Boys fall 64-47
Ali Bettencourt scored a game-high 23 points, hitting all six of her free throws in the last two minutes, as host Oak Ridge held off a furious fourth-quarter Kennedy rally to defeat the Cougars 52-39 in a Division I section playoff opener Tuesday night.
Kennedy had cut its once 22-point deficit to eight with 4:40 left before a Jenn Hoffman-Shelby Peters pick-and-roll, Grace Derksen runner and the foul line carried the Trojans into last night’s second-round matchup with Enochs.
“Our first-half defense contained them but they (Cougars) flipped the switch and played with a sense of urgency with their season on the line and made a run,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said. “For us it was a matter of regaining our composure.”
Troy played short-handed in the post most of the night as Michelle Barkley went out 4:13 before halftime with an injury. Up to that point the senior had blocked several shots and was a factor on the backboard.
“Posting up I rolled my ankle, heard a ‘pop’ and felt immediate pain after that,” said Barkley from the sideline.
With Barkley and Peters controlling the paint and Oak Ridge guarding the perimeter, Kennedy had nowhere to go. Blocks from Barkley, Bettencourt and Peters set an early tone as the Trojans held the South Sacramento team to two, first-quarter points and eight for the half.
“We wanted to stop them early, make a statement and not give up a lot of points,” Derksen said. “Unfortunately we were a little complacent in the second half.”
Oak Ridge had clear control with a 24-8 lead at the half. Bettencourt had 13 of her points in the first two quarters and Peters had six, including the evening’s hustle play when she ran down a Cougar break-out and put it against the gym wall.
“I tried to sprint ahead to get the charge but she was ahead (of me) so I then tried to anticipate the block,” said Peters who had six rebounds and three blocks. “They weren’t making their shots in the first half but we knew they’d mount a comeback in the second half.”
Behind Katelynn Mitchell, the Cougars did — attacking the basket behind Mitchell’s 13 second-half points. Oak Ridge led 36-21 going to the fourth but two Kennedy scores in the last 14 seconds of the third quarter galvanized the Cougars for their last-ditch effort to catch the Trojans.
Five quick Mitchell points shaved a third off Oak Ridge’s advantage and Jessica Lauderdale’s 3-point play brought Kennedy within 39-31. But the Cougars scored just once more while the Trojans reeled off 13 to secure the win.
Peters scored 12; Derksen, five; Hoffman and Isamar Conde three each; and Barkley, Saraya Smith and Briana Dulgar two apiece. For Kennedy, Mitchell led with 15 points and Sidney Owen had 13.
Notes: Barkley said after Tuesday’s game she expected to be ready for Oak Ridge’s next game (last night).
MERCED — Behind 27-21 in Wednesday’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys basketball playoff game with Golden Valley, Oak Ridge was held to nine points in the third quarter that proved to be the difference in it 64-47 loss.
The Trojans (13-14), who entered the playoffs as the No. 10 seed, trailed 45-30 entering the fourth. Oak Ridge guard Tyus Millhollin scored a game-high 21 points.