Two minutes into the first quarter of its nonleague game Friday against Rodriguez, the Oak Ridge High School boys basketball team stole the ball almost at will.
Disrupting the Mustangs’ offense with smothering half-court pressure that led to eight turnovers in the first quarter alone, defense played a major role in the Trojans’ 63-25 win that improved the team’s record to 6-3 while Rodriguez fell to the same record.
“I knew they were a transition kind of team,” Troy coach Steve Scott said. “Tonight we got going early with a lot of turnovers, a lot of easy baskets.”
Most of those easy shots came off the hot hand of senior wing Bryce Scott, who scored seven of the Trojans’ first 11 points for an 11-4 lead. Oak Ridge upped its lead to an 18-6 advantage after junior wing Bryan Bare completed a 3-point play after being fouled driving into the paint.
In the end, the Trojans finished with 17 steals. Senior forward Scott Sanchez had six, senior guard Matt Howard swiped four and junior guard Josh Simms took three.
The visitors were better protective of the ball in the second quarter but Oak Ridge offense picked up thanks to eight rebounds, two offensive, and a three-pointer from junior guard Evan Gross. At halftime Troy led 39-11.
The third quarter mirrored the first as Oak Ridge forced eight more turnovers. In all, the shell-shocked Mustangs were guilty of 21 turnovers while the Trojans committed 16, four which came in the fourth quarter.
“Our defense is a little tricky,” Scott said.
Bryce Scott finished with 25 points, followed by Howard with nine, Bare netted seven and sophomore guard Connor Sende had five. Rodriguez was led by senior point guard Kellen Hill with 10 points, Badger Daniel with four and Justin Idowu had three.
Oak Ridge had 34 rebounds with Sanchez pulling down 10, including three offensive. Howard had five and Simms took four.
In JV action last week the Trojans beat the Sutter Huskies 53-34 on Thursday and took down the Burbank Titans 46-44 on Friday during the Cordova Tournament. The JV team lost to the Pleasant Grove Eagles 45-55 in Saturday’s tournament play.