A Delta River League win is still a win for the Oak Ridge High boys basketball team — even if it is against No. 1 ranked team in the Sacramento area.
Hosting top-ranked Sheldon Wednesday night, the Trojans made up for missing nearly a dozen lay-ups to shock the Huskies 39-35.
The win improves Oak Ridge to 2-2 in Delta River League play, 12-8 overall, while Sheldon (15-4, 3-1) suffered its first league loss.
The game was tied 35-35 after Husky guard D’erryl Williams hit a putback with 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After a Trojan miss, Oak Ridge stole ball back that led to swingman Bryce Scott’s coast-to-coast drive to the basket at the south end of the gym to break the tie with 37 seconds left.
Oak Ridge secured the upset with 25 seconds left when senior guard Matt Howard created another turnover — he had four in the game —and scored the final basket. Sheldon had two more chances to score, but missed shots led to Scott rebounding the ball both times to notch the win.
“We knew we had to slow it down,” Oak Ridge coach Steve Scott said. “We had to control the game tempo. We knew we had to rebound. Those were the two things we talked about in pre-game and worked on in practice. I thought we did a pretty good job. We made it a little bit harder than we needed to be (but) we had the game controlled the whole time.”
The Trojans had 32 rebounds, including 12 in the final quarter. The Huskies, who average nearly 70 points per game, had 28 rebounds including eight in the final eight minutes of the game. The Trojans’ defense certainly dictated the outcome; grabbing the ball and preventing the Huskies from offensive rebounds.
“Off-night shooting,” Sheldon coach Joey Rollings said. “The ball wasn’t going in. The ball came off hard off the rim. They got the rebounds and putbacks.”
Oak Ridge led 24-20 going into the fourth quarter. But Sheldon took its first lead at 27-26 with 5:52 left in the game when junior guard Antonio Lewis scored a basket off a turnover. Oak Ridge took the lead again at 5:18 when Howard also scored off a turnover finishing up his own steal with a lay-up.
“It was a great win,” Scott said. “One that we had to get in order to try to get into the (Sac-Joaquin Section Division I) playoffs. I’m really proud of the guys. Our guys put in a lot of minutes.”
Oak Ridge led 17-9 at halftime after posting an 11-5 edge after the first quarter. Both teams were guilty of missed shots that left both coaches frustrated.
“We missed so many shots tonight it was unbelievable,” Scott said. “(But) they were playing hard defensively. To hold (Sheldon) to 35 points is unbelievable.”
Bryce Scott had 15 points to lead the Trojans, while Howard had nine and senior forward Scott Sanchez finished with eight. Forward Kyiron Thomas had 10 points for the Huskies while Lewis finished with eight and Williams had six.
Oak Ridge had 14 turnovers while Sheldon was guilty of turning the ball over only seven times.
Oak Ridge is back at it tonight at Ponderosa in an intra-county game that’s expected to draw a large turnout of fans for both sides.
In the junior varsity game, Sheldon hung on to beat Oak Ridge, 61-60.