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Del Oro boys squeeze past Bear River in Arnett opener

Golden Eagles play Nevada Union Tuesday night
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Del Oro High School’s boys varsity basketball team opened the 67th Kendall Arnett Tournament Monday night, Dec. 29, with an exciting 65-63 win over Bear River. Senior guard Brian Rowe hit what proved to be the game winning 3-pointer for the Golden Eagles with 7.8 seconds left in the contest. “Our philosophy is that if there’s time on the clock, we’re not going to call a timeout — we’re going to push back and try and get something in transition,” Golden Eagles coach Geoff Broyles said. “Brian had an open shot, and he’s got the green light in those situations. He made a really big shot for us.” Following Rowe’s clutch three-pointer, high-scoring Bear River guard Patrick Scott found himself at the foul line with 1.1 seconds left in the contest. After his first free throw didn’t fall, he missed the second intentionally and attempted to put in the rebound. The ball bounced off the outer edge of the rim as the buzzer sounded, sealing the win. Scott finished with a game-high 32 points, including four 3-pointers. However, while the Golden Eagles couldn’t stop him, they did manage to shut down the rest of Bear River’s offense. Only three Bruins other than Scott scored in the second half, and they were limited to a combined 11 points. “We wanted to pressure them and hopefully wear them down a little bit,” Broyles said. “Scott’s a phenomenal player — he can score almost at will. He still went off for 32 points on us, and I thought we defended him really well.” Sophomore guard Aaron Hendricks led Del Oro in scoring with 26 points, sinking three 3-pointers and going 5-for-5 from the foul line. Rowe finished with 14 points, and junior forward Spencer Butterfield had 13 points to go with his game-high 17 rebounds. Free throws made a crucial difference in the contest. Del Oro was 9-for-12, while Bear River was 5-for-12. Bear River led at the end of every quarter but the last one. No lead was safe, as neither team led by more than seven points at any juncture. “I’ve got a really resilient group of kids,” Broyles said. “They battle for 32 minutes every night. Whether they’re up 10 or down 10, they play as hard as they can every time.” The win advanced Del Oro, now 10-1 on the season, to a Tuesday evening semi-final match up with Nevada Union, a SFL rival that squeezed out a 48-47 win over Colfax in its opening round game. In other Arnett first round games, San Juan topped Del Campo by a score of 61-47, and Placer topped Mira Loma, 81-50. Tuesday night’s other semi-final found Placer meeting San Juan. In consolation play, Colfax was slated to meet Bear River and Del Campo was to play Mira Loma. Del Oro will play at Lincoln on Friday night in a frosh-JV-varsity tripleheader with games at 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.