Golden Eagles sail into semis

CIF NorCal Playoffs
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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LOOMIS — Brianna Ruiz’s latest assault on Del Oro High’s track and field record book will have to wait. Club volleyball season is on the backburner for Belle Obert and Bailey Homes. The Golden Eagles’ basketball season is stretching into the middle of March, much to the delight of the black and gold, and their fans. Del Oro booked a spot in the CIF Northern California semifinals Thursday night with a 68-37 romp over Chico at home. The Eagles will play at Presentation of San Jose on Saturday for a spot in the NorCal final. “We have a lot left in the tank,” said Obert, who is headed to Butler on a volleyball scholarship in the fall. “It’s club volleyball season right now. I’m practicing during the week, but we’ve got a tournament this weekend that I’ll miss. It’s a sacrifice. There’s no time to stop now.” There was no stopping Obert and the Eagles Thursday. A 16-0 run by Del Oro to start the third quarter wiped out Chico’s dim hopes of an upset. Obert scored 10 of her 11 points in the first half, and then swatted seven Panther shots in the second half to lead her team. “I don’t know what it was in the second quarter, but at halftime we talked about how this could be our last home game,” Obert said. “We had a good crowd here and we wanted to do it for the fans.” It was Del Oro’s first game since last Saturday’s 70-65 loss to St. Mary’s in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship game. The Eagles jumped out to a 20-6 lead, but the Panthers battled back to within 13 points at the half. Madeline Campbell and Ruiz sparked the third-quarter burst. Del Oro had steals on seven consecutive possessions and they all led to run-out layins on the other end. Ruiz, who broke three school records on the track as a freshman last season, showed off her speed in the open court and finished the game with 16 points. Campbell scored 13 of her 16 in the second half. Crystal Sewell scored 13 points and Stephanie Geyer added seven points and eight boards for the Eagles (26-4). Takayama knows his team will need four quarters of excellent play to get past Presentation (24-6) on Saturday. The second-seeded Panthers feature a dominant 6-2 post player in Joesetta Fatuesi and a quality point guard in Santa-Clara bound Nici Gilday. “We saw them at the West Coast Jamboree,” Takayama said. “We definitely won’t be able to play like we did in the second quarter tonight and win.”