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Oakmont JV beats Chico at buzzer in tournament

By: Robbie Enos, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Oakmont guard Ryan Shields’ shot bounced off of the backboard and around the rim to fall through for the game winning shot against the Chico Panthers. The thrilling finish sealed a spot for Oakmont in the consolation game against Folsom in their home junior varsity tournament. Shields’ shot came after Chico guard Jesse Amaro made two free throws with 8.7 seconds left to put the Panthers ahead 55-54. Shields fired from beyond the arc to put the Panthers away 57-55. Chico got off to the better start leading 19-14 after the first quarter. Amaro scored seven to lead the way. Thomas Parker of Oakmont nabbed three boards and scored two points to keep Oakmont up to pace. Oakmont outscored the Panthers 14-9 in the second quarter to tie the game at half. Viking guard Hunter Ford scored eight points and had two rebounds in the quarter. Teammate Eric Courtryer also had two rebounds and scored a two-pointer. Ford came out strong on the defensive side of the ball in the third with two steals and two rebounds. Parker had two steals of his own to go with four points, but Chico out-rebounded Oakmont 7-3 to keep the score tied at 40 each. The standout players on both teams shined in the fourth. Ford scored seven more points and Parker scored five. Justin Hyde and Ford each nailed key 3-pointers that kept the Vikings in the game. Amaro scored five points. Ford totaled 17 points, grabbed six rebounds, and nabbed three steals on the night. Parker scored 13 points with three steals. Courtryer scored eight points and had five rebounds. Chico’s Amaro ended the game with 20 points. Oakmont Head Coach John Hunter thought the game was a great experience for the team. “Tonight we learned how to compete,” Hunter said. “How to compete from buzzer to buzzer. That’s what we’ve been struggling with. I’m proud of Ryan Shields coming off that bench to hit a big shot.” While the win was big for the Vikings, Hunter still feels the team can greatly improve. “There’s nothing we can stop improving on,” Hunter said. “We have to bring that same energy and effort every night in every aspect of our game. I think we play in the best league in the area. Del Oro, Woodcreek, and Rocklin are here representing this league, and we just want to play on a field with them in our last year in the SFL.” Oakmont will continue on to the consolation game against Folsom at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow. Chico will play Bella Vista for seventh place at 11 a.m.