After suffering a close non-league loss to Bella Vista last week, the Del Oro boys basketball team rebounded to defeat Center, 50-46, last Thursday in the opening round of the Whitney Christmas Classic.
Receiving a balanced scoring effort and strong defensive play which limited Center to just 33 points through the game’s first three quarters, the Golden Eagles led from start to finish and were able to hold off the Cougars in the final stanza.
Keenan Finney continued his strong play of late by leading Del Oro with a 16-point effort. He was followed offensively by Danny Becker’s nine points, eight from Aaron Freeman and seven from Ryan Takayama.
Also finding the points column for the winners were Collin Mitchell with five points, Jack Huizenga with three and Brandon Lopez with a pair.
The win moved Del Oro’s season mark to 9-3 and advanced the Golden Eagles to a rematch game with Laguna Creek in the second round of the Whitney Tournament. The Golden Eagles had opened the season with a 62-55 win over the Cardinals back on Nov. 28.
In last week’s close setback at Bella Vista, the Golden Eagles played the Broncos nip and tuck the entire way, but ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.
Finney sparked the Black and Gold’s offense with 20 markers, while Takayama hit for nine points and Becker contributed eight.
Del Oro will stay busy as the calendar turns to 2013 as the Golden Eagles were set to play at Lincoln on Jan. 2 before returning home for a pair of tough, non-league games next Friday and Saturday when they host Del Campo and Monterey Trail. Both games will tip off with varsity action at 7 p.m.
The tough slate of non-league play will end when Del Oro opens Sierra Foothill League play on Thursday, Jan. 10 with a home contest against Rocklin.