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Trojans, D’backs prepare for postseason

From page A6 | February 18, 2013 | Leave Comment

Oak_Girls17 ec

OAK RIDGE senior Nikki Dow is eager for the playoffs to begin. Photo by Ernest Valenzuela III

Three El Dorado County high school basketball teams will advance to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs that start tomorrow and Wednesday.

The Oak Ridge High girls and boys basketball teams join the Union Mine girls squad at the post-season party. The section released the playoff brackets for all six divisions on Feb. 13.

The Lady Trojans (23-3), who won the Delta River League title, are the No. 2 seed in Division I and will host No. 15 seed Bella Vista on Tuesday night at the Trojans’ gym. Last Friday, the Broncos beat Stagg of Stockton, 54-48 in an outbracket game.

Though Oak Ridge was ranked No. 1 previously, St. Mary’s of Stockton was awarded the top spot. Dropping to No. 2 is fine with Trojan head coach Steve White … especially when it comes to the Trojans’ game jerseys.

“I feel there is no difference,” White said. “The brackets play out the way I thought they would. In the end, if we are fortunate enough to make it to the finals, we would wear our blue jerseys instead of the white ones. I like the look of the blues better anyway.”

Added Trojan guard Nikki Dow,”playoffs are fun — it gets exciting.”

If Oak Ridge beats Bella Vista, it plays the winner of the Lincoln-Monterey Trail game on Thursday.

Union Mine (20-7), which took fourth place in the Sierra Valley Conference, earned the No. 14 seed in D-IV. The Lady Diamondbacks make the short trek to Sacramento for their first round playoff game, also on Tuesday, to play at No. 3 seed Bradshaw Christian.

The Union Mine-Bradshaw Christian winner plays the Encina-West Campus winner Thursday.

Leading the D’backs in scoring is center/forward Kimee Mueller, who is averaging 10.7 points per game. Forward Madison Aliff averages an even 10 points per game.

On the boys side, Oak Ridge enters the playoffs as the No. 13 seed in D-I. The Trojans (15-12) make the three-hour drive to Merced to play No. 4 seed Golden Valley (23-4), which won the Central California Conference title.

“I’m happy that we made it into the playoffs,” Oak Ridge head coach Steve Scott said. “It’s been a tough ride this year because we have played so many good teams and lost so many players (graduation). These guys have done a great job just getting here.”

Golden Valley comes into the game riding a 13-game winning streak.

“It will be super challenging,” Scott said. “However, we have played very well on the road this year and competed with some pretty good teams. I think it will be another great game. Their shooters versus our good defense … we match up pretty well with Golden Valley. Should be a good one.”

This is the fourth meeting in postseason between Oak Ridge and Golden Valley in boys basketball. Their last meeting was in 2005 in the section D-II championship game at Arco Arena — now Sleep Train Arena — in Sacramento, with the Trojans posting a 61-45 win over the Cougars.

In a 2004 D-II first round game, Oak Ridge beat Golden Valley, 69-43. In 2002, Oak Ridge beat Golden Valley in overtime. This contest and the 2004 game were played in Merced.

Tip-off for all three games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter. 

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo

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