Bulldogs play big, hold on to beat Pleasant Grove

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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After finishing the preseason with a respectable 8-6 record, the Folsom High boys’ basketball team got off to a 1-0 start in the Delta River League with a 47-45 victory over Pleasant Grove on Wednesday night at Folsom High. Coach Frank Horwath knew that his Bulldog team would have a tough task beginning the regular season with the Eagles, who are one of four Delta River League teams ranked in the area’s top-ten. The Bulldogs would need all 32 minutes worth of effort to topple the Eagles (0-1, 11-5). Pleasant Grove trimmed the Bulldog lead to just one point by the end of the third after Cody Demps, who led the Eagles with 16 points, inbounded the ball under his own basket and got the pass right back to lay it in, closing out the quarter. The first possession of the fourth quarter saw guard Michael Cubit drive down the lane for a bucket and a foul to give the Eagles their first lead of the game. Folsom guard Justin Woody knotted things back up on the next play on his own drive to the hoop. Folsom held a one-point lead with 25 seconds to go. Pleasant Grove was able to get a good shot off in the paint, but it didn’t fall as Josh Fisher secured the rebound with seven seconds left. Fisher hit one of two from the line to put Folsom up by two. The Eagles’ ensuing shot went long, giving the Bulldogs the win. “We need to protect our home court. It’s one down and there’s probably going to be nine more games just like this one. There are going to be no easy games in this league,” said Horwath. “To come back and win a close game just gives these kids the belief that if we stick with our principles and fundamentals and execute, then we can beat anybody.” Folsom played a strong first half by jumping out to an 11-8 first quarter lead before doubling that margin by halftime. Back-to-back layups from Rich Olpin and Mark Meyer (at the buzzer) gave the Bulldogs a 27-18 lead heading into the break. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the much bigger Eagle squad, 32-23. Pleasant Grove’s Arik Armstead (6’8, 285 pounds) led the Eagles with six boards while Folsom was led by 5’11, 185-pound Tanner Trosin with eight. “We work on rebounding 24/7 in practice,” said Woody, who led all scorers with 18 points. “Our rebounding has been atrocious lately, but we’re getting better and that is what’s going to win us games. Being able to go 1-0 (in league), we’re ready to bring it to another level.” The game was delayed almost 20 minutes in the fourth quarter when Folsom center Bryson Bryant fell hard on his tailbone after going up for a rebound on a fastbreak. Bryant remained still as the Folsom Fire Department came to wheel him out on a gurney. Horwath said that it is uncertain whether Bryant will make a return to the team, although he is expected to be OK. Folsom has another tough test at home on Friday night against an Oak Ridge team that went 15-0 in the preseason and defeated Jesuit Wednesday in overtime, 82-66.