Girls win by 85-22 landslide, boys meet tougher competition
What do you say to your team trailing by 60 points? The Rocklin High School girls basketball coach had few options during a third-quarter timeout. “Not to worry, after all, Oak Ridge’s Lady Trojans are the defending Division I state champion,” might have brought some consolation. Or perhaps “girls, it’s the Foundation game — it doesn’t count,” might have worked better.
Either way, it was a rough night Monday for the Thunder girls who were routed by host Oak Ridge 85-22 in the first game of the hoops doubleheader. In the evening’s second game, Bryce Scott’s two, three-pointers fueled a 15-4 run to open the fourth quarter, propelling the Trojan boys to a 75-55 victory. The annual Foundation games help raise money for the CIF Dale Lackey scholarship fund.
In Monday’s opener, Rocklin was clearly not ready for what came its way: Waves of relentless pressing, trapping Lady Trojans who made numerous steals or forced Thunder turnovers. Oak Ridge scored 28 in the first quarter and 24 more in the second to lead 52-14 at the break. Oak Ridge moved extremely well without the ball and once point guard Carly Bettencourt had everyone involved, the senior added 15 points and a half dozen or so steals and assists to the first-half stat sheet.
Bettencourt is one of two starters, the other Natalie Stone, that return from last year’s state title team for coach Steve White. Include sharp-shooting Dakota McLarnan in the mix along with junior Lauren Sende and sophomore Haley Anderson and the Trojan foundation appears strong. Senior forward Stefanie Walberg is still injured but senior Alexa Pickett, who missed most of last year, isn’t and will be a contributor off the bench. Other key components include Jenna Klein, Katie Hoisington, Hayley Padua-Dean. Kaitlyn Lendrum, Lindsay Honaker, Nicole Rucker and Jacki Bateman.
Positive signs Monday were McLarnan knocking down her first three, Bettencourt and Stone creating havoc, Anderson’s hustle play underneath, Sende’s left-handed move off the glass and her defense in the paint, Klein’s ability to score off the bench and Lendrum’s aggressive drives to the basket.
Oak Ridge fell back defensively in the second half. Troy’s largest lead was 65. Bettencourt led Oak Ridge with 19 points; McLarnan bucketed 14; Sende, 13; Anderson, 11; Klein had nine; Stone and Lendrum contributed eight each. Pickett put up four and Padua-Dean added two.
To say the boys’ game was more competitive is an understatement. The Trojans led by just three after the first quarter before Scott scored seven points in the second, Matt Howard cut to the bucket for two more and JT Tulabut converted underneath and added a free throw as Oak Ridge took a 34-26 lead to the locker room.
Troy’s size with center Will Findlay and forwards Scott Sanchez and Morgan Elmachtoub wore down the smaller Thunder in the second half. Oak Ridge began extending its lead in the third as Scott fed Tyler Simms on the break, Simms hit two free throws and Elmachtoub added a putback. Simms’ baseline reverse and D.J. Leszczynski’s basket pushed the Trojans’ advantage to 14 before a 12-0 run to open the fourth buried Rocklin as Scott and Steven Hofman drained threes.
Scott, who led all scorers with 18 points, hit another as Oak Ridge increased its lead to 25 at one point. Simms added 16; Tulabut finished with nine; Findlay, eight; Sanchez, six; Hofman, five; Elmachtoub, four; and Leszczynski, Howard and Sean O’Donnell contributed three apiece.