Roseville's starters, bench team up to top Woodcreek in SFL clash

Tigers reserves Crouch, White, Lira combine for 24 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Moeller Gym at Roseville High School was packed Tuesday night for the second of what promises to be several rocking Sierra Foothill League boys basketball games.

In the stands, it was the orange-clad Moeller Maniacs against Woodcreek’s Black Mob. During timeouts, it was a front-flip, back-flip contest between the cheerleading squads.

And on the court, it was the host Tigers against the Timberwolves, and the Tigers received a stellar performance nine players deep in their 76-63 victory.

Roseville (16-3 overall, 1-1 SFL) had five players with 10 points, one with nine and two with seven. The Tigers also received a huge contribution from their bench to shrug off a 72-50 loss to Granite Bay last week in their league opener.

The Timberwolves (9-10, 0-2) weren’t as fortunate. Coming off a 75-68 home loss to Nevada Union in their SFL opener, Woodcreek shot 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range. After pulling into a 44-44 tie on sophomore Noah Blackwell’s three-pointer in the third quarter, the Timberwolves were outscored 32-19 the rest of the way.

“I just don’t think we competed as hard as we need to,” Woodcreek coach Paul Hayes said. “You have to compete with a fervor (in the SFL) that doesn’t happen in the preseason.”

Roseville brought that energy from the opening tip. The Tigers trailed 3-0 on a three-pointer by Woodcreek senior Tyler Milani, who scored a game-high 17 points, but never trailed again after Matt Tawlks gave Roseville a 4-3 lead. The Timberwolves threatened, but the Tigers always had an answer.

“We didn’t come out and compete that first night (against Granite Bay), but we bounced back,” Tigers coach Greg Granucci said. “You have to battle through everything (in the SFL).”

Because Roseville loves to push the ball hard — and the Tigers do — and look for points in transition, its players need rest. The bench came through against Woodcreek.

Roseville’s starting five combined for 16 points in the first half, but the Tigers led 31-28 at halftime thanks to reserves Bryce Crouch, Will White and Gabe Lira, who combined for 15 of their 24 points in the second quarter. White, a junior, also had six rebounds and three assists.

“Will works on his game quite a bit. I gotta give him some credit,” Granucci said. “We ride him about his defensive rebounding, and something clicked with him (Tuesday night).”

Lira turned a steal into a three-point play when he was fouled on a layup. That gave the Tigers a 49-44 lead late in the third period.

White’s eight points in the second quarter included a pull-up jumper in transition and a baseline fadeaway. He also fed Roman Tyukayev for a bucket that gave the Tigers a 53-44 lead in the fourth quarter.

Jacobs put an exclamation point on Roseville’s 25-point fourth period by dribbling around a screen and throwing down a slam that blew the lid off the Moeller Maniacs.

The SFL madness continues Thursday with Roseville playing host to Del Oro and Woodcreek playing at Rocklin.




Woodcreek (63)

Milani 6-21 2-2 17, Howe 5-13 2-2 13, Morse 4-7 3-6 11, Blackwell 5-14 3-5 14, Leyva 2-7 0-1 5, Vaterlaus 1-3 0-0 3, Auwae 0-0 0-0 0, Dexter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-65 10-16 63.

Roseville (76)

Tawlks 2-6 6-6 10, Rios 3-7 3-4 9, Tyukayev 4-9 2-2 10, Garcia 3-6 2-2 10, Jacobs 3-8 3-7 10, Bortmas 1-1 0-0 2, Crouch 2-5 3-4 7, White 5-8 0-0 10, Lira 3-5 1-3 7. Totals 26-55 20-28 76.


Woodcreek   14   14   16   19 — 63

Roseville        14   17   20   25 — 76


Three-point goals — Woodcreek 7-25 (Milani 3-11, Blackwell 1-7, Howe 1-3, Leyva 1-2, Vaterlaus 1-2), Roseville 3-12 (Garcia 2-3, Jacobs 1-1, Tawlks 0-3, Rios 0-3, Tyukayev 0-1, Crouch 0-1). Total fouls — Woodcreek 19, Roseville 11. Fouled out — Leyva. Technicals — Roseville 2 (delay of game). Rebounds — Woodcreek 26 (Howe, Morse 7), Roseville 36 (Tyukayev 12). Assists — Woodcreek 11 (Blackwell 6), Roseville 11 (Jacobs, White 3). Turnovers — Woodcreek 9, Roseville 11.

JV score —Woodcreek 70-57