Lady Trojans gain control of Toss Up opener
By Jackson Long
If you keep control of the basketball you can most likely put it in the hoop. That’s where the Cougars of Del Campo and host Oak Ridge parted ways in Wednesday’s opening round of the Trojan Toss Up Tournament Wednesday night. In handling the ball better than its guests, Oak Ridge emerged a 58-36 victor.
Despite struggling early with converting takeaways into points due to poor passing and missed shots, Troy still took much better care of the basketball than Del Campo, which turned the ball over 20 times in the first half.
“We had some poor decision-making early,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said. “We just needed to settle into the game a little bit.”
The Trojans opened the game with their patented full-court press, creating scoring opportunities off the Cougar mistakes but failing to capitalize. Halfway through the first quarter, Oak Ridge had managed just eight points but as the uncharacteristic struggles in transition faded, the points started to come.
Jacki Bateman’s give-and-go for an easy two points under the hoop gave the Trojans a 14-9 lead; Michelle Barkley nailed a three-pointer as the first quarter horn sounded for a 20-11 advantage; and Jenna Klein opened the second with her own three-ball to put Oak Ridge up by 13.
Del Campo had a slight height advantage over the Trojans but the Cougars couldn’t connect from the paint and continued to hand the ball to Oak Ridge whose ball movement was in top form — equating into a burgeoning lead.
Klein had a sweet crossover on a fast-break toward the close of the half to put her squad up 34-15. Barkley scored the final points of second quarter, just like she did in the first, and at the break the Trojans were up 36-17.
Back-to-back blocks from Lauren Sende translated into two points for Jenn Hoffman to kick off the scoring in the third but despite continuing the good defense, Oak Ridge stalled on offense. White called a timeout and demanded his team look to the post for scoring opportunities.
Answering their coaches’ request, Troy went inside for a 10-0 run with six points coming from Klein.
“We should not have to call timeout to figure that out,” White said. “But it is nice when asked, that they respond like that.”
Behind 50-20, Del Campo didn’t toss in the towel as the Cougars scored the first four points fourth quarter to top their third quarter output.
White got his reserves some quality playing time in the second half and despite Del Campo outscoring the Trojans 16-8 in the fourth, Oak Ridge coasted to the 22-point win.
Klein finished as the Trojans leading scoring, racking up 17 points in just three quarters of play, while Barkley scored 11 in the same amount of time.