Oak Ridge girls respond in NorCal opener

PLEASANTON —  The Oak Ridge girls basketball team went on the road to open NorCals Wednesday night, defeating Amador Valley 57-48 in Division I action.

The Trojans’ first game since their 22-point loss in the section semis tested the squad’s resolve. Hitting on 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter, Oak Ridge successfully held off the Dons to advance to Saturday’s second round against Wilcox in Santa Clara.

“It was nice to see us bounce back,” Trojan coach Steve White said. “We didn’t want our last couple games to be the Kennedy loss and one tonight. It took us a while to adjust to what they were trying to do.”

Oak Ridge got off to a good start to lead 15-9 after the first quarter. In another bounce back, Ali Bettencourt shook off last week’s 2-of-16 shooting against Kennedy to pump in a team-high 18 points, 15 in the second half. Haley Anderson scored 13; Yumi Drossos and Jenn Hoffman each added seven; Grace Derksen had four, Shelby Peters, three; and Laura Liebert a pair of free throws; Barkley, two; and Nicki Dow, one point.

Amador Valley battled back in the second quarter and led 24-23 before Bettencourt connected on a three-pointer for her only points of the half right before halftime.

Troy’s offensive and defensive effort improved in the second half and the team received a defensive lift from Michelle Barkley. Oak Ridge led 38-30 late in the third but the Dons narrowed the gap by scoring four straight.

Bettencourt hit a three to open the fourth and the Trojans converted from the line to pull away from a tiring Don’s team that played their main players the entire way.

“Our pressure didn’t cause turnovers but it wore them down and they grew tired at the end which helped us get to the basket,” White said. “We came in expecting a physical game as that’s how the Bay Area leagues play.”

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