Del Oro boy hoopsters take control

By: Mike Ray, Loomis News Staff Writer
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That emphatic “Yes!” heard coming from the vicinity of Granite Bay last Thursday night was the sound of the Del Oro boys basketball team taking firm control of the Sierra Foothill League race. Thanks to one of their best all-around showings of the season, the Golden Eagles turned an expected showdown for SFL leadership with host Granite Bay into a runaway win. “Our focus was great coming in,” said Del Oro coach Geoff Broyles, of his team’s convincing 61-38 romp over the Grizzlies. “The kids were locked in on each possession. Granite Bay is a great team. Defensively, they can rattle you. They rotate well. They get in passing lanes. They can make you rush.” The lopsided Del Oro win — combined with Woodcreek’s 47-46 upset win over Roseville — left the Golden Eagles starting the second half of SFL play this Friday with a two-game cushion in league play. Senior Taylor Butterfield played just a few minutes, but he put the exclamation point on Del Oro’s win when he caught an inbounds lob pass and beat the buzzer with a midair catch and layup. Combined with Roseville’s surprise loss at Woodcreek, Del Oro (15-7 overall, 5-0 SFL) takes a two-game lead into a short break before the second half starts Friday, Feb. 3. “D.O. played very well,” Granite Bay coach Jason Sitterud said. “I said from day one that’s the best team.” While the Golden Eagles scraped and scratched to beat Roseville 64-53 on Tuesday, they were crisp, clean and dominant against the Grizzlies (11-11, 3-2). Del Oro shot 48 percent from the field (22 for 46), out-rebounded Granite Bay 31-24, had 15 assists to the Grizzlies’ two, committed just four turnovers in the first half and, most of all, allowed the Grizzlies absolutely nothing. Granite Bay shot 20 percent from the field and was held to nine baskets, including two by Koki Arai in the final minute. The Golden Eagles were aggressive around the three-point line and ganged up on Granite Bay inside. Jerry Hansen led the Grizzlies with 13 points, eight of which came from the free-throw line. Granite Bay scored 18 points from the line. “It didn’t matter what we did,” Sitterud said. “They’re long, and they contest shots.” Broyles said it was Del Oro’s best rebounding game this season. The Golden Eagles’ offensive performance was impressive, too. But Del Oro rushed nothing. The Golden Eagles worked for open shots and got them. Austin Soldano scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists. Jordan Broyles had 15 points and six rebounds, and point guard Rex Hime had six assists. Center Alan Kidwell scored all eight of his points in the second half and totaled seven rebounds.