Bulldogs in dire need of win

By: Matt Long
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Not so long ago, Folsom High’s varsity boys’ basketball team was feeling pretty good about themselves. Then February came. Since the calendar was flipped, the Bulldogs have only won once in four games and have fallen so far back that coach Mike Wall feels that Friday’s game at Sheldon could be a must-win situation for his team to make the playoffs. “We would have been hard pressed to have a home playoff game if we would have beaten Pleasant Grove, but now the loss has made Sheldon a must-win game just to make it,” Wall said Friday. The Bulldogs (5-4, 12-14) defeated the Huskies in the Dog House on Jan. 22, 73-63, and the Huskies (6-3, 21-5) have since lost star player Darius Nelson to an injury. However, the Huskies have won five straight games, including a 61-59 win over Jesuit on Feb. 10. “To win we’re going to have to finish our shots and defend with a consistent sense of urgency,” Wall said. The loss to Pleasant Grove on Friday came down to the play in the paint and that’s where the Eagles dominated. The Bulldogs gave up several baskets in transition and even more easy shots inside when Pleasant Grove ran its half-court sets. On offense, however, Folsom missed several uncontested layups and other close shots to the basket, which led to a 62-57 loss. Making matters worse, the loss puts the team’s playoff chances up in the air. “We gave up a lot of easy baskets because of our own errors,” Wall said. “We didn’t give up any of those kinds of baskets the first time we played them. That’s why we won so handily. On the other side, we missed so many uncontested layups. We couldn’t even put the ball in the hoop when there wasn’t a soul around us.” Folsom trailed most of the game, but led by five midway through the second quarter, 19-14. By the end of the half, however, Pleasant Grove held a 26-23 lead. Folsom’s last lead came very early in the third quarter, 27-26, and the last time the game was tied was at 30-30. Pleasant Grove outscored Folsom 13-6 the rest of the quarter to get some breathing room at 43-36 with eight minutes to play. The Eagles built a 12-point lead at 51-39 with six minutes to play in the game, but Folsom battled back to get within one, 58-57, with 45 seconds to play. After a basket by Pleasant Grove, Folsom had a chance to tie but Kori Babineaux’s 3-pointer was off the mark. Babineaux scored 15 of his team’s 21 points in the quarter. Pleasant Grove got the rebound and knocked down two free throws to finish the game. Babineaux scored 25 points to lead the way. Ben Olpin finished with 11 points, while Tyler Trosin scored 10. Making matters worse, the loss came about an upset 48-43 loss to Monterey Trail on Feb. 10. Folsom only scored 14 points in the first half and trailed by nine points after three quarters and despite a strong final eight minutes, the Bulldogs couldn’t complete the comeback. Babineaux scored 20 points in the loss, while Olpin added eight.