Del Oro boys cruise past Paradise in invitational opener

By: Mike Ray / Gold Country News Service
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Del Oro boys basketball coach Geoff Broyles wanted to use the preseason as a chance to get a look at different player combinations and rotations as the Golden Eagles prepare to open defense of their Sierra Foothill League championship.
And Thursday night in the opening round of the 52nd annual Del Oro Invitational Tournament, Broyles did exactly that.
“I thought we pushed the ball well and probably played as up tempo as we can get,” Broyles said after his Golden Eagles handily dispatched Paradise, 85-38, in a first round runaway. “It was good to get a lot of different players in like we did and get a win.”
Thirteen different players reached the scoring column for the Golden Eagles, who improved to 3-0 on the season and will face River City, a 66-61 winner over Oakmont on Thursday, in Friday’s 8:30 p.m. feature contest.
One player who didn’t score for Del Oro was 6-foot-5 junior forward Kyle Setterlund, who watched the game sitting next to Broyles after going down with a season-ending ACL knee injury in Tuesday’s 58-43 win over Mira Loma.
“With Kyle not in there we have to change our game a little,” Broyles said. “It’s a tough injury because he was playing so well for us.”
With Setterlund idle on the sidelines, the Golden Eagles were fueled by different sources as Keenan Finney, a 6-4 junior, scored 17 points, mostly in the first half when the hosts ran out to a 48-26 cushion by intermission.
Also scoring for the winners were Mason Curry who added 11 points, 6-8 junior Connor Drake who followed with 10 points and Trevor Pistochini and Collin Mitchell, who chipped in with nine points each.
Others checking in with heady games for the Golden Eagles were Danny Becker, Michael Moore, Ryan Takayama and Aaron Freeman.
“We have some depth this year and if we’re going to push it like we did tonight we’re going to need it,” Broyles said.
In other first round games Thursday, Bella Vista shot out to a 25-4 lead after a quarter and cruised past Whitney, 65-48. The Broncos placed four players in double figures, led by Tyler Berkness with 14 points and Austin Hennen with 12.
In the nightcap, Capital Christian defeated Lincoln, 74-55. Bella Vista, 4-1 on the season, will meet Capital Christian in Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal game.       
In consolation games Friday, Paradise plays Oakmont at 4 p.m. and Whitney takes on Lincoln at 5:30. Saturday’s championship game is set for a 6 p.m. start.