Oakmont converts at the line, wins on the road

By: Brett Ransford/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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RIO LINDA — Winning on the road isn’t easy, but Oakmont High School’s boys basketball team left Rio Linda with a 50-43 victory Friday night in its first of back-to-back away games to start Capital Valley Conference play.

The Vikings (11-8, 1-0 CVC) were outscored by the Knights (10-9, 0-1) in the second and third quarters, but shining performances lifted the visitors in the fourth quarter.

Leading 29-28 going into the final period, Oakmont reduced its turnovers and hit 5 of 9 shots from the field.

Oakmont jumped ahead in the first quarter by hitting 3 of 6 three-point attempts, but the Vikings didn’t rely as heavily on long-range shooting in the tense fourth quarter. Rio Linda committed careless fouls and sent Oakmont to the free throw line, where the Vikings made 11 of 12 in the period, including 7 of 8 after going into the penalty with 4:41 to play.

Oakmont finished 15 of 16 from the line.

The Vikings committed 21 turnovers but only four in the fourth quarter. In the process, Oakmont’s help defense shut down 6-foot-5, 260-pound Rio Linda big man Langston Howard, who scored a game-high 18 points. Enrique Guzman, Rio Linda’s second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game, fouled out in the fourth.

Dominic Marrero led Oakmont with 16 points, and Hunter Ford scored 14. Each made two three-pointers.

Oakmont coach Rick Campbell said the road win to begin league was nothing short of huge.

“Any road win is a good win, but there were way too many unforced turnovers,” Campbell said. “If you were to tell me we’d turn the ball over 20 times on the road and win, I would have said, ‘No way.’ It was ugly, but we found a way to win.”

Oakmont plays at Christian Brothers (6-11) tonight and plays host to Bella Vista (15-3) on Friday.