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Lady Trojans still trying to play well for four quarters

By: Matt Long
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For a program, coach and team that have had so much success over the years, it’s been a tough year for Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ basketball team. The Lady Trojans enter this week with an 11-7 record, a record that many teams would be glad to have, but to Oak Ridge, a team that’s not used to failing, it’s been a struggle. To their credit, however, coach Steve White and his girls remain optimistic; even after losing to Hanford on Saturday, 79-69, a game they led at halftime 47-30. Though White has been frustrated by his team’s inability to play strong for four quarters and finish a game, he hopes the girls can learn how to do that. “We just cannot finish a game,” White said after the game. “It’s been the same thing all year. If we ever learn from this, look out.” White emphasized the ‘if’ in that statement twice. He’s got to believe that a team with the talent that his possesses will come through sooner or later. Senior guard Natalie Stone was disappointed to lose the game like all of her teammates, but she had the right attitude about it. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but once we find our chemistry we will be able to push past everything,” Stone said. “We will figure it out; we just have to get everyone on the same page. We’ll go back to practice and turn it around.” White wish he had the answer to his team’s finishing problems. “If I knew what to do I’d fix it,” White said. “Mentally, I think we’re lacking that killer instinct. There’s nothing I can do about that; we just have to keep working at it.” The good news is the Lady Trojans have talent and experience and their skills showed in the first half against Hanford, as the team jumped out to a 29-17 lead after one quarter and increased it to 47-30 at halftime. They just couldn’t – and really haven’t yet this season – done that for an entire game. That’s what they’ve got to figure out. On Friday against Ponderosa, it was the first half of the game that the team struggled, as they trailed 16-14 at halftime. They came out in the second half, however, and blew away the Bruins, outscoring them 44-23. Haley Anderson led the team with 13 points, the only player to reach double digits. Oak Ridge begins this week with a 2-1 record in the Delta River League. On Tuesday they traveled to Elk Grove to face Pleasant Grove and on Friday the team plays host to Sheldon.