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Bulldogs pick up first league win

By: Brett Ransford Telegraph Correspondent
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Folsom High’s varsity boys’ basketball team felt the joy of victory last Wednesday for the first time since Jan. 6. In the ultra-competitive Delta River League where Sheldon, Jesuit and Pleasant Grove are arguably the top three teams in the Sacramento area, wins are hard to come by. Folsom knew it had a good chance to pick up a win over Ponderosa (0-5 in league, 8-13 overall), but the Bulldogs still had to go out and get it down and they did, winning 68-57. Folsom led from start to finish, holding a 20-plus point lead for much of the second and third quarters. Ponderosa cut into that lead late to make the game seem closer than it really was, but never got closer than 10 points after Folsom reached a double-digit lead in the second quarter. Justin Woody scored a team-high 19 points. Combined with Anthony Lee, who scored 13 points and made five-of-eight free throws in the fourth quarter, the two guards closed out a much-needed first league win. “We need to keep up our intensity,” said Woody. “We can’t let up even a little against these top teams in our league. Even though we lost three of those four games, our chemistry is at a high level and we’re going to take it to them.” All eight Folsom players scored at least four points, as Drew Whitney and Patrick Chen each had eight points. Edwin Olympio scored all seven of his points from the free throw line and was critical in most of Folsom’s steals. “It feels like we’re fighting as hard as we can to stay alive and to get into the playoffs,” said Folsom coach Mike Wall. “We said this was like our first playoff game. We’ll work on dealing with pressure up the line and to be patient and comfortable.” Last Friday the Bulldogs lost to Jesuit, 67-44. The lone bright spot for the Bulldogs was Olympio. The junior forward scored Folsom’s first 13 points and didn’t miss a shot attempt until the fourth quarter (9-for-10), where one of his three steals led to a foul-drawing dunk on a Jesuit defender on the other end, giving Folsom fans something to cheer about late in the game. “This was my best game and I hope I can keep playing that way,” said Olympio, who finished with game-highs of 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. “I just tried to do my job.” “Edwin was one of the best players in the gym tonight,” Wall said. “He was phenomenal. He continues to make improvements and he was the only one that didn’t seem to have this aura about Jesuit tonight.” Folsom continues their rough stretch of games against Sheldon on Wednesday and at Oak Ridge on Friday. Wall said, “We’ve got to somehow find a way to get over that mental barrier of who we play because we play the top three teams. We have to leave that mentality behind.” Nick Pecoraro contributed to this story.