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Scrimmages lay foundation for regular season

Basketball starts next week with Foundation Games, tournaments
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Two teams are running up and down the court in full game mode, battling for rebounds, chasing loose balls, communicating, setting picks, hoisting shots and playing physical defense.

Coaches watch, observe and instruct from the sidelines, in school-colored sweats instead of suits, while three pairs of officials take turns under the watchful eye of a supervisor.

It’s Tuesday morning at Woodcreek High School. The parking lot and classrooms are empty with the student body on Thanksgiving vacation. There is no Black Mob or other screaming fans to stuff the gym with humanity and humidity — only 20 or so moms, dads and kids watching quietly as the morning sun beams through the ceiling.

It isn’t quite basketball season, but it is.

Area boys and girls teams are running scrimmages in preparation for the official start of the season Monday, when everyone plays a Foundation Game.

“Teams are still trying to figure out who’s going to step into some minutes. Teams are finding out their rotations,” Woodcreek coach Raymond Beck said following the Timberwolves’ lengthy controlled scrimmage against Whitney. “We’re trying to figure out who’s going to earn a couple of those starting spots. I want to see what some of those juniors will do when I put them in in a role that’s different than maybe what they had as JV. Can they defend well? Can they play on the post? Whatever that scenario is.”

Beck said recent controlled scrimmages against area powers Oak Ridge and Sacramento included full- and half-court man, zone, trapping and inbounds sequences, five minutes on offense, five minutes on defense.

Against Whitney, the teams went full bore and later took turns in various situations: leading by two with 37 seconds left, down by one with five seconds left.

“You know, just to try to work situations and spawn some things,” Beck said. “It does you no good to go and get like five games in, just running up and down the court the whole time. I try to schedule scrimmages where we can do things to get better.”

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.

Foundation Games
Monday
Girls (at 6 p.m.):
Valley Christian at Highlands, Oakmont at Center, Placer at Roseville, Granite Bay at Kennedy, Woodcreek at Casa Roble.

Boys (at 8 p.m.): Valley Christian at Highlands, Oakmont at Center, Placer at Roseville, Granite Bay at Kennedy, Woodcreek at Casa Roble.