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Woodcreek opens defense of Division II title with victory over Los Banos

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Depending on how far Woodcreek High School can go in these Sac-Joaquin Section Division II boys basketball playoffs, the Timberwolves one day may look back to Wednesday night’s first-round game and thank Los Banos for going all in.

Los Banos, the 16th seed, could have taken the floor and played like, well, most other 16th seeds. But the Tigers (16-12) didn’t travel all the way from Los Banos to serve as pawns for the top-seeded Timberwolves.

Woodcreek led by 13 after one quarter, but its starters didn’t leave the game for good until the last two minutes of its 67-50 victory. Los Banos senior Jalen Bourbon kept Woodcreek’s top guns on the floor by scoring a game-high 27 points. Basket after basket by Bourbon prevented the Timberwolves (24-4) from turning the game into blowout status.

Woodcreek on Friday night will be host to the winner between Bethel and Wood. The semifinals are next week at ARCO Arena.

Devin Murphy ran the Timberwolves, as always, and kept them a step ahead of Los Banos. He had a double double with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, six on the offensive end. Murphy had three assists and two blocked shots and provided more ahh-factor points than the latest Fourth of July firework.

Murphy played the lead role in a sequence that gave the Timberwolves a 22-6 lead in the first period. First, he swatted a shot by Tramane Moore. Los Banos controlled the loose ball, but Murphy stole it and dribbled to the other end (that’s two ahh-factor points within seconds by Woodcreek’s “Black Mob” fan base). Derrick Kimball took the rock to the rack and dumped it back to a trailing Murphy, who made a touch pass to trailing 6-foot-7 center Sam Anderson for a layup (add another lengthy ahh-factor point).

Murphy scored on a steal and layup. He scored on a controlled tip, on another offensive rebound, and his three-pointer before the buzzer gave Woodcreek a 37-22 halftime lead.

Starters John Peska and Anderson scored 12 and 11 points, and reserve Quinn Morse scored eight. Sophomore Tyler Milani overcame a 1-for-10 shooting night by handing out four assists. Kimball also had four assists. Morse and Logan Fearman each converted three-point plays in the fourth quarter.

And a student dressed in a gorilla outfit with the number 76 across his chest made a half-court shot at halftime, drawing the biggest ahh factor of the night.

Woodcreek 67, Los Banos 50
Los Banos (50)

Arretche 1-3 1-1 3, Bourbon 9-21 8-10 27, Moore 1-3 0-0 2, Bennett 2-8 2-4 7, Hixson 1-2 0-0 2, Martin 0-2 0-0 0, Guilford 0-2 0-2 0, Garcia 1-1 0-0 2, Nunes 1-4 0-0 2, Quint 0-1 0-0 0, Zamorra 1-2 1-1 3, Staton 0-1 0-0 0, Fullington 0-0 0-0 0, Dunn 1-1 0-0 2, Jiminez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-51 12-18 50.
Woodcreek (67)
Geyer 3-7 0-2 7, Milani 1-10 1-2 4, Anderson 3-5 5-6 11, Murphy 6-13 4-4 17, Peska 5-14 0-0 12, Haakenson 0-0 0-0 0, Kimball 0-1 0-0 0, Morse 3-4 2-3 8, Fearman 2-4 1-2 5, Summers 0-2 1-2 1, Bass 0-0 2-2 2, Bishop 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 16-23 67.

Los Banos     9  13  11  17 – 50
Woodcreek  22  15  10  20 – 67


Three-point goals – Los Banos 2-17 (Bourbon 1-8, Bennett 1-4, Guilford 0-2, Arretche 0-1, Martin 0-1, Nunes 0-1), Woodcreek 5-21 (Peska 2-7, Murphy 1-3, Geyer 1-4, Milani 1-7). Total fouls – Los Banos 18, Woodcreek 18. Fouled out – Hixson. Technical fouls – Los Banos bench, 4:46 second. Rebounds – Los Banos 29 (Hixson 6), Woodcreek 32 (Murphy 12). Assists – Los Banos 2 (Moore, Arretche), Woodcreek 13 (Milani, Kimball 4). Turnovers – Los Banos 17, Woodcreek 15.