Lady Trojans win Toss-Up opener
Riding the early hot hand of Dakota McLarnan and benefiting from Vista del Lago’s inability to put the ball in the basket for four quarters, host Oak Ridge opened the annual Trojan Toss Up with a 68-39 victory over the Eagles.
If Oak Ridge wanted a jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring win to kick off its own tournament, it didn’t get it. Instead, Vista handled the Trojan pressure by passing over the top and Oak Ridge, forced to defend the basket, racked up the fouls.
“Can you spell ugly? What a foul-fest,” said Troy coach Steve White as he headed to the locker room. “This really feels like a loss — we just didn’t adjust to the way the game was called and didn’t move our feet. This is our first game in a week so we’ve been off for a while and it can be hard picking up where you left off.”
Tuesday’s game was a reunion of sorts as Caitlin Welsch, Megan Griswold, Kelsi Danciart, Jodie Richards and Lauren Adams from the 2010 state championship team all turned out to watch their former team. What they saw was Oak Ridge, in typical fashion, jumping to an early lead but what might have looked different was the fast start wasn’t due to the Trojans’ trapping, pressing mayhem.
The Eagles dealt with the press but then couldn’t hit their shots in the front court. Vista also struggled from the free throw line, making just 13-of-30. Meanwhile, McLarnan hit two three-pointers, Haley Anderson worked around the basket for six points and Oak Ridge, which scored the first 10 points, led 23-8 after one quarter of play.
But the quarter had glitches for Troy. Natalie Stone banged her head going to the floor, tried to go again in the second before leaving for good and Lindsay Honaker limped off and never returned.
Threes by McLarnan, Jenna Klein, five points from Kaitlyn Lendrum and four by Hayley Padua-Dean gave the Trojans a 38-18 halftime lead.
Oak Ridge’s foul trouble did force the El Dorado Hills squad to play various combinations of personnel. Klein was a big offensive boost with 11 points off the bench as was Lendrum and Padua-Dean who finished with nine and six points respectively. Others seeing significant minutes were Alexa Pickett and Nicole Rucker.
“They (bench) really stepped up and did a good job coming in and contributing,” Trojan point guard Carly Bettencourt said. “Every time we play Vista it’s a weird game like they’re a jinx (to us). We started with the full court (press) but went to contain and then more of a half-court defense.”
No defense could have stopped McLarnan’s half-court running three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer that put Oak Ridge up 57-29. The Eagles’ offense, featuring Amara Wainwright, Becca Stephens, Brittany Stegall, Kendall Moore and Molly Magarian, did fare better in the second half but by that time the Trojan starters were long gone.
McLarnan led Oak Ridge with 18 points, Anderson bucketed eight, Bettencourt added seven and Lauren Sende, who fouled out, had six points.
The Trojans advanced to play El Camino in the second round Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“It will be a game of runs — both physically and on the scoreboard,” White said of the upcoming matchup.