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Bulldogs show they're for real, defeat Sheldon 74-65

By: Matt Long
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A few more upset wins and Folsom High’s varsity boys’ basketball team’s victories won’t be considered upsets. The Bulldogs are clearly on a roll now, as they improved to 3-0 in the Delta River League and 10-10 overall with a 74-65 win over Sheldon (1-2, 16-4) on Friday. After a Kori Babineaux 32-foot 3-pointer lifted the Bulldogs to a 52-49 win over Florin in the league opener on Jan. 13, all the Bulldogs have done is upset Pleasant Grove, 69-58, taken highly-regarded Sac High to the final seconds before losing, 71-70 and now upset one of the toughest teams in the section in the Huskies. Babineaux scored a game-high 28 points, but this was clearly a team victory in every sense of the word. With 4:06 to play in the game, Folsom trailed 55-54, but outscored Sheldon 20-10 the rest of the way, starting with a steal and layup by Gurminder Dosanjh that put the Bulldogs in front to stay with 3:47 to play. Tyler Trosin later made his first of two impressive baseline drives for a basket to put Folsom up by three. On Sheldon’s next possession, both Trosin and Rich Olpin hit the floor on a Darius Nelson drive and drew the charge giving the ball back to the Bulldogs. Ben Olpin knocked down a pair of free throws before Trosin drew another charge on Nelson. Sheldon coach Joey Rollings was whistled for a technical foul and Ben Olpin calmly swished two key free throws and Folsom’s lead was 62-55 with 2:40 to play. Trosin followed with his second baseline drive and converted a reverse layup with a little spin on the ball to give Folsom a 64-55 lead with 1:45 to play. Dosanjh, who played solid defense all night, made another steal and got the ball to Rich Olpin, who found Babineaux for a fastbreak layup to put the icing of a Folsom victory on the cake. From there the Bulldogs made 8-of-10 free throws in the game’s final minute to secure the victory. “It was a great team effort,” Ben Olpin said. “We weren’t intimidated by their high ranking and just played hard. We were ready. Playing so well against Sac High definitely helped us too. It was a huge confidence boost and so is this win.” Babineaux echoed Olpin’s thoughts. “We played as a team and hit some big shots,” Babineaux said. “We’re beginning to trust in each other and believe in each other way more than we did before. The Sac High game gave us confidence, knowing that we can play a high-caliber team.” Coach Mike Wall was thrilled with his team’s performance. “It was team basketball,” Wall said. “Kori played a great game. I liked Ben’s aggressiveness to the rim and Rich was just very solid. It was fun. “Our game plan was to not let Darius (Nelson) get loose on the perimeter and just cover the court using everyone. I wasn’t shocked at the outcome. These guys were confident coming in.” Following Babineaux’s 28 points, Trosin scored 12 points, Rich Olpin added 11 and Ben Olpin finished with 10. Nelson, who came into the game averaging 16 points, was held to 10.