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Del Oro digs in for final

Boys Basketball
By: Journal Sports Staff
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After more than a decade of waiting, the Del Oro High boys basketball team will return to the floor at Arco Arena tonight. The Golden Eagles look to bring their third Sac-Joaquin Section banner home as they face Sacramento High, the squad head coach Geoff Broyles called, “the king of D-III.” The top-seeded Dragons (23-6) downed No. 5 Whitney 62-47 in not-so-convincing fashion Wednesday in a semifinal at Galt High before the No. 2 Eagles (22-7) held off third-seeded Foothill 50-46 in the nightcap. Tonight’s championship figures to be another fast-paced, high-flying affair. Del Oro may have an edge with its defensive pressure but while Jon Root is the tallest player on the roster at 6-foot-5, Sacramento features five players his height or taller, including 6-8 junior Will Davis and 6-10 sophomore Robert Garrett. Point guard Chase Tapley, a returning starter from the Dragons’ Division III Northern California championship team, averages 23 points per game. Josiah Turner and Travon Abraham both average nearly 15 points for Sacramento, the 2007 section champion which has won 14 straight since a loss at Grant on Jan. 9. Del Oro has relied on sophomore Aaron Hendricks and junior Spencer Butterfield for offense through its postseason run. Hendricks has scored 64 points in three playoff games. Butterfield exploded for a game-high 24 points and hit several key free throws in the semifinal win. The Eagles are in search of their first section title since 1998, when Del Oro beat Rocklin 59-52 for the second Division III title in school history.