Folsom wins first league game, 68-57, over Ponderosa

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
-A +A
After a three-game losing streak to start the Delta River League, the Folsom boys’ basketball team finally joined the win column on Wednesday night. The 68-57 final didn’t represent a game in which Folsom was up by 20 points for most of the second and third quarters and sent them to the line 40 times. The Bruins made a late push, but sent Folsom to the foul line in the double bonus for the last ninety seconds. The first of two key games for Folsom this week – they host Jesuit (2-1 DRL, 16-4) on Friday – quickly and comfortably went the Bulldogs’ way in a visiting gym. Defensive pressure set the tone, which carried all the way until the final buzzer. Ponderosa used its one main offensive weapon, Chris Snyder, to score 23 points from a couple feet around the basket. Outside Snyder’s play, the Bulldogs forced 10 steals and went to the line for almost an additional 30 points on 28-of-40 free throws. The fourth quarter saw Justin Woody make all six of his free throws among 12-of-17 as a team. Ponderosa never led. The Bulldogs established a double-digit advantage early in the second quarter and it never dropped below 10 points. Woody had 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. I know our team is ready for Jesuit.” All nine Folsom players scored at least four points against Ponderosa, with the exception of Zach Wolking, who was sick and did not play. 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. The Bruins outscored Folsom 23-18 in the final quarter, but when push came to shove, or in this case six-of-eight double penalty free throws made, the Bulldogs were calm, collected and eager to prove themselves against another top-three team in the area. “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.” Wall said his team most likely needs four league wins to earn a playoff berth. Folsom hosts Ponderosa once at home on Feb. 8, but will have to go through two other DRL teams. Sheldon (3-0, 15-3), Jesuit (2-1, 16-4) and Pleasant Grove (3-0, 18-1) still make up the top-three teams in the section. Oak Ridge is No. 12 with a record of 1-2 in the DRL and 11-8 overall. Folsom’s game against Jesuit on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Folsom High.