High school boys basketball

Woodcreek back on track, knocks off Del Oro

Timberwolves win home opener
By: Brett Ransford, Special to Gold Country News Service
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After a disastrous Sierra Foothill League opener Tuesday night, the Woodcreek High School boys basketball team got back on track Thursday with a 63-55 home win over Del Oro. Del Oro’s fierce play early on had the game up for grabs, as the Golden Eagles headed into halftime leading 24-22. Momentum swung largely in favor of the Timberwolves in a major second half effort, as Woodcreek led by as many as 10 points in the final period. Woodcreek captain Nick Alongi put in 10 of his 13 points in the second half. His five assists were a huge boost along with a stretch of back-to-back scores in Alongi’s seven fourth-quarter points. “I had to settle down and take it slow and we picked up the intensity,” Alongi said. “The first half [Del Oro] was getting to the rim way to easy. We had to play better defense and stay in front of our man.” Del Oro junior Spencer Butterfield was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points. His consistent scoring kept the game close, but his team labored to hit shots. “We were struggling shooting from beyond the arc and usually we knock them down,” Butterfield said. Junior Nick Lewis and sophomore Aaron Hendricks, a pair that is usually big on the scoreboard for the Golden Eagles could not find significant points against an aggressive full court defense. “They made plays when they needed to,” said Del Oro coach Geoff Broyles. “[Woodcreek] did a much better job of getting to our shooters in the second half and caused us a few problems defensively.” The biggest problem defensively was 6-foot-11 junior Mike Kurtz. With a pair of blocks and eight rebounds he prevented chances for Del Oro to attack the hoop. Woodcreek’s Ryan Milat totaled 17 points pounding the ball into the paint area. Most points came from high percentage shots in close or from foul shooting as the Timberwolves hit 27-of-33 from the stripe. Woodcreek’s 33 team rebounds (10 offensive) were also big keys to the game. Heading into the fourth quarter Del Oro was only down five points, but momentum quickly shifted with a few turnovers and missed shots resulting in transition points for the Timberwolves. Nik Milani swiped three steals and grabbed five rebounds to go with his 12 points. The Golden Eagles were outscored in every quarter but the second, and they were outscored by 18 points in the last two quarters. Del Oro (0-1 in the SFL, 8-4 overall) gets back on the hardwood next with its home opener against Oakmont (0-2, 5-9) Tuesday. Woodcreek (1-1, 14-2) has the bye on Tuesday and then travels to Oakmont next Thursday.