Rocklin readies for Holiday tourney

Young Thunder seeking experience
By: Andrew Hazard Placer Herald Sports Correspondent
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Oakmont High tripped up Rocklin’s bid to win its Holiday Tournament last year taking the semifinal game 74-52. Thunder boys basketball head coach Mike Lorente then had 10 seniors on his team; this year, he has four. However, that doesn’t have the second-year coach conceding anything. He likes the intensity of his 2011-2012 squad and feels they will be full of surprises this season. “We’re coming together as a team,” Lorente said in a pre-tournament interview. “I’m expecting great things, shortly. This is a great group of young men.” Rocklin will open against Inderkum. The Thunder lost to the Tigers, 79-62, Dec. 9, so it won’t be and easy road getting to the Holiday championship game. Inderkum is 3-2, with two losses to Del Campo. Should Rocklin win, they will either face tournament nemesis Oakmont (2-5), or Ponderosa (2-4). The Vikings were thumped by Whitney, 78-41, Dec. 9, a team the Thunder lost to by just one point. Whitney defeated the Bruins by 12. Oakmont will have to stop the Bruins’ in the paint. Junior power forward Curtis Opsahl leads Ponderosa with an average of 13.2 points per game and he has pulled down 41 rebounds, 10 on offense. Folsom enters the tournament at 3-3, with a 10-man roster. Rocklin has already faced the Bulldogs and took a 54-49 bite in that first meeting. Fairfield could be the sleeper coming in at 3-2. The Falcons have scored 72 in a win over Logan. They bring 14 players into Rocklin, seven of them seniors. Woodcreek stood at 2-6 when this week began. Folsom topped the Timberwolves 67-47, Dec. 10. Woodcreek has wins over Vista del Lago, and Laguna Creek. The T’wolves opening opponent is Ceres. At 0-5, the Bulldogs have been struggling in the preseason. Their scoring average has been below 40, and they lost to Laguna Creek by 17, Dec. 9. The luck of the draw may be Rocklin’s biggest Achilles’ heel. Having to go up against Inderkum in round one could be their toughest game. However, should they topple the Tigers it could open the door to a championship. And that could be just what Lorente was talking about in describing the progress of his team. Jim Linsdau, Placer Herald Sports Editor, contributed to this story Rocklin High School boys basketball Thunder Holiday Tournament Dec. 15-17 OPENING ROUND 3:30 p.m. – Oakmont vs. Ponderosa 5 p.m. – Woodcreek vs. Ceres 6:30 p.m. – Rocklin vs. Inderkum 8 p.m. – Folsom vs. Fairfield