Wednesday Dec 23 2009
Lady Trojans top Reno to win Toss-Up Tourney
By: Matt Long
Sara James scores 27, named tournament MVP
For the fifth straight season, Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ basketball team is the champion of the Trojan Toss-Up. Sara James scored 27 points in the 48-41 win over Reno in the championship game on Wednesday and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Her final four points came on free throws in the game’s final 13 seconds which secured the win. The win improved Oak Ridge’s record to 10-0. James had her fingerprints all over the game. With Oak Ridge trailing 25-23 in the third quarter, James gave her team the lead for good with a 3-pointer with three minutes to play in the quarter. She followed it up with a driving layup and after a Carly Bettencourt jumper, James posted up and scored another basket, capping off a 9-0 run that put Oak Ridge up 32-25 with 32 seconds to play in the quarter. In the fourth quarter, James scored her team’s first four points of the quarter before Natalie Stone hit a big 3-pointer to put the team up by six. Caitlin Welsch’s basket put Oak Ridge up 41-34 and Bettencourt later answered Reno’s 3-pointer with one of her own that kept Oak Ridge in front enough for James to close out the game with her free throws. “Reno was a good team for us to play,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said. “We played them in an AAU tourney and they jumped all over us so we knew they were good. “In the first half, we got a lot of good looks but our shots just weren’t falling. Defensively, we were great except for a couple of breakdowns in the first half. We slowed a high-octane team down.” The win over Reno followed up wins over Monterey Trail (87-27) and Bella Vista (61-42). Stone and Welsch, who both scored seven points against Reno, made the all-tournament team for their performances.