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Kidwell swoops in to lead Eagles to win

Del Oro caps off regular season by cutting down net
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS – Before Friday’s regular season finale against visiting Granite Bay, Allan Kidwell feigned opening his jersey to reveal his Superman suit. The moment was funny at the time as Del Oro tried to remain loose but when it went to halftime down one the locker room may as well have been a phone booth. Kidwell exploded in the third quarter with seven straight points and two blocks to separate the Eagles from the Grizzlies en route to a 60-50 victory and spur an all-out celebration for their first Sierra Foothill League title since 2000. “It’s amazing, it’s what we’ve been working for all four years of high school,” said Kidwell, who scored a team-high 16 points. “This is the moment we’ve been thinking about and we finally made it happen.” Kidwell used his super strength one more time as he hoisted senior guard Sam Pontillo up to cut down one of the nets. Del Oro coach Geoff Broyles momentarily stopped them because the Eagles didn’t have any spare nets lying around, but ultimately relented amid a storm of toilet paper falling over the court courtesy of the student section. The Eagles and Kidwell, especially, deserved the celebration. Del Oro struggled to find any consistency on offense in the first half. It didn’t score a second quarter field goal until the 3 minute, 15 second mark and trailed 26-25 at the half. Kidwell hit a two-footer early in the third quarter and blocked two shots in the first 1:15. After a couple turnovers Kidwell stepped up his offensive production with a 5-0 run of his own including two put backs and a free throw. The first basket of the outburst gave the Eagles the lead and by the end of the run they led 32-28 and never looked back. “He got it going and was running the lanes incredibly hard and he was attacking the offensive glass,” Del Oro coach Geoff Broyles said. “He did a great job with his up and unders because they were really aggressive defensively and we knew if we could lift them he could probably get them in the air and step through them. He just did a great job in the third quarter and lifted us.” Senior guard Jordan Broyles added 14 points for the Eagles and senior forward Austin Soldano had nine. Granite Bay coach Jason Sitterud wasn’t in the mood to talk after the game but offered his congratulations to Geoff Broyles and the Eagles. Scott Romuk led the Grizzlies with 16 points and Jerry Hansen had 14 in the first half but was shutout of the second half. The Eagles actually wrapped up the SFL title Wednesday night in a 76-53 win over Roseville. They finished the season 9-1 in the SFL and 19-9 overall and await their seeding in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II tournament. The latest power ranking had the Eagles as a 10th seed, two spots out of hosting a home playoff game. “I think it’s important to go into the playoffs with some momentum,” Broyles said. “I don’t think you ever want to go into the playoffs having lost the previous game. We don’t know who were going to get, it can be one of a number of teams. We’ll find out Sunday afternoon and we’ll get to work and prepare and hopefully we’ll get a home game and have a great crowd.” ?