Opening up the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs at home Tuesday, the Oak Ridge Lady Trojans crushed Bella Vista, winning 68-29.
“We had a good second quarter, but we brought the intensity defensively in the second half,” coach Steve White said on an effort that limited the Broncos to only seven points after halftime.
Oak Ridge stumbled a little out of the gate but back-to-back Ali Bettencourt three-pointers put the hosts ahead 9-5. After a Haley Anderson free throw, Yumi Drossos knocked down a jumper to extend the lead. Michelle Barkley and Jenn Hoffman scored to close out the first quarter as Oak Ridge led 16-10.
The Lady Trojans extended to 22-16 on a Jenna Ford bucket before Bettencourt heated up, making two three-pointers sandwiched around a jump shot to push the lead to 30-16. She later added another layup.
Bella Vista pulled to within a 10-point deficit at 32-33, but Oak Ridge ended the half on a seven-point run culminating in a Bettencourt trey as the Lady Trojans led 39-22 headed into the locker room. Bettencourt scored 19 of her game high 22 points in the first half.
Oak Ridge came out of the break and pushed the defensive intensity to separate from the Broncos. A Shelby Peters’ steal led to a Nikki Dow layup that pushed the advantage to 51-24 and the Lady Trojans led 57-24 after a pair of Sydney Stigerts’ threes. Following a Grace Derksen steal and layup, Drossos made a three-pointer at the end of the period to give Oak Ridge a commanding 62-24 lead going to the fourth.
In the fourth, Oak Ridge played its younger players for a glimpse at the future.
“You look at us and you don’t see the most athletic or the tallest or fastest team so we’ve got to do things together. If we play team basketball, make the extra pass, help each other out defensively and be fundamentally sound, we’re much better,” White said.
Oak Ridge, now 24-3 overall, played host to Monterey Trail yesterday in the second round.