Eagles find offensive rhythm

Prep Girls Basketball
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS — The Del Oro High girls basketball team hasn’t found its scoring touch often this season but Thursday the offensive production was on full display. The Golden Eagles overpowered Roseville 69-44 with the combination of Stephanie Geyer and Bri Ruiz and a 19 assist effort. They were in the giving mood so much that they forgot to play defense in the first quarter. “For awhile there it was kind of like an all-star game,” Del Oro coach Mike Takayama quipped. “Nobody was playing any defense, just kept scoring baskets.” Both teams came out shooting in the first quarter and Roseville hung with the perennial Sierra Foothill League champs until the 3 minute, 1 second mark in the second quarter with the Eagles clinging to a 27-24 lead. That’s when the Eagles (7-1 SFL, 15-10) nearly abandoned their perimeter shooting and went to the floor despite Ruiz, who had 17 points, hitting four 3-pointers early. Danielle Davis hit a layup off of a Jessica Hinsken assist to start a 15-2 run. Del Oro went to the line twice during the run and didn’t hit a shot outside of eight feet to grab a comfortable 42-26 halftime lead. The Eagles have had a hard time all year finding their inside presence with Geyer in one-on-one situations but got the offense they’ve been looking for in the tune of a 10-point third quarter from Geyer. The junior center scored four straight baskets to open the quarter and finished with a game-high 24 points. “When everybody gets in on it we’re just so much more successful,” Geyer said. “Our assists today were 19, our turnovers were 17 which is not great, but to have more assists than turnovers it was just (great). Everybody was sharing the ball, I got more looks, it just really helped us as a team.” Roseville (1-7, 4-20) made it a game early despite being outscored in the first contest 32-12 in the first half. The Tigers went on to lose the Jan. 20 game 63-32. The Tigers turned the ball over seven times in the opening quarter but hit some unbelievable shots as they flung the ball up and looked for contact. Senior forward Lollie Fitzpatrick led the Tigers with 23 points and hit her first 10 free throws before finishing 10 of 14 from the line. “Our defense was really aggressive and the movement I think messed them up a little bit in terms of trying to get the ball down (low),” Roseville coach Ron Volk said. “They’ve just got too much firepower. We just couldn’t hang with that.” Del Oro paid close attention to what Nevada Union was doing Thursday. The Miners, who beat Del Oro 44-42 last month, fell to Rocklin 63-39. If both teams win their next game it sets the stage for essentially a one-game playoff for the SFL title when the Golden Eagles travel to Nevada Union on Feb. 16 for the season finale. “Our mission is still the same,” Takayama said. “We have to go up to Nevada City and beat them and that’s no easy task. So, the mission still doesn’t change but now we can win it outright.”