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Woodcreek girls a quick study in passing, defense

By: John Parker/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Any team looking to match up with the Woodcreek High School girls basketball squad better tie their sneakers in double knots, tape their ankles tight and keep those heads on a swivel.

The Timberwolves, who are off to a 6-1 start this season, feature a deep, athletic backcourt filled with players just as skilled at passing the ball as scoring.

“We try to share the ball a little bit,” coach Raymond Beck said. “We have quite a few players who can shoot, so it’s just about getting the open look.”

Senior guards Fia Hoskinson and Samantha Gonzalez and junior Liz Gehweiler figure to give opponents fits on defense as well, utilizing their quickness to pick the opponents’ pocket. When they do get the ball in transition, each is equally adept at driving to the rim or pulling up from long distance. When those shots don’t fall, athletic senior posts Destiny Standifer and Christina Mandich will be called upon to get Woodcreek second looks.

“We’re really fast and small, so we try to work hard on defense to feed the offense,” said Hoskinson, the team’s returning scoring and assists leader.

The Timberwolves have qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs each of the last three years and made it to the CIF Northern California Regional quarterfinals two years ago, when Hoskinson and Standifer played as sophomores. Last season, Woodcreek posted a 17-11 overall record and was third in the Sierra Foothill League behind Del Oro and Rocklin with a 6-4 mark.

“In our league, we could finish anywhere from first to fourth,” Beck said. “Anyone can get you on any night in the SFL — that’s a fact. Realistically though, we’re going to go out and try to compete for a title.”

WOODCREEK GIRLS BASKETBALL

2010-11 records: 17-11 overall, 6-4 in the Sierra Foothill League (third place), lost to Florin 43-42 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
Upcoming games: Coming off a victory in the Dorothy Speck Memorial Tournament in Davis, the Timberwolves play Colfax at 5 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Lady Eagles Invitational at Del Oro.