Lady Trojans eke out a win Thursday
After the varsity girls basketball game between host Oak Ridge and Inderkum Thursday night, no one wearing the navy and gold left the court happy.
The Lady Trojans prevailed 44-42 but coach Steve White wasn’t smiling. Citing the team’s poor execution, White gave kudos to the No. 14 Inderkum Tigers for making the game against his No. 3-ranked Lady Trojans tougher than expected.
“They made us work really hard and took advantage of our mistakes,” White said.
Mistakes in passing, play execution and shooting nearly lost the game which left a visibly frustrated White shouting from the bench.
“We’ve got to move the ball better on offense,” he said while calming himself after the buzzer. “We’ve got to finish the defense with rebounds.”
The game started with disorganized play from both teams — wild passes, missed shots — and the score stayed 0-0 for two minutes before sophomore guard Jenn Hoffman connected with a two-pointer. Inderkum responded with its first basket a minute later and after each team traded baskets, the Lady Trojans amped up their play. Unfortunately, shot attempts by senior forward Lauren Sende, senior guard Jenna Klein and senior forward Katie Hoisington sailed over the hoop or rolled in and out.
On a drive Klein was fouled and made her first visit to the line. She sank one of two and sophomore forward Michelle Barkley rebounded the miss only to lose the ball to an Inderkum player’s quick hands. The Tigers couldn’t convert the steal into a basket and a rebound gave it to Hoisington, whose quick pass to Barkley resulted in a 7-4 Oak Ridge advantage.
Inderkum fired back to briefly lead 8-7 before senior forward Jacki Bateman converted an under-the-net shot. Klein made it 11-8 before a last-second drive gave Inderkum the last bucket of the opening quarter.
The second started with the Tigers taking a 13-11 lead. After White’s timeout, Bateman tied it up and Troy picked up some momentum to push in front 23-15.
The Tigers struck back with great drives to the basket to pull within a point but with 50 seconds left in the half, Hoffman nailed a two-pointer. Inderkum responded with the last shot of the half to stay within 24-25.
Klein started the third with long trey beyond the arc but Oak Ridge lost the four-point lead after two Inderkum drives tied it up. The Tigers took the lead with another shot and the Lady Trojans suffered another setback when Sende’s rebound went right into the hands of the Tigers. A scuffle on the floor and a foul on senior guard Kaitlyn Lendrum followed but Inderkum couldn’t extend its lead, missing both free throws.
Klein tied it up at 30-30 and the Lady Trojans never gave up the lead again, ending the third quarter up 37-33.
Missed shots defined the fourth quarter’s first minutes. After Inderkum landed the first shot, neither team could find the basket. On the Oak Ridge side, shots popped in and out and when Inderkum had the ball the Lady Trojans really turned up the heat. A Sende rebound netted Oak Ridge’s first points and Haley Anderson took advantage of a Tigers’ error to drive the ball all the way, giving her team a 41-35 lead.
Inderkum answered with two buckets in a row and at the three-minute mark it looked like Oak Ridge had run out of steam. Lendrum sunk one of two at the line and the Trojans’ final basket came when Anderson found a hole in Inderkum’s defense, netting two.
Sende’s block denied the Tigers who came up with the rebound and scored. Setting up for a last shot, a turnover forced Inderkum to foul Sende with 3.6 seconds left but the visitors couldn’t corral the loose ball, much to the frustration of Inderkum’s coach. After a timeout and desperate long shot, the game ended with the Lady Trojans on top.
Klein led the team with 10 points, followed by Lendrum and Anderson with nine apiece. Barkley netted seven and Sende and Hoffman each had four points.
In JV action Oak Ridge won 63-37.
The freshman girls next face Kennedy on Jan. 10. The JV and varsity squads head to Pleasant Grove the same day.