Moreno stars as Roseville small lineup bests Bear River

Tigers win opening game of Common Good Classic
By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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Playing without its leading scorer in the tip-off game of the 2009 Common Good Classic at Del Oro may have been just the wake-up call the Roseville High School boys basketball team needed. As senior center Kevin Crabb sat on the sidelines nursing an ankle injury suffered in Thursday night’s game, the rest of the Tigers found their energy and put away Bear River 67-58 Friday night in Loomis. “Playing without Kevin tonight may have been a blessing in disguise,” Roseville coach Greg Granucci said. “We had a chance to get some guys going tonight.” Without their big man, the Tigers ran most of the game with essentially four guards and one forward. The alignment combined with some torrid early shooting from long range led Roseville to amass quick points by way of the 3-point shot. The first quarter was played very tightly back and forth as the bigger Bruins dominated the glass and used six offensive rebounds to keep them in the game. Roseville responded with a trio of 3-pointers in the first and four more in the second, when the Tigers broke open the game to take a 14-point halftime lead at 39-25. Sophomore guard Nick Blaser hit a pair of threes in each half as part of a 14-point night, but it was Tiger forward Mike Moreno who controlled this contest at both ends of the floor. As it got later in the game, the senior took more and more of the burden on his shoulders and refused to let his team fail. Moreno scored 28 points on the night (14 in each half) and grabbed eight rebounds for the Tigers. The second half became a back-and-forth exchange between Moreno and Bear River forward Patrick Scott, who scored 17 of his team-high 26 points after the break. Scott complemented his scoring with 11 rebounds and a strong game at the defensive end, but his heroics were not enough to rescue his squad against a determined pack of Tigers. Nick Schwyzer also got involved in the Roseville 3-point party, hitting a pair as part of his 12 points. He did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 10 as Roseville built up its largest lead of the game by halftime. "The difference tonight was that we were the aggressors from start to finish," Granucci said. The Common Good Classic continues Saturday with a full slate of game, including contests involving Oakmont (1 p.m.) and Woodcreek (2:30 p.m.). The proceeds of the event go towards helping foster kids transition to new homes, so the cause is good as is the basketball. The Tigers (0-4 in the SFL, 10-9 overall) are back on the floor when they host Woodcreek (2-1, 15-2) Tuesday night.