Vikings hit the road for second round contest

Oakmont in Larkspur Thursday night
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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It might be time to see the Oakmont High boys basketball team get everyone going on the same night. All season long, the Vikings have received sensational performances from a number of places, but it has been rare to see all of their talented players having big nights on the same night. After a relatively stress-free opening night win in the CIF State Basketball Championship tournament Tuesday against Montgomery of Santa Rosa, Oakmont hits the road Thursday night. The No. 6 seeded Vikings (23-7) hit the road to face No. 3 Redwood of Larkspur (29-2). The Giants are the last team standing from the North Coast Section after that section's other three teams were knocked out Tuesday night. By contrast, the Sac-Joaquin Section has all four of its NorCal representatives through to the second round. Tony Gill lit up the scoreboard Tuesday with 38 points, but it was a relatively quiet night for J.T. Adenrele and Oakmont sharpshooter Alex Ford. The Vikings may need all cylinders firing as they move ahead, but they have perhaps the most talented starting five around and are certainly capable. The matchup with Redwood will be an interesting one as it pits two teams who are more comfortable playing the game in the half-court. Since pressing teams have been the Vikings biggest problem, a battle of half-court teams seems to play to their strengths if they can execute the game plan. Redwood is another team without a significant size presence in the paint to challenge Oakmont's twin towers, but it does have a 6-foot-4, 215-pound force in Demarqus Wiggins that could prove a matchup problem for the Vikings. "We heard they have a swing man that can play a bit," said Oakmont coach Rick Campbell. "Outside of that, we don't know much. We do know they are very much like us - better in the half court, etc. Our game plan will be the same as always. Take care of the ball, get our bigs involved, and defend the way we have the last few games." If it can pull that off, Oakmont has a good chance to see at least one more game, against the winner of the Rocklin at St. Francis contest, on Saturday night. Thursday's game in Larkspur tips off at 7 p.m.