Folsom freshman boys struggling in Delta River LeagueBy: Staff Report
The Folsom High freshman boys’ basketball team heads into their final three games of the season with a 12-12 record.
After a relatively strong 11-6 non-conference start, wins have been difficult to come by for the Bulldogs in the tough Delta River League. The squad is 1-6 in the league, with the only victory coming in a home game against Ponderosa in mid-January.
“One of our goals is to finish with a winning record and I am confident that if we can focus our effort for all 32 minutes of each of the remaining games, we will reach that goal,” said Coach Mark Spring after a tough five-point loss to Oak Ridge Friday.
Like any freshman team, Spring’s squad has some strengths and weaknesses. Point guard Roger Neal has a real high motor on defense and there are not too many 5’8” point guards who can rebound like he can. Tyler Jacobs is a difficult player to guard because he can score with a move on the post as easily as he can hit a 3-point shot. Guards Will Penrose, Justin Harrell and center Kyle Robertson are all strong outside shooters and Robertson has some nifty moves on the low block.
The Bulldogs are also very strong from the free throw line as evidenced by their performance on Friday in the Oak Ridge game, where they shot 90 percent, making 18 for 20 from the charity stripe. However, the team struggles with defense and turnovers.
“Many of our players tend to over dribble and this has caused our sets to break down, resulting in significantly more turnovers than we can afford,” Spring said. “On the defensive end, our communication and focus have generally fallen below my expectations and this has often been the difference, particularly in the close games. We have not improved enough in these two areas [reducing turnovers and defensive communication] and without such improvement wins are tough to come by in the DRL.”
This week, the Bulldogs open with Davis on the road. Davis is one of the stronger teams in the league, but when they met last time, Folsom played them very close and lost 52-49, led by Justin Harrell’s 19 points and Roger Neal’s 14 rebounds.
On Friday, Folsom heads to Shingle Springs in an attempt to get a season sweep against the Bruins. The Bulldogs return home at 4 p.m. Feb. 12 for their final game against Jesuit Red. This is the fourth time these teams have faced each other this year and the Bulldogs will look to even their record against the Marauders.