Oak Ridge boys fall to Sheldon on senior night

By: by Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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For the second consecutive season, the Oak Ridge boys’ basketball team was dealt a loss on senior night. The top-ranked Sheldon Huskies came in and gave the Trojans a 74-47 defeat.

Oak Ridge couldn’t hold the offense of the uber athletic Huskies in check. Sheldon, the No. 1 ranked team in the CIF polls, played up to its standing and crushed the Trojans.

Sheldon was in control of the game from the tip, getting off to a 13-2 start through the first four minutes of the first quarter. Oak Ridge coach Steve Scott went with an all-senior starting five.

“The mindset was to play hard and do the best that we could. (Sheldon) is a really good team,” said Scott. “We wanted to run our stuff and prevent them from getting to the rim and get out in transition. All those things that we didn’t want to happen happened.”

There were few bright spots for the Trojans. They built a 10-0 run in the third quarter to chip away at the massive Sheldon lead. Senior Brandon Williams, who normally sees limited minutes off the bench, scored 11 of Oak Ridge’s 22 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers.

“We just came out terrible, scared almost. They (Sheldon) are a good team, but we just got embarrassed,” said Oak Ridge senior Josh Simms.

Oak Ridge, who was ranked tenth in the CIF Division I standings entering this week, now faces a must-win situation in its regular season finale at Ponderosa on Tuesday. Playoff teams are required to win a minimum of five league games. The Trojans are sitting on a 4-5 Delta River League record.

“We’ve had two bad games in a row, so we have to regroup. The kids have to decide that we want to win. They have to commit themselves to the things that we committed to all year, working hard defensively, rebounding, playing together,” said Scott.

“Now it’s win or go home against Pondo. We’d better be ready,” said Simms, who remembered last year’s deflating loss against the Bruins in the season finale. “Hopefully, we can get redemption from last year.”

Williams led Oak Ridge with all of his 11 points coming in that fourth-quarter stretch. Sergio Quilici pounded inside for nine points and seven rebounds. Sheldon had four players in double digits, led by Antonio Lewis, who posted 15 points.