Lady Eagles put seven-year SFL hoops title hold on the lineBy: Mike Ray / Gold Country News Service
The annual race to try and unseat Del Oro as the Sierra Foothill League girls basketball champion starts tonight and for the first time since 2005, more than a few teams are lining up to give the Lady Eagles their best shot.
Winners of the last seven consecutive SFL girls hoop crowns, Del Oro figures to be in the thick of defending their longtime stranglehold on the league title and by no means plans on rolling over and making things easy for their rivals.
“I think it’s going to be a great race,” said longtime Del Oro coach Mike Takayama, who guided his squad through a rigorous preseason schedule that saw the Lady Eagles go 9-6. “There’s some quality teams in our league this season so it should be an interesting race.”
Nevada Union, with four starters returning from last season team which went into the final game of the 2012 season with a shot at unseating the Lady Eagles, seem like one of the top contenders in 2013.
“Nevada Union has a lot of experience back and good depth,” Takayama said. “Both Granite Bay and Rocklin have good young players. It should be a lot of fun.”
Here’s a capsule look at the SFL girls race:
Del Oro (9-6) – The Lady Eagles played the complete preseason without last year’s co-MVP Brianna Ruiz ,who underwent knee surgery after being injured in a summer showcase. Ruiz is rehabbing and although Del Oro is not counting out the return of the University of Washington bound guard-forward, the Lady Eagles have turned to other options. That includes co-SFL MVP Stephanie Geyer, who has signed with Army and is averaging 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds an outing. She’s joined by Mia Maglinte (9.9) Natalie Sohn (7.1) and sophomore Lauren Heyn (6.8) as the core that will need to deliver to keep the SFL crown in Loomis.
Nevada Union (11-3) – Coach John McDaniel’s Lady Miners gave Del Oro a scare last season in the SFL race finishing one game behind the Lady Eagles. Most of their line-up returns led by hustling guard Sydney Porter (12.7). She’s joined by Emma Peterson, Sammy Dehart, Melanie O’Brien, Erin Selleck and Kaylin Martin as NU’s frontline players.
Rocklin (10-5) – The Thunder have one of the league’s top young players in guard Jordan Purvis who is scoring at nearly 13 points a game. Purvis will team with sisters Kelsey Summers (11.6) and Lydia Purvis (10.3) as the Thunder’s top offensive threats.
Granite Bay (8-7) – Another young player to watch in the SFL this season is Granite Bay’s talented freshman guard Daeja Black. A point guard, Black is 17.9 points an outing for the Grizzlies who also played a strong preseason slate.
Woodcreek (4-7) – The Timberwolves have the tallest team in the SFL with four players over six feet and six players taller than 5-10. Top returnees for Woodcreek are center Samantha Turner, guard Liz Gehweiler and forward Blair Smith leading the way.
Roseville (3-12) – Roseville has struggled in preseason games but the Tigers have perhaps the league’s most potent player in 5-9 junior forward Lindsay Anderson who is averaging 19.9 points a game. The Tigers suit up only two seniors this season.