Oh for three

Folsom finding league play tough as expected
By: Brett Ransford Telegraph Correspondent
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Like it or not, the numbers don’t lie. If the Bulldogs are to win a Delta River League game this season, Wednesday’s game at Ponderosa is their second-best chance, other than the home game against the Bruins on Feb. 8. Like the Bulldogs, Ponderosa is 0-3 in league play and have an overall record of 8-11. Folsom will have to play well to beat the Bruins and if they do, they hope to have a little momentum as they play host to Jesuit (2-1, 15-4) on Friday. The team is optimistic that they will win league games in the future. “We’ve just got to be able to finish games,” said senior guard Justin Woody. “After these three games of getting ready, I feel like we’re ready. We’re ready for the best teams in the area, because we can compete.” The Delta River League is arguably the most competitive league in Sac-Joaquin Section. Friday night’s matchup between the Sac-Joaquin Section’s No. 3 ranked Pleasant Grove and No. 14 ranked Folsom proved the league’s strength. Without looking at records it would have been nearly impossible to tell Folsom (0-3 DRL, 10-10) was winless in league. The Bulldogs outscored the visitors 15-8 in the fourth quarter, forced four turnovers and kept Pleasant Grove to 3-of-13 from the field over the final eight minutes of play. A potential game-winning three-point shot by Anthony Lee was off the mark and the Bulldogs had to settle with a 58-56 loss. Drew Whitney hit a three-pointer with less than one minute to go, pulling Folsom to its first tie score at 55-55 since beginning the game. Down 57-55 with 15 seconds left, Lee earned a trip to the foul line, where he sank the first and missed the second. Pleasant Grove then also made one of its two free throw chances. On the final shot, Lee’s shot took a high bounce off the rim and the clock ran out. The Bulldogs’ suffered their third-straight loss in as many games since beginning league play. “I feel like we gave the effort to win and converted enough shots, but we just had too many small mental mistakes that all piled together and cost us the game,” said Folsom coach Mike Wall. Folsom had two players, Whitney and Woody, score 15 points. As a team the Bulldogs outscored one of the area’s best in a fourth quarter where Pleasant Grove grabbed seven of its 15 offensive rebounds. Lee finished with 11 points. He and Whitney hit three’s in the final two minutes to turn the game into a nail-biter. Whitney had three triples and Lee scored two. “It was a hard loss,” said Whitney. “To fight our way back and end up that close is disappointing.” Wall said he doesn’t think this Bulldogs team deserves to be 0-3, especially considering the league and three teams played so far – No. 1 Sheldon, No. 12 Oak Ridge and No. 3 Pleasant Grove. Folsom was down by double-digits early against Pleasant Grove, but were competitive throughout. The team lost by double-digits to Oak Ridge in between tight games against two of the top three teams, Sheldon and Pleasant Grove.