Wheatland, Shannon Garvella racked up 15, and Joie Camalo added 12. In fact, a dozen of the Rocklin players scored in the contest. “I think it’s tough for our team. You know, we had a tough one losing by one to Bear River,” said Rocklin head coach Rob Ferraro. “We’re looking for consistency, and a lot of girls played with a lot of energy and intensity today.” The Thunder improved to 8-7 after the tournament victories. At 5-10, Whitney has struggled, but showed plenty of resiliency against Granite Bay. And they did it without their post player Masirah Holmes. The Wildcats did not pull down a lot of rebounds, but they didn’t need them. They shot 55 percent from the floor, and went 19 for 31 from the free-throw line. Point guard Kristin Ladas nailed four 3-pointers in the contest and tallied 22 points for her night’s work. Alex Rodriguez popped in three from beyond the arc and finished with 28 total points. Rodriguez also did most of the board work, gathering in seven. A win Friday would go a long way in building either team’s confidence going into their respective conference schedules. Whitney is going to have to work hard in the Capital Athletic League against foes like Rio Americano (9-6), Antelope (9-3), and El Camino (13-3). Rocklin ranks just behind Del Oro in the preseason standings; however, both clubs have eight wins. Woodcreek sits at the top at 9-5. “When we go into the Sierra Foothill League it’s going to be a problem on any given night, if you’re not playing your best they’re going to get you,” Ferraro said of the pending season. “We’ve played some really good teams that should help us get ready for league. Sometimes in a loss you learn as much about your team as how you bounce back. How you handle adversity reveals character.” What is revealing about a rivalry game like Whitney versus Rocklin is there is little need for outside motivation. It isn’t likely either team will look past the other in anticipation of league competition. Both are looking for consistency, and a long, arduous preseason can wear on one’s ability to maintain a high standard each and every night. However, capping that tough preseason climb with a game that tends to transcends fatigue is a great way to find what players, and a teams, are made of. What: Varsity Girls Basketball Whitney vs. Rocklin Where: Thunder Gymnasium When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. JV, 6 p.m. Frosh, 4:30 p.m.