Lady Trojans thump Bruins for undefeated league record
Ponderosa stood in the way of an undefeated Delta River League season for the Oak Ridge girls basketball team and last Tuesday inside the Trojans’ gym, Oak Ridge (10-0, 23-3) showed why it’s league champs with a convincing 68-31 win over the Bruins on Senior Night.
“The girls are excited about going undefeated,” Oak Ridge head coach Steve White said. “That was one of our goals.”
The four seniors honored prior to tipoff were Lauren Liebert, Nikki Dow, Haley Anderson and Jenna Ford.
“We mixed up the line-up a little bit because it’s Seniors Night,” White said.
Dow, who scored six points, added, “Because it’s Senior Night, it’s always makes a difference. It’s more motivation to play well. Going undefeated was definitely our goal.”
Before the first quarter was halfway over, Oak Ridge jumped out to a 17-6 lead over Ponderosa (3-7, 14-13), behind intensity on offense and defense.
“They (Ponderosa) beat St. Francis (Jan. 29), so we wanted to make sure that we came out focused and get after them right away,” White said.
Liebert grabbed the first two rebounds of the game, recorded most of her six steals and seven points in the first half.
“Lauren, I thought, had a great game,” said White of Liebert.
The four seniors combined to score 24 of the team’s points.
The opening quarter ended with Oak Ridge ahead 21-6. In the second quarter, the Trojans continued to build their lead as their defense forced the Bruins into five turnovers. Oak Ridge led 38-13 at halftime.
White inserted his regular starters — Ali Bettencourt, Jenn Hoffman, Dow, Anderson and Ford — to start the third quarter, then pulled them out at the 3:39, as the Trojans enjoyed 44-18 lead. Oak Ridge led 46-22 after three quarters and built it to 55-27 within three minutes of the fourth quarter.
Ponderosa head coach Noel O’Donnell was happy with the enthusiasm and energy her team had from start to finish of the game.
“We gave it our best,” O’Donnell said. “I felt that the girls didn’t quit. We were just outmatched.”
O’Donnell watched her four seniors on the team, guards Ashley Beck and Morgan Martinenko and forwards Brooke Sinner and Stacey Godwin, play their final prep hoops together.
“They are one of the smartest groups of basketball players I’ve ever had,” O’Donnell said. “They’ve been playing basketball together since they were knee-high. They’ve been a pleasure to coach.”
Trojan Celeste Vitolas was the leading scorer with 14 points. Shelby Peters followed in scoring with 12. Hoffman and Ford scored six points each, Anderson five, guard Grace Derksen four, Bettencourt and guard Sydney Stigerts three each and guard Gabby Flores two.
Martinenko led the Bruins with seven points. Danielle Craft followed with five points, Godwin four, Danielle Becker and Sophia George two each and Beck one. George had seven of the Bruins’ 20 rebounds. Beck had five steals.