Oakmont opens second half with basketball win over Rio Linda
It’s the time of the high school basketball season that separates the contenders from the also-rans. With the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs looming, it’s the time for plays to be made.
The Oakmont boys responded Thursday night, as the second half of Capital Valley Conference play opened with a 56-51 win over visiting Rio Linda. Though they led wire to wire, the Vikings (12-10 overall, 3-3 CVC) survived several second-half flurries from the Knights (9-13, 0-6).
Up 54-49 with 40 seconds to play, Oakmont’s Dominic Marrero made a high-risk, high-reward play, stabbing the ball away from Rio Linda senior guard Enrique Guzman, beating him to the ball and laying it in for the Vikings’ final points.
“I was just reading his hips, sitting back,” Marrero said. “I knew he would hesitate on his dribble; I read it, stuck my hand out and got it.”
As aggressively as Marrero went for the ball, had he missed, it would have put the Knights on a five-on-four power play, as Marrero would have been caught deep in the backcourt. Oakmont was riding a 12-6 run at the time.
Oakmont led 29-19 at halftime on 53 percent shooting (9 for 17 from the field) while Rio Linda struggled, making just 7 of 29 attempts (24 percent). When the Knights weren’t taking wild shots early in the possession, they found themselves flummoxed by Oakmont’s 2-3 zone.
That changed in the second half, as Guzman and fellow guard Paul Rubio began running a two-man game up top, handing off, penetrating the lane and getting to the rim. Oakmont played without starting guard Caspian Hamric, a key defender, who missed the game due to illness.
“That makes us a little different,” Vikings coach Rick Campbell said.
Mitchell Padilla's three-pointer on the Vikings’ first possession of the second half gave them a 32-19 lead. A three-minute scoring drought enabled Rio Linda to close the gap to five, but the Knights would get no closer.
Marrero led all players with 20 points while Hunter Ford had 14, including 11 in the first half. Guzman led the Knights, who only had four players score, with 18.
The win was key for the Vikings in CVC play and for their postseason chances.
Oakmont was No. 15 in Division III in the section’s initial power ratings, the formula used to determine playoff seeding. The section places 16 teams in each bracket. With league record a key factor and only those contests remaining, each one is crucial. Not that the Vikings are scoreboard watching, though.
“We just gotta focus on what we’re doing; can’t worry about anyone else,” Ford said.
Valley Christian 107, Wilton Christian 68 — The Lions (14-6, 7-0 SMAL) hit 17 three-pointers on the way to their 11th consecutive victory and a season-high point total, bettering 105 points against West Campus on Dec. 19. Valley Christian led 38-28 after one quarter, 66-39 at halftime and 94-52 after three.
Josh Flanagan made 10 three-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points. Jason Gish scored 19 points, Jake Sween 17 and Kris Kobzeff 13.
Woodcreek 47, Roseville 38 — Fia Hoskinson scored nine points and Samantha Gonzalez eight for the Timberwolves (15-8, 3-3 SFL), who pulled away in the fourth quarter. Lollie Fitzpatrick and Amanda Susbilla scored nine each for the host Tigers (4-18, 1-5).
Nevada Union 56, Granite Bay 32 — Katrina Reeves led the Grizzlies (5-17, 0-6 SFL) with 12 points, and Jen Manduca scored seven. Kamieko Kayoshi grabbed eight rebounds and Gia France five.
Nicole Lierly and Sydney Porter each scored 17 points for the league-leading Miners (12-10, 6-0), and Lauren Mickel had 16 rebounds and 12 points.
Valley Christian 61, Lodi-Elliot Christian 37 — The Lions (16-6) used a 40-point second half to pull away from a 21-19 halftime lead. Elijah Winters made three of Valley Christian’s eight three-pointers and scored 15 points to lead the team for the second game in a row. Zach Sween scored 13 points.