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Oakmont can't hit the big shot in loss to Casa Roble

By: John Parker/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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When playing the role of the tortoise, sometimes you get burned by the hare.

Slow and steady has won the race more often than not for the Oakmont High School boys basketball team this season, but not Tuesday night, as the Vikings fell to visiting Casa Roble 68-52 in a Capital Valley Conference game.

Oakmont (13-12 overall, 4-5 CVC), a team that relies on the jumper almost exclusively in the half court, couldn't get critical shots to fall despite open looks.
The Vikings were just 18 for 45 from the floor. Conversely, Casa Roble (14-11, 6-3) was accurate and efficient, shooting 26 for 42 from the field. Rams senior guard Nick Bruce led all players with 23 points.

“They played well (Tuesday night) except for two stretches,” Casa Roble coach Bel Lange said. “When they forgot about shot selection.”

Those two stretches coincided with Oakmont’s two biggest runs. The first came in the middle of the second quarter, when the Vikings went on a 9-0 run to close to within 27-22. They appeared poised to cut further into the deficit off another steal, but as Dominic Marrero steamed down court, a Casa Roble defender slipped in front of him, set his feet and took the charge. That ignited a 9-0 run for the Rams, who took a 36-22 lead into the locker room.

“We were lousy on defense,” Oakmont coach Rick Campbell said. “Way, way too many breakdowns.”

The second spurt was early in the fourth quarter, when Oakmont went on a 5-0 run to pull to 49-41, but the Vikings couldn't get the clutch shot to fall. Each time a three-pointer was launched – the Vikings were 3 for 14 from beyond the arc in the second half – the home crowd gasped in anticipation without the payoff of the twine splashing.

“It’s frustrating, but you just have to keep shooting in that situation,” said Hunter Ford, who had a team-high 20 for the Vikings.