By Bill Paterson
For years, Woodcreek felt like the little brother who always saw big brother Rocklin get the last piece of pie.
None of the Woodcreek players could remember beating Rocklin until Jan. 5, when the Timberwolves out-ran the visiting Thunder 93-81 in the first Sierra Foothill League go-around of the season between the two schools, snapping a nine-game losing streak spanning five years.
But that win was tempered by a 68-61 loss at Rocklin Jan. 29.
On Thursday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals at Arco Arena, Woodcreek outdueled the Thunder for the final piece of the pie.
The second-seeded Timberwolves beat the defending D-II section champions 71-64, despite a brilliant 37-point performance by Rocklin senior guard Cody Kale. Woodcreek will play Oakmont in an all-Sierra Foothill League D-II final 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Arco.
"We've been playing against these guys since the seventh grade," said Woodcreek senior guard-forward Nik Milani, a three-year varsity player. "We've never beaten them. So that makes this victory that much better."
Milani and Mike Kurtz finished with 16 points each, with Kurtz connecting on 8-of-8 free throws (our newspaper account today incorrectly credits the 6-foot-11 senior with 10-of-10) in the fourth quarter. Derek Anganes scored 11 points and Ryan Milat had 10. Tony Williams had 10 points for Rocklin.
Woodcreek will try to become the school's second boys basketball section titlist.
The Timberwolves, in winning the D-II section championship in 2003, went all the way to the California Interscholastic Federation state championship game that season. They lost to Mater Dei of Santa Ana.