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Lady Trojans drop three games in Arizona

By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge’s 10-5 record might not be as impressive as past years, but the team is learning. Any coach will tell you that a team learns more from their losses than their wins, or at least that’s the hope. The Lady Trojans dropped three of four games at the NIKE TOC Tournament in Phoenix last week, but in the long run coach Steve White hopes playing in the tournament will make his team better. Oak Ridge didn’t play its best out of state, beating Desert Vista, 65-50 before losing to Bonita, 59-37, Cleveland, 52-51 and Woodinville, 51-47. In their only victory, Dakota McLarnan scored 23 points, while Haley Anderson contributed nine points and Kaitlyn Lendrum and Carly Bettencourt both scored eight. “We won the first game to get on the correct side of the bracket, but we didn’t have any energy in the second game and lost the third game with a three pointer with 1.9 seconds left,” White said. “In the last game, we were up by two with 25 seconds left and ending up losing. Unfortunately, we didn’t play our best down there.” Katie Hoisington, who has missed almost nearly the entire season, led the team with 10 points in the loss to Bonita, but suffered yet another injury against Cleveland, this time to her knee, and White’s not sure how long she will be out. The team’s final two games against Cleveland and Woodinville were against defending state champions from Washington. They were losses to quality opponents, but losses nonetheless. For the first time in White’s coaching career, he’s lost three consecutive games. “It’s hard to find any positives,” White said. “I felt like we lost those games (instead of being beat). If anything we know what we need to work on from these games. We know we have to be more patient with the ball when the flow of the game is not in our favor. We know we have to rebound better and we know that we can’t let our problems on offense affect what our effort and what we’re doing on defense. We need to get after it defensively so we can create some offense.” In the loss to Cleveland, Bettencourt led the way with 13 points, while Anderson scored 12. McLarnan finished with nine. Against Woodinville, McLarnan threw in 14, while Anderson and Bettencourt both scored eight. “Hopefully we can have a good week of practice and be ready for Del Oro on Saturday,” White said. “We might be getting Stefanie Walberg back this week and she’s strong and feisty and will help us. We’re going to work on our half-court sets and out of bounds plays this week. We’ve got to get all five players on the court on the same page.”