Trojans knock off defending section champs
Host Oak Ridge stole momentum in the third quarter Friday, breaking from a halftime tie to defeat Delta River League foe Sheldon, 51-44, at the Trojans’ gym.
Troy forward Jordan Roberts (game-high 15 points) started the third by scoring a basket off a Husky turnover. At the free throw line, Trojan forward Jared Casey missed his final of two shots but teammate Connor Davis grabbed the offensive rebound, drove outside the perimeter and fired a three-pointer for a 24-19 lead.
For the next four minutes, Oak Ridge (2-1, 11-8) went on a 16-1 run for a 35-20 advantage against the four-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section champions that included two treys from Davis (11 points) and a putback off his own offensive rebound, and the rest of the points from Roberts and Matt Battaglia (six points).
“I told (Davis) to be careful going to the hoop,” said Oak Ridge head coach Bobby Edwards of Davis, who twisted his ankle in practice the day before the game in practice but showed no signs in Friday’s game.
The Trojans used various zones, plus man-to-man and full-court pressure defenses during their run to slow down the Huskies.
“We talked about changing up some zones, different looks,” Edwards said. “Try to keep them out of their groove. We came out with a 1-3-1, we come out with a 2-3.”
Roberts added, “We knew that we had to step up our game.”
Oak Ridge led 38-24 entering the final quarter. Sheldon rallied in the fourth, cutting the Trojans’ lead to 49-44 with 27 seconds left but Battaglia was fouled and hit two free throws to take the bark out of the Huskies.
“I personally felt we needed to mix it up,” Roberts said. “Once we were switching it up from a man or 2-3, we tried to keep them uncomfortable.”
Tyus Millholin capped off Trojans scoring in double figures with 11 points. Casey had six and Michael Brenneman had two.
Oak Ridge had 33 rebounds and only eight turnovers. Sheldon had 22 rebounds but committed 13 turnovers.