Lady Trojans take third place at Shoot Out
By Shane Theodore
After a tough two-point loss to Lincoln-of-Stockton Friday night in the second-round of the Trojan Toss Up Tournament, the Oak Ridge girls basketball team entered Saturday’s third place game with a mission.
“We definitely drew motivation from Friday’s loss. We knew we could have beat (Lincoln-of-Stockton), and we came into today with something to prove,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said after his Lady Trojans clobbered the Clovis West Golden Eagles 46-30.
Oak Ridge started the game fast as Lauren Sende, who finished with 10 points, and Haley Anderson led the Trojans to a 20-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. Ali Bettencourt ended the quarter with a rainbow three-pointer with two seconds left. Anderson, an all tournament selection, led the Trojans with 12 points.
“(Anderson) and (Sende) really helped us keep a pace we wanted, but it truly was a whole team effort tonight,” White said.
Anderson, Sende and Kaitlyn Lendrum made shot-after-shot in the second quarter to increase the lead as Oak Ridge entered the locker room with a 30-11 advantage.
With the game nearly in hand, the Trojans substituted players in the third quarter. Bettencourt nailed another deep three and Michelle Barkley put one of her own through to give Oak Ridge a comfortable 42-17 lead going into the fourth.
The Golden Eagles didn’t give up and made strides in the fourth quarter. Clovis West held the Oak Ridge attack in check and led by Taylor Knebel, whittled the Trojan lead down to 15 points with 1:31 remaining before Anderson’s two key free throws thwarted the Golden Eagle comeback attempt.
“We played great defense today and I feel that we have a great year ahead of us,” White said.