2016 SFL girls basketball preview - PLAYING FAVORITES: Oak Ridge picked to rule the SFL in 2016By: Mike Ray of the Auburn Journal
Top Sac-Joaquin Section girls basketball teams
Auburn Journal Rankings
1. St. Mary’s 13-0
2. Antelope 12-0
3. Oak Ridge* 13-1
4. St. Francis 9-2
5. McClatchy 6-3
6. Vanden 9-4
7. West Campus 8-5
8. Inderkum 9-5
9. Modesto Christian 6-5
10. Sacramento 5-5
11. Folsom* 9-4
12. Rio Linda 7-6
13. Pleasant Grove 8-4
14. Franklin 11-2
15. Lincoln (Stockton) 7-3
16. East Union 11-1
17. Colfax 11-4
18. Christian Brothers 9-4
19. Elk Grove 7-4
20. Ponderosa 8-5
*Sierra Foothill League team
If early results are any indication, everything points to Oak Ridge’s Trojans as the team to beat in this season’s Sierra Foothill League girls basketball race, which gets underway this week.
The Trojans, who return plenty of firepower from last season’s team that won the SFL with a perfect 12-0 mark, finished 27-5 overall and placed second behind McClatchy in the CIF Sac-Joaquin and CIF Northern California Division I tournaments, are off to a 13-1 start this season.
Among the Trojans’ preseason victories were four straight wins at the recent Southern California Holiday Classic in San Diego. Falling in Oak Ridge’s wake were Canyon Springs, Mira Costa, Eastlake and Great Oak of Temecula.
“(Oak Ridge) has a good combination of experience and youth,” Del Oro coach Mike Takayama said. “They’re definitely the team everyone will be chasing.”
Oak Ridge (13-1)
Playing perhaps the toughest preseason schedule of any team in the Sacramento area, the Steve White-coached Trojans have not disappointed. Led by 6-3 sophomore Kassidy DeLapp and 5-10 forward Hailey McCoy, the Trojans present huge match-up problems for opponents. Maria Dutton and Briana Dulgar are just a few of several other Oak Ridge players to watch.
The Bulldogs have a lot of youth in their lineup this season but that shouldn’t prevent them from making a run at the top of the SFL. Six-foot sophomore McKenzie Forbes led Folsom in scoring with a 15-point-per-game output in the preseason. She’s joined by freshman Hanna Beckman, junior Sydney Larocca and Tori Harris, a senior, in handling the offensive scoring load.
Del Oro (6-8)
The young Golden Eagles – they have three sophomores and a junior among their first eight players – went through some peaks and valleys in the preseason against fairly strong competition. If veteran coach Mike Takayama can start piecing together the right playing combinations, the Eagles could surprise the SFL field. Seniors Mickayla Balser and Ali Jabusch will be looked at to provide leadership. Scoring should come from junior Ty Maranan and sophomores Slyvia Sloss, Christina Huckaby and Riley Moore.
The Timberwolves had a successful preseason with wins over the likes of Newark Memorial, Del Campo, Grant and Del Oro. Woodcreek has received strong guard play from 5-9 junior Kourtney Milani and 5-5 sophomore Jenn Palmer. The Timberwolves’ top post player is 5-10 junior Hannah Austefjord.
Thunder coach Rob Ferraro upgraded his non-league schedule this season and the Thunder responded by playing very competitively. Leading the way for Rocklin this season will be senior guard Jordan Purvis. A four-year varsity starter, Purvis, a Rocklin team captain, is averaging 15 points a game for the Thunder. Other players to watch include sophomore guard Sydney O’Rourke and senior Caitlin Payne.
Granite Bay (8-7)
Daeja Black, a senior guard who, in her first three varsity seasons, has averaged 16 points a game for the Grizzlies, returns to lead the way again for Granite Bay. However, this season, Black, who is scoring at 14 points a game, has help. Playing well early on for the Grizzlies are sophomore Adrienne Russell (16.8 ppg) and Caroline Brown, another guard.
Nevada Union (8-7)
Senior Ella Walton is a fine outside shooter for the Miners, who went 8-7 in the preseason. Other top players for NU include 5-11 freshman Meadow Aragon, a post player. Audrey Jacus and Alexa Crabb also get key minutes for the Miners. Shawna Latter, a six-foot junior, is also strong underneath for the Miners.