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Whitney tops Rocklin in preseason rivalry

Clubs battle to the finish
By: Staff Report
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Perhaps home-court advantage played a small role in Whitney High’s boys basketball victory over the Rocklin Thunder in their first ever meeting on the hardwood, but experience was probably the biggest factor, Nov. 30. Both clubs have good size, but Rocklin’s tallest player is a sophomore. The Wildcats have six players between 6-foot and 6-5 who are seniors. “We’re young; we’re a young varsity team,” said Rocklin head coach Mike Lorente, not intending it to be an excuse, but his roster does carry 10 juniors and two sophomores. “It’s getting experience, and coming out and playing hard.” That was evident in the fourth quarter when the Thunder outscored Whitney 25-16 to melt away the Wildcats’ 10-point lead. However, the home club wasn’t about to let the game slip through their maroon-and-gold fingers. “Rocklin did a good job and made us play too fast and we lost track of what we were doing,” said Whitney head coach Matt Rickabaugh in a post-game interview with Whitney Wildcats Broadcasting. “We’re in a good conference and our players are going to make the right decision at the right time.” His players did just that as they used the final 12 seconds to feed the ball to Anthony Devena, who scored the winning basket. A match up led to the formation of the Granite Bowl, perhaps basketball will lead to something similar between these two outstanding schools. Rocklin 10 11 7 25 – 53 Whitney 14 14 10 16 – 54 SCORING Thunder – N Versoza 3, A Vandre 5, T Cherry 10, D Ardissone 13, D Kniffin 5, D Moss 15, D Walker 2. Wildcats – A Davena 7, D Rosales 3, N Eger 7, M Gruber 10, J Cope-Fitzpatrick 2, S Smith 9, E Orrick 16 (all scoring not included).