Woodcreek drops OT game to Natomas as usual starters look on

By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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The Woodcreek High School boys basketball team entered the gym at Saturday’s Common Good Classic with no intention of playing its usual cast of characters, at least not the starters. With center Mike Kurtz not even in the building (home with the flu), and guards Nick Alongi and Ryan Milat and forward Nik Milani, who was also suffering with the flu, joining injured forward Jordan Franks on the bench in street clothes, the Timberwolves turned to their depth and dropped an 86-84 overtime decision to Natomas. “We have 14 guys on our roster now and the guys on the bench have been troopers all year long,” Woodcreek coach Burnel Pinkerton said. “Saturday was their day to shine and I was very proud and pleased with their effort. I just wish they had won the game but still, it was a great experience for them, and it will only help us in the long run.” Senior guard G Toor led the Woodcreek reserves on an impressive offensive outburst in the second quarter, when the Timberwolves scored 32 points. Toor drained a pair of treys, but Woodcreek was most impressive from the free throw line, hitting 15-of-17 from the stripe in the eight-minute stanza. The second-period explosion took Woodcreek from a 25-15 first-quarter deficit to a 47-41 lead at intermission. The Nighthawks responded with a solid third period, led by guard Isiah Robinson, who scored 12 in the quarter to lead Natomas to a 24-19 advantage that narrowed the score to a three-point Woodcreek lead heading into the final quarter. Scoring was at a premium in the final eight minutes of regulation when both teams were a bit tight as the game went to the wire. More heroics from Robinson allowed Natomas to outscore Woodcreek 13-10 in the period, tying the contest at 78-78 and forcing overtime. The Nighthawks used an early 3-pointer by Julian Jones to get the early jump in the extra session, and managed to survive a Woodcreek miss at the final horn to win by two. Tevin Tyus was strong in the first and third periods for the Timberwolves, and scored 12 points while leading the squad with nine rebounds. Toor led the way for Woodcreek with 20 points, and Nik Stathopoulos scored a dozen points, with junior guard Ryan Sondhi netting most of his 11 at the charity stripe. Next up for Woodcreek (2-1 in the SFL, 15-3 overall) is a Tuesday night date at Roseville (0-4, 10-9) as the Timberwolves return to the chase for the Sierra Foothill League title.