The Sheldon boys baskeball team showed why it’s No. 1 and undefeated in the Delta River League Friday night, cruising to a 70-56 victory over Oak Ridge.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Trojans, whose unbeaten streak came to an end with a five-point loss to Pleasant Grove Jan. 26. Two days later Sheldon handed Oak Ridge a 64-46 drubbing. Oak Ridge, tied with Jesuit at 3-3 going into the contest, dropped to 3-4 in the DRL
Trojan coach Bob Christensen saw some improvement Friday as he tries to get the team back on the right track with the season rapidly coming to a close.
“We lost to Sheldon by 18 in the first game; we were clearly beat,” Christensen said. “But tonight we were in it at times. I didn’t have a defeated feeling.
“There are three things needed for success — chemistry, tenacity and dealing with distractions. We’re working on that and slowly getting out of this. Hopefully then we’ll be able to stay with them if we see them again. Credit to Sheldon, they are a talented and athletic team.”
Tyler Simms opened the scoring with a layup for the home team followed by Will Findlay’s bucket on a pass from Bryce Scott. Scott drained a three at the 6:23 mark to give Oak Ridge a 7-4 lead but Sheldon quickly tied it at seven, then nine, and then took off on a 9-2 run to close the quarter up 18-11.
Scott Sanchez’ turn-around jumper and a two from Findlay pulled Troy within three before Sheldon’s Dakari Allen buried back-to-back treys. DJ Leszczynski scored the first two of his nine points, Simms hit from nearly 5 feet in back of the three-point line and Findlay’s basket on a dish from Simms got Troy within one at 25-24, the closest Oak Ridge would get for the rest of the contest.
By halftime Sheldon had raced out to a 10-point lead and led 57-38 at the end of three quarters. Oak Ridge never established much of an inside game, and Sheldon capitalized on Troy’s poor shooting from the perimeter. Double- and triple-teamed all night, Scott, the Trojans’ leading scorer, was held to nine points. Thirty-three of Sheldon’s points came from the free throw line, compared to eight for Oak Ridge.
The Trojans mounted a run to open the fourth after JT Tulabut stole the ball and went end-to-end for two, Simms and Leszczynski both hit threes and Sanchez scored on a put-back, but they still trailed by 10. Sheldon held off all of Oak Ridge’s attempts to get back in it, scoring all its 13 fourth-quarter points from the charity stripe.
Simms led Oak Ridge with 12 points, Findlay bucketed 10, followed by Leszczynski and Scott with nine each, Sanchez with eight, John Cunningham with four, and two apiece from Matt Howard and Tulabut.
Sheldon’s Allen scored a game-high 21, followed by Darius Nelson with 19 and D’erryl Williams with 14.
“This is a difficult stretch for us. It’s been an initiation in a tough Division I league. Our schedule has us playing Pleasant Grove, Sheldon, Jesuit and Sheldon again all at the end of the season,” Christensen said.
The Oak Ridge junior varsity team won in overtime after Sheldon tied the game at 52 with five seconds left. In overtime Josh Simms made the first basket and Sergio Quilici accounted for four points — two on an alley oop. Sheldon closed the gap to two with a pair from the line with a minute left, but Oak Ridge held and Grant Dean pulled down a big rebound on Sheldon’s three-point attempt, sealing a 58-56 victory.