Big second half leads Bulldogs to win over Mustangs, 52-26

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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After a poor performance in San Diego at the MaxPreps tournament, Folsom High’s varsity boys’ basketball team has turned their game around. Folsom followed up Tuesday’s win over Granite Bay with another victory on the road at Monterey Trail on Friday, 52-26, to improve to 9-7 on the season. Aside from a sluggish first quarter when they trailed 7-6, the Bulldogs picked it up offensively in the second, outscoring the Mustangs by five and took a 16-12 lead into halftime. The second half, however, was all Folsom, as they held Monterey Trail to 16 points, while scoring 36 points of their own. “Anytime you only score 16 in the first half and you’re still ahead, you’re playing great defense,” an upbeat Folsom coach Mike Wall said after the game. “Their zone gave us problems trying to get into rhythm, as we weren’t assertive with the ball and were over-thinking things. Then in the second half we started hitting shots, moving the ball better and getting some offensive rebounds, all the while continuing to play good defense.” Folsom slowly pulled away in the third quarter, as Tyler Hatten started the surge with a bucket followed by a three-pointer by Drew Whitney, one of nine Folsom hit on the night. Anthony Lee scored a bucket and Patrick Chen dropped a free throw putting Folsom up 24-16 midway through the quarter. In the final 90 seconds is when the Bulldogs put the game away. Zach Wolking hit back-to-back threes, followed by another long-range bomb from Justin Woody that gave Folsom a 33-18 lead after three quarters. “Zach showed what he can do for us tonight,” Woody said. Wolking hit four three-pointers in the game and finished with a team-high 12 points. In the fourth Woody and Edwin Olympio shined brightest for the Bulldogs, as they both scored eight points. Woody hit two threes, while Olympio scored two baskets in transition, another off an offensive rebound and added two free throws in arguably his best game of the season. He also grabbed a few rebounds and blocked a couple shots, as did Hatten. “Edwin is definitely making strides in practice and is becoming more comfortable in games,” Wall said. “He just needs to relax and play.” Woody added, “I told him after the game that we need him to play like that every game. He can do everything; he just needs to have the mindset to do it.” All but one player scored for the Bulldogs with Wolking leading the way with 12 points. Woody finished with 11, while Olympio scored eight and Lee and Hatten finished with six. “We played well tonight and everyone contributed,” Woody said. “When we play like that and everyone contributes, we’re going to win games.” Wall was also pleased. “Tonight was way better than San Diego and we’ve played two solid games in a row,” he said. Folsom’s final non-league game is at home Saturday against Del Oro.