Folsom earns big win over Bruins, Jesuit is next challenge

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Friday’s game at Jesuit is the biggest game of the season to date for Folsom High’s varsity boys’ basketball team.

The Bulldogs and Marauders have identical records – both teams are 1-3 in the Delta River League and 10-11 overall – and whichever team wins the game will have a much better chance of making the playoffs.

With a bye on Wednesday, Friday’s game is the only contest of the week for either team, as the teams have an extra day of practice to prepare.

“The kids are excited about the week and Friday’s game is huge,” Folsom coach Mike Wall said. “If we win, we’ve got a realistic chance to make the playoffs. We’ll be working on our offensive execution this week, as it still has to get a lot better. Once it does, we’re going to make huge strides.”

For the first time in nearly two weeks, Folsom picked up a win Friday, defeating Ponderosa, 53-44, for their first win in the Delta River League.

The Bulldogs desperately needed a win and got one in front of a large and spirited crowd, which was a welcomed sight and no doubt aided the Bulldogs.

“The crowd was awesome,” Wall said. “The student section was two-thirds full and the enthusiasm was way up. It’s one of the better crowds we’ve had in a few years. It was a fun, exciting environment and the kids played off that.”

On top of the large and enthusiastic crowd, it helped that the Bulldogs played well and won.

“We had a pretty good overall team effort and played good pressure defense,” Wall said. “We finally started scoring and were able to get out in transition more. With how we played and the crowd, that’s what a high school basketball game is all about. The kids played hard. It was fun.”

Jordan Ford played well offensively, as he led the team with 15 points, while Edwin Olympio added 13. Defensively, Wall said Lukas Hendricks did a good job on Chris Snyder, Ponderosa’s big man and best player. Snyder finished the game with 13 points.

Folsom opened the week with a 57-27 loss to Pleasant Grove on Jan. 16. Folsom didn’t play well, as the final score showed, as the Bulldogs had a hard time scoring, which has been a reoccurring theme this season.

In Folsom’s first three league games, the Bulldogs are averaging 31 points per game, while allowing 60. Those games also happened to be against three top teams in Sheldon, Oak Ridge and Pleasant Grove, but there’s no escaping the Delta River League, at least until realignment comes in 2014.

The Bulldogs hung with the Eagles for the first six minutes of the game, when they led a low-scoring affair 6-4. Folsom, however, fell apart in the final two minutes of the quarter, allowing a pair of offensive rebounds that turned into baskets and then committing two turnovers that also led to four more points. The Eagles scored the final eight points of the quarter and led 12-6.

From there Folsom’s offensive woes continued, as it managed only four points in the second quarter and five in the third. Pleasant Grove picked it up a bit, scoring 13 and 20, respectively, and took a 30-point lead into the fourth quarter, 45-15.

Zach Wolking led the Bulldogs with 10 points, while Jordan Ford scored nine, all coming in the second half.