Playing its second tournament in as many weeks, the Oak Ridge High girls basketball squad duplicated its previous Shoot Out success — taking home the Toss Up championship after beating Christian Brothers 58-47 Saturday night.
“We beat a very quality opponent tonight. (Christian Brothers) is one of the toughest teams in the Sacramento area, so I was very pleased with the outcome,” Trojan coach Steve White said.
Oak Ridge fell behind early, trailing 4-0, but rallied back and tied the game up at 10 apiece when Jenn Hoffman connected on a layup. With 30 seconds left in the period, Hoffman drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Lady Trojans a 13-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
The hosts hit the ground running to start the second quarter. A Nikki Dow layup followed by two Ali Bettencourt free throws gave a Oak Ridge 17-10 advantage to open the floodgates. On the ensuing possession, Hoffman stole the ball and found Haley Anderson for an easy layup. Seconds later, Hoffman collected another steal, and this time found Dow for the fast break hoop, forcing a Falcon timeout.
Just out of the timeout, Shelby Peters got in on the action, pick-pocketing the Falcon ball-handler to set up Hoffman’s three-pointer that pushed the lead to 24-10 with 6:18 remaining in the half. Oak Ridge continued to add onto the lead and were up 40-23 at the half.
Coming out of the locker room to start the second half, the Falcons stayed resilient and fought their way back into the game. A Kira McKechnie layup brought the visitors within single digits at 44-35, and Christian Brothers employed a full court press that slowed the Oak Ridge attack.
Late in the quarter, the Trojans beat the press as Bettencourt made a layup at the buzzer to give Oak Ridge a 48-37 lead at the end of the period.
The physicality of the game came to the forefront in the fourth quarter, with hard fouls and pile-ups for loose balls. Through it all the Trojans stayed the course to notch the victory and improve to 9-1 on the season — the only loss coming to nationally ranked Mater Dei.
“I think it was good for us to play in a hard fought game, because that’s how it is in the playoffs. We need to be able to play in that type of game for us to have success later this year,” White said.
After the game, Hoffman, who scored 15 points, and Bettencourt, who scored 10, were named to the all-tournament team. Anderson, who also contributed 15 points in the win, was named the tournament’s MVP.
Oak Ridge won its first two: defeating Will C. Wood Thursday and River City Friday.