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Lady Trojans hold on to win Toss-Up Tournament

Defeat Christian Brothers in final, 64-58
By: Matt Long
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A great start made up for a sloppy final three quarters as Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ basketball team held off a tough-as-nails Christian Brothers team on Thursday night to win their annual Toss-Up Tournament, beating the Falcons, 64-58. Oak Ridge played a great first quarter, working up a 25-9 lead after eight minutes of play, but as much as the Lady Trojans dominated play in the first quarter, Christian Brothers had the edge of the final 24 minutes, outscoring Oak Ridge 49-39. “I feel like a broken record because I keep saying the same things,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said. “We’ve got to find a way to play four quarters. Thank goodness we got off to a good start tonight.” Oak Ridge scored the first seven points of the game, worked up a 14-7 lead and then finished the quarter on an 11-0 run to assert their dominance early. Dakota McLarnan scored 10 of her 14 points in the opening eight minutes, while Haley Anderson added eight. Lauren Sende scored four points but was making a bigger difference on the defensive end of the court with blocked shots and preventing shots being taken, as Falcon shooters often turned the other way and passed the ball when Sende stepped in front of them. The Lady Trojans, however, never enjoyed the same success the rest of the game, as the Falcons played them all but evenly in the second quarter and outscored them in both quarters in the second half. Oak Ridge became impatient offensively, firing up quick shots, and defensively had trouble stopping penetration. Beyond that, the Falcons seemed to be getting to all the loose balls and in fact played like the team that was leading instead of trailing. The Falcons cut Oak Ridge’s lead to eight at 56-48 with 2:35 to play, but Carly Bettencourt had a steal and assist to Anderson and Natalie Stone made a steal and Bettencourt followed with two free throws that kept the team in front. Anderson and McLarnan finished with 14 points, while Kaitlyn Lendrum scored 11. Stone ended up with eight, while Sende chipped in seven. McLarnan was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Lendrum and Anderson made the all-tournament team.