Freshman Bulldogs finish season with winning recordBy: Staff Report
The Folsom Bulldogs freshman basketball team knew that wins would not be easy as they began their season in December.
The team only had nine players. The top guard from the class of 2016, Jordan Ford, was handling the point guard duties for the varsity team. Three other top freshmen were called up to join the junior varsity squad. The team had some tough tournaments scheduled in December, including the Woodcreek and Jesuit tournaments and a tough Delta River League schedule in front of them after the new year. Nevertheless, Coach Mark Spring and his assistant Coach Carey set a goal for the squad to have a winning record.
The boys responded well early with an 11-6 non-league record in December. The team took first place in the Jesuit Freshman Tournament and third place in the Folsom-Vista Del Lago Frosh Classic. They looked to be well on their way of reaching their goal. However, the conference schedule proved to be more difficult. Oak Ridge, Jesuit Gold and Davis were some of the better JV teams in the section and the Bulldogs lost five of their first six conference games, putting their goal in jeopardy with 10 days and three games to go in the season.
The Bulldogs’ first test would be a road game at Davis, who had defeated the Bulldogs in mid-January in the Doghouse. Folsom played one of their best games of the season to pull the road upset, beating the Blue Devils 56-46. The Bulldogs played outstanding defense in the first half, holding Davis to 13 points. Kyle Robertson scored 12 of his team-leading 15 points in the second half to help Folsom hold on to the victory. Robertson dominated the inside for Folsom with an array of post moves that Davis was unable to stop.
The freshmen then traveled up to Shingle Springs to take on the Ponderosa Bruins. The Bulldogs exploded out of the gate for a 36-18 halftime lead in route to a 61-47 victory. Roger Neal and Kyle Robertson led the way with 37 points between them. Neal and Robertson also put on a free throw shooting clinic with Neal going nine-for-nine from the line and Robertson matching perfection at five-for-five.
In their final game, the Bulldogs took on the Jesuit Red squad for the fourth time this season. The Bulldogs were 1-2 against the Marauders going into the game and the Marauders started strong and jumped out to a 22-point lead in the third quarter.
Behind the rebounding of Tyler Jacobs and the slick shooting of Justin Harrell, the Bulldogs managed to cut the lead all the way down to four points early in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer. Harrell led the team with 20 points, scoring 16 of them in the second half.
The freshman Bulldogs finished with an overall record of 14-13.
“Overall, it was a very up-and-down season,” said Spring. “We never could find the consistency that we strived for, but we had some great moments and some struggles. This is what you expect at the freshman level. It was nice that we were able to meet our goal of having a winning record. More importantly though, many of our players really improved and put themselves in a better position to make the junior varsity and varsity teams in the coming years."