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Eagles snag first win after win-streak snapped

Defense leads way in a 29-28 victory as Del Oro looks to start a new streak
By: Justin A. Lawson
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LOOMIS – The first game of a streak is often the hardest and nothing has come easy lately for the Del Oro High girls basketball. After seeing their 63-game Sierra Foothill League winning streak snapped Friday, the Eagles rallied through an ugly 29-28 win Thursday over Rocklin with a staunch defensive effort. “I guess we got to start a new streak tonight although that wasn’t the most artistic game at all,” Del Oro coach Mike Takayama said. “We lost two really heart-breaking games Friday-Saturday and three would have been kind of a jump off the plank type game.” Nevada Union ended the streak in a 44-42 win and then Eagles fell 43-42 to Lincoln of Stockton on Saturday in a non-league game. The Eagles (5-1 SFL, 13-10) never led by more than five points and had to clamp down late on the Thunders’ top shooters to secure the victory. Del Oro guard Jessica Hinsken bravely stood in the lane as Lydia Summers led a two-on-one break and picked up a charging foul that prevented what would have been a momentum changing basket with the Eagles clinging to a 26-22 lead. Minutes later, Eagles guard Brianna Ruiz blocked Joie Camalo twice on the same possession with a 26-23 lead. The Thunder went on a quick 5-0 run to go ahead 28-26 but Hinsken stepped up with an eight-foot jumper from the left side on an assist from Ruiz, who was double teamed at the top of the key. Mia Maglinte, who provided the only consistent offense for the Eagles all night, hit one of two free throws with 1 minute, 26 seconds remaining to regain the lead. After the two teams exchanged last second heaves before the shot clock went off, Rocklin grabbed a loose ball with 15.2 seconds left and called timeout to set up what it thought would be the last play. The Thunder tried to set up a play to Summers in the corner but Hinsken cut her off and tied up the ball with the possession arrow going Del Oro’s way. The Eagles couldn’t hit the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 3.6 seconds left and gave Rocklin one last chance to win the game. The Thunder had three chances to fire up a shot but the defense closed in on each try, which ended when Ruiz swung into position at the last second to block Alison Willie’s shot at the buzzer. “We had confidence in her and knew that she was going to pick it up,” said Hinsken about Ruiz, who despite averaging a team high 15.1 points per game was held scoreless for the first time all season. “She kind of put the team on her back at the last minute and helped us out. I think we kind of knew that she was going to save us no matter what.” Del Oro, which edged Rocklin 47-45 on Jan. 13, couldn’t find any offense early on as it limped to a 13-11 halftime lead. Maglinte came out in the third quarter and hit a three-footer from the baseline with 1:21 left to give the Eagles a 17-14 lead. Stephanie Geyer hit a layup minutes later and with the shot clock nearing zero Maglinte fired up a three-pointer that banked in at the buzzer to close out the quarter with a 22-19 lead. Maglinte and Hinsken combined to score all of the Eagles’ seven fourth-quarter points. Maglinte led Del Oro with 13 points, while Hinsken had seven. Summers led the Thunder with nine after scoring 20 in the teams’ first matchup. “I missed my first few shots but everyone was really helping me and pushing me,” Maglinte said.