Lynn Wolking admits his first three seasons as girls basketball coach at Folsom High School were not résumé-building experiences.
They were, however, team- and coach-building experiences.
The Bulldogs have a 27-game losing streak in the Delta River League dating to Jan. 21, 2011. But with a 41-40 win over DRL foe Ponderosa on Saturday for third place in the Folsom Lady Bulldog Tournament, their days of futility could soon come to an end.
“Last year, we were just trying to stay out of a running clock,” Wolking said of going 5-22 last season. A running clock occurs in the fourth quarter when a team builds a 40-point lead. “This year, we are beating teams in preseason that we should beat and playing (competitive games) with good teams. We’ve got some good wins already.”
The 20th-ranked Bulldogs (10-3) are playing with a sense of confidence that’s been missing from a program that hasn’t reached the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs since 2007.
“Winning is a little contagious,” Wolking said. “You can feel it. Now the games become a little more important to you. I had one player ask, ‘Have we already won more games than we won last year?’ It feels good. Now you want more, right?”
Led by athletic junior point-forward Danielle DaCosta, senior center Gabby Miller and sophomore 3-point specialist Tori Harris, Wolking said the Bulldogs are ready for DRL play, which starts Jan. 14 against No. 19 Sheldon.
Five of the six teams in the DRL are ranked in The Bee’s Top 20, including No. 2 Oak Ridge.
Et cetera – No. 8 Colfax continues to rise after beating No. 11 Capital Christian 51-48 to win the Lady Bulldog championship Saturday. Raegan Lillis (18 points), Taylor Avila (14) and Lindsey Biles (13) led the Falcons in the title game.
• River City climbed nine spots to No. 10. The Raiders have won 11 of 12 games, including a 62-20 victory over Saratoga in the Fort Bragg Tournament on Saturday. Senior Carmen Garcia scored 21 points. The Raiders’ losses this season have come to Oak Ridge, No. 4 Nevada Union and No. 5 Kennedy.
• Granite Bay senior Jennifer Manduca, a three-year starter, is averaging 22.3 points per game to lead the section’s large schools. She scored a season-high 32 points Dec. 12 against Foothill. Manduca and sophomore Daeja Black (16.3 points) are the top-scoring backcourt duo in the section at 38.6 points a game.
• There were 100 teams in the West Coast Jamboree last weekend in the Bay Area. Of the 11 Sacramento-area teams scattered through six brackets, Sheldon, No. 18 Monterey Trail and No. 3 McClatchy played in championship games Monday.
• Top-ranked Sacramento has endured a challenging schedule the past two weeks. The Dragons lost to three teams ranked in the Top 20 nationally by MaxPreps. Sacramento lost to No. 16 St. Anthony’s of New York and No. 20 Southwest DeKalb of Georgia in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix on Dec. 19 and 20. The Dragons then lost to No. 2 Mater Dei of Santa Ana in the opening round of the West Coast Jamboree on Thursday and to Berkeley 51-42 on Monday morning.
THE BEE’S TOP 20
Records through Saturday
|2. Oak Ridge||(11-3)||2|
|4. Nevada Union||(7-4)||4|
|6. Del Oro||(8-3)||8|
|9. Pleasant Grove||(6-3)||16|
|10. River City||(11-3)||19|
|11. Capital Christian||(11-3)||6|
|12. St. Francis||(6-5)||10|
|13. Rio Linda||(8-3)||9|
|15. Bear River||(8-2)||12|
|16. Bradshaw Chr.||(3-3)||13|
|18. Monterey Trail||(4-5)||–|
– Trevor Horn