Cold Woodcreek falls to Del Campo in Arnett final

Mathews, Milani named to all-tournament team
By: John Parker/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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AUBURN - The creak of sneakers on the hardwood of Placer High School's venerable Earl Crabbe Gym wasn't the dominant sound Friday night in the final of the 70th annual Kendall Arnett Tournament.

Unfortunately for Woodcreek, it was the unpleasant clank of a basketball drawing iron – and little else – as the Timberwolves dropped the championship game 58-34 to hot-shooting Del Campo.

In stark contrast to the previous two nights, in which the Cougars took big early leads, Del Campo led just 11-8 after one quarter. But Del Campo (12-2) blew open the game in the second and third periods, scoring 33 points to nearly match Woodcreek's total for the game.

“We didn't get that hot start we had the first two nights,” Del Campo coach Dave Nobis said. “So we just wanted to be patient, do our stuff and see when that run would come.”

The Cougars patiently dissected Woodcreek's 2-3 defense, smoothly working the ball around the perimeter and rarely taking shots with double digits on the shot clock. Del Campo shot 48 percent in the first half – and 42 percent for the game – compared with 28 percent for the Timberwolves (6-9).

“Our shot selection was fast early on, but it got better,” Woodcreek coach Paul Hayes said. “For whatever reason, we just weren't making them.”

Junior guard Tyler Milani (five points) and senior forward Michael Mathews (nine points) were named to the all-tournament team. Freshman guard Noah Blackwell led all players with 12 points as he continues to develop as a consistent scoring threat.

“At the beginning, I had to get used to this speed,” Blackwell said. “But thanks to my teammates, I have.”

This was Woodcreek's second tournament final this season; the Timberwolves dropped the other to crosstown rival Oakmont two weeks ago at the Rocklin Holiday Tournament. The Timberwolves have one more tuneup game, next Friday, Jan. 6, at home against Oakmont before beginning Sierra Foothill League play Jan. 12 at Granite Bay.