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Lady Trojans struggle in win over Inderkum

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Right from the start of Thursday’s game against Inderkum, Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ basketball team struggled. The Lady Trojans had difficulty executing their offense, shots weren’t dropping and they just didn’t play well all around and that trend continued for the rest of the game. The team pulled out a 44-42 win, but with a road game against Delta River League favorite Pleasant Grove looming Tuesday, the team will have to play a lot better if they hope to hang with the Eagles, let alone beat them. “Our style of play has been selfish,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said.”We’ve got people pounding (dribbling) the ball that shouldn’t be pounding it; others who aren’t recognizing mismatches on the floor when that’s been a point of emphasis of several practices lately. We’re not looking up the floor and are playing with tunnel vision. It’s frustrating.” Oak Ridge led by eight points 23-15 midway through the second quarter following a three-point play by Haley Anderson, but by the end of the half, the lead was only one, 25-24. Jenna Klein opened the second half with a three-pointer, but the Trojans didn’t score for almost four minutes. With Inderkum leading 30-28, Klein made a basket and followed it with a pair of free throws which gave the Lady Trojans the lead for good at 32-30. Michelle Barkley knocked down a three-pointer and later made a transition basket and Oak Ridge led 37-33 after three quarters. Oak Ridge could never put the Tigers away. Anderson’s basket with 1:39 to play gave the team a five-point lead, but Inderkum answered with a three-pointer 21 seconds later to make it a one-possession game, 44-42. That’s how the game ended, however, as following a missed free throw by Lauren Sende; Inderkum had one last chance to tie the score or take the lead, but turned the ball over. Klein led the team with 10 points, while Kaitlyn Lendrum and Anderson finished with nine. Despite the win, White wasn’t pleased, as he gave the team a stern talking to in the locker room. “We’re in a tailspin right now and we’ve got to pull out of it by Tuesday,” White said. Anderson said she knows what it will take for her team to pull out of the funk they’re in and she’s confident they will do it. “We need to show more intensity and play with more passion,” she said. “We have the tools and we have the ability, but right now it’s not transferring from practice into the games. I’m confident. We’ve talked about this before and there are certain people that we look to for energy and we know what we have to do.”