Oak Ridge’s full-court press proved to be the difference late against Pleasant Grove as the host Trojans won 58-51 Thursday in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I second-round girls basketball match-up.
Point guard Carly Bettencourt played a near complete game, controlling the tempo for the Trojans in a fast-paced fourth quarter which saw multiple Eagle turnovers result in easy baskets for Oak Ridge
Ending the fourth-quarter with seven of her 11 points, guard/forward Kaitlyn Lendrum keyed the offense early in the period as the Trojan press did more then enough to disrupt the flow of the Pleasant Grove offense.
“We wanted to step up the pressure late, especially with their point guard (Marissa Wimbley) in foul trouble,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said.
Bettencourt headed to the line with 30 seconds remaining in regulation and knocked down a pair of free throws to extend the lead to seven for her semifinal-bound Trojans.
Coming into Thursday’s contest, both teams were familiar with one another having playing twice in the regular season and once at the Trojan Shoot-Out.
Pleasant Grove center Melissa Norman closed the game with 13 points, eight rebounds alongside sophomore guard Avonna Lee who led the Eagles with 17 points.
Bettencourt’s hot hand kept the Trojans in the game early but when her shot didn’t fall in the second half, she relied on her court-vision to set up teammates.
“Kaitlyn (Lendrum) was hot so I was trying to find her” Carly said of her fourth quarter mindset. Bettencourt finished the game with 13 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Oak Ridge also enjoyed contributions from guard Dakota McLarnan (five points and four steals), Haley Anderson (nine points) and Jenna Klein (seven points).
The Trojans will now face Lincoln of Stockton as the defending state-champions find themselves just one win away from another trip to Arco Arena.
Note: Starting guard Natalie Stone, who injured her ankle in Tuesday’s game against Lodi, did not play.