Woodcreek comes back in second half to beat Del Oro

Kimball's energy on offense, defense fuels Timberwolves
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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LOOMIS – Derrick Kimball’s statistics in Woodcreek High School’s 57-48 Sierra Foothill League basketball victory at Del Oro on Tuesday night don’t stand out: Two points on 1-of-2 shooting, three rebounds, two assists.

But Kimball’s performance mattered. He was everywhere – crashing the boards, making crisp passes, saving bad ones, disrupting Del Oro’s offensive flow. And this wasn’t the first time, according to Timberwolves coach Paul Hayes.

“Interestingly enough, two years ago, when I had this group of sophomores, Derrick was the difference in a game,” Hayes said. “He came out defensively and just got after it, caused several turnovers, decided the game, just as he did here. He did a lot of stuff that doesn’t result in stats, but he just is all over. He wasn’t giving them an inch. That energy really proved the difference.”

The Golden Eagles (14-5, 1-1 SFL) gave Woodcreek (16-3, 2-0) fits in the first half with their size – namely, 6-foot-9 senior Luke Cochran and 6-8 senior Kyle Russell. Cochran began blocking shots, and the Timberwolves became aware of his presence when they ventured into the paint. Del Oro continually fed the ball inside to Russell, who led the Golden Eagles with 16 points.

Woodcreek went to the locker room trailing 24-19 on 8-of-28 shooting, having been outrebounded 15-10.

The Timberwolves came back to score the last nine points of the third quarter to take a 35-30 lead and then opened a gap in the fourth. Del Oro committed eight of its 21 turnovers in the third period. Kimball’s fingerprints were all over the surge.

He assisted on Devin Murphy’s bucket that gave Woodcreek a 40-31 lead with 6:01 left. Kimball later made a steal and raced in for a layup attempt that missed, but a pursuing Murphy made a controlled tip-in for a 44-33 edge. Kimball then scored on a put-back to make it 46-35. His defense helped hound the Golden Eagles into two air balls on near shot-clock violations.

“He’s one of our best defensive players,” Hayes said of Kimball. “He’s very athletic. He brings a lot of energy and can get after it.”

Woodcreek rebounded with 15-of-31 shooting in the second half. Jamie Geyer scored seven of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, including two steals and layups. Murphy made four shots in a row in the final period and finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Tyler Milani scored 12 points and John Peska 11.

Hayes said the Timberwolves were “out of sync” against Del Oro’s 1-3-1 zone in the first half. It was the same defense Oakmont used to beat Woodcreek 61-57 on Jan. 7.

“We were ready for it, but we just didn’t run it very efficiently,” Hayes said. “We were just hovering around the outside; the same problem we had at Oakmont. In the second half, we got to the middle more, and we also started penetrating the seams, so that drew the defense in and allowed us to kick out for some threes and created some space. I told the guys, I said, ‘Look, if we hit the shots we’re supposed to hit, we got 16, 18 more points.”

Woodcreek 57, Del Oro 48
Woodcreek (57)

Geyer 3-12 5-6 12, Peska 5-10 0-0 11, Anderson 0-3 0-0 0, Milani 4-9 2-2 12, Murphy 8-15 0-1 16, Summers 1-3 0-0 2, Kimball 1-2 0-0 2, Morse 0-3 0-2 0, Mathews 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 23-59 7-11 57.
Del Oro (48)
Broyles 4-9 1-2 10, Soldano 2-5 4-5 8, Cochran 0-1 0-0 0, Shelby 0-4 2-2 2, Kidwell 1-2 2-4 4, Bergthold 1-4 0-0 3, Ainsworth 1-1 0-0 3, Hime 0-1 2-2 2, Russell 5-10 6-6 16, Parache 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-38 17-21 48.

Woodcreek   11  8 16 22 – 57
Del Oro          6 18   6 18 – 48

Three-point goals – Woodcreek 4-13 (Milani 2-3, Geyer 1-5, Peska 1-4, Murphy 0-1), Del Oro 3-12 (Broyles 1-3, Bergthold 1-3, Ainsworth 1-1, Soldano 0-1, Shelby 0-1, Hime 0-1, Russell 0-1, Parache 0-1). Total fouls – Woodcreek 16, Del Oro 17. Fouled out – Anderson, Broyles, Ainsworth. Rebounds – Woodcreek 22 (Murphy 8), Del Oro 29 (Broyles 8). Assists – Woodcreek 11 (Murphy 4), Del Oro 6 (Shelby 3). Turnovers – Woodcreek 10, Del Oro 21.