Rocklin falters as Eagles prevail 63-49

Del Oro controls second half
By: Jim Linsdau Gold Country News Service
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ROCKLIN _ It was the kind of game fans have come to expect between rivals Del Oro and Rocklin – at least in the first half.

Bearing no resemblance to the team that lost to the Golden Eagles 79-36 earlier in the season, the Thunder came out with rock-solid defense, Friday. Del Oro could do not less, but could not get its scoring untracked.

The Eagles’ leading scorers Jordan Broyles and Alan Kidwell combined for just nine points in the first two periods; with Rocklin taking a 24-20 lead into intermission. Although Rocklin was held to low individual numbers as well, the Thunder spread the scoring among seven players.

“We were more ready for them. We were able to do different things with defense because we had these extra four days to prepare up to Friday,” said Rocklin center Drew Ardissone. “We were able to lock up Broyles. Broyles is a great player. He was not able to use his spin move to kill us like he did at Del Oro.”

Broyles eventually finished with 18 points to lead the Eagles; he scored a dozen in the third quarter. Austin Soldano then broke loose in the final stanza scoring nine of his 16 total points.

The score remained close until the fourth quarter. After falling behind by five at the end of the third quarter, Rocklin began forcing the ball in the final eight minutes. That resulted in seven turnovers leading to easy baskets for Del Oro. The Eagles committed just one turnover in the second half.

“I think we just came out with a little more focus than we had in the first half and played with a lot more hustle,” said Kidwell. “It took a half to really get our heads straight and get back at ‘em.”

Del Oro wasn’t able to score inside and wasn’t getting anything to fall from the outside. Broyles eventually hit a three in the third quarter, but that was largely putting icing on the cake. Frustration and a need to stop the clock forced the home club to foul and the Eagles hit 12 of 16 down the stretch.

Although play got a little erratic toward the end the two teams managed to keep their cool. Rocklin was called for one intentional foul in the fourth quarter.

“They had a tremendous amount of energy. They came in and played incredibly hard; I thought they did a really good job of changing their defenses up,” said Del Oro head coach Geoff Broyles. “We did a pretty good job of getting some pretty good shots; we just weren’t making any in the first half. Last time we got a lot of easy transition baskets; this time they did a really good job of getting back.”

The Eagles improved to 6-0 in the Sierra Foothill League (16-7 overall), and will entertain Woodcreek Wednesday. They will then travel to Nevada Union for a game Friday.

Rocklin fell to 1-5 in the SFL, and 4-19 overall. The Thunder is on the road next week playing at Roseville Wednesday and Woodcreek Friday.