After establishing themselves as an area power with five league wins, the Oak Ridge Lady Trojans had only playoff positioning to worry about. With that in mind Wednesday against visiting Sheldon, the Oak Ridge offense was out of sync and its defense never competitive in a 51-40 Delta River League loss to the Huskies.
“We didn’t come out here to play tonight,” Troy coach Steve White said. “They’re a great team and they beat us.”
Each team shot poorly and scoring was sparse. Jenna Klein and Lauren Sende helped the Trojans stay in it early and, after Haley Anderson hit a jumper, they trailed 11-8 with 1:13 remaining in the opening quarter. After three free throws from Sheldon, Sende struck with a layup over three Husky defenders at the buzzer after rebounding an Anderson miss.
Each team continued to trade-off shots for the first two minutes of the second quarter. After Jackie Batemen put through a layup off an inbounds pass, Klein sank a three-pointer to equalize the score at 18-18. Jenn Hoffman’s streaking layup gave Oak Ridge its first lead since early in the first quarter but it was short-lived as Sheldon went on a seven-point run in the final two minutes to lead 25-20 at the break.
The second half was where the game got out of hand. After Anderson started with a three, Klein followed a Sheldon layup with another to get Oak Ridge within a point – but that was the closest Oak Ridge came. Kedina Monroe, who led all players with 16 points, led the Huskies on a 15-4 run over the last six minutes of the quarter to give Sheldon a commanding 42-30 lead going into the fourth.
“It’s really tough to stay in games when you can’t get stops on the defensive end, because if you can’t stop them, their lead is just going to grow,” Anderson said. “We let them get on a roll, and that cost us.”
Oak Ridge showed a few signs of life as Hoffman scored a three-pointer to get within nine but its hopes were crushed on the following Husky possession when Brianna Burgos, who inbounded the ball, bounced it off of a Trojan to herself and was fouled on the shot. Oak Ridge argued the call and received a technical to which Burgos made four consecutive free throws to ice the game.
Oak Ridge plays at home against St. Francis for their Senior Night this Friday.