By Shane Theodore
After rallying off two impressive victories to reach the Trojan Toss Up championship game, host Oak Ridge faltered in its third comeback bid and lost to the Bella Vista Broncos by a score of 65-55 in Friday’s championship game.
“We were trying to force the issue too much tonight, and their size and speed did us in,” Trojan coach Steve Scott said.
Only three players scored for Oak Ridge: Bryce Scott with a game-high 31 points, Matt Howard and Josh Simms.
The game started slowly as both teams struggled to put the ball through the net. The score heading into the second quarter stood 12-17 in favor of the Broncos.
Bella Vista began taking control in the second as Austin Hennen sank two shots from the top of the key, followed by a corner three with five seconds remaining to give the Broncos a 26-17 halftime edge.
“They were putting through shots … and we weren’t,” coach Scott said.
The Trojans fought back in the third quarter as Howard and Simms combined for 12 points, five less than Oak Ridge’s first-half total, but Ahmad Smith, who led the Broncos with 20 points, and Hennen kept producing and Bella Vista took a commanding 40-29 lead to the final frame.
Troy didn’t give up as Bryce put aside a cold streak to score 20 of his points in the fourth quarter but the Broncos kept their led at a safe distance as Smith, Hennen, and KJ Logue all chipped in offensively for the visitors.
“We couldn’t contain their shooter and ours weren’t good enough to counter theirs,” coach Scott said.
After the loss, Scott presented the trophies and announced that Bryce and Simms were named to the all tournament team, along with Smith and Hennen, while Logue was presented the MVP award.
The junior varsity Trojans eked out a 43-42 win over Folsom to claim the JV Championship.
Oak Ridge varsity is back in action next Tuesday against Yuba City.