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Elevating to the occasion

Playoffs offer fresh start to Trojans
By: Matt Long
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After struggling through the Delta River League, Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys’ basketball team opens the playoffs today on the road at McNair High School in Stockton. Oak Ridge started the year with 19 straight wins, the Trojans lost five of their last seven games, but held on to earn the 12th-seed in the Division I playoffs. “We knew the Delta River League would be tough and we tried to prepare for it as best we could,” Oak Ridge coach Bob Christensen said. “What we learned from the league is that we have to compete every single possession and we can’t take any possessions off. It was a hard lesson to learn but a valuable one. “That chapter is now over. We survived it and we’re OK. A new chapter starts Wednesday and we feel we’re battled tested.” The Trojans have played their best basketball this season when they’ve shared the ball on offense and worked to get the team’s best shot, while playing together on defense. Christensen said the team would have to do those things to have success in the playoffs. The fact that the team will have to work its way through the playoffs on the road isn’t an issue to Christensen. “I play the hand I’m dealt,” Christensen said. “We’ve got to win four games and every team is going to be a tough matchup. Every team has a chance. One thing we’ve got going for us is that we went on the road last year and played a tough game against Grace Davis and we’ve got five or six guys on the team this year that went through that so that experience helps. There is no replacement for experience.”