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Oak Ridge girls annihilate Grant in playoff opener

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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The Oak Ridge girls made things look easy on Tuesday night. In the opening round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, the sixth-seeded Lady Trojans completely dismantled the No.11 Grant Pacers at the Trojan gym, 76-36. From the first quarter to game’s end, the Lady Trojans dominated. Jenna Klein’s 17 points led a pack of 14 players who scored for Oak Ridge. A 17-0 run over three minutes in the third quarter sent Oak Ridge to its second straight 40-point win; the Lady Trojans defeated Ponderosa 68-28 in their regular season finale. Klein sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around an uncontested layup for eight consecutive points during the Lady Trojans’ game-sealing span. Oak Ridge coach Steve White was able to utilize his second and third units midway through the third quarter, giving his starters some very beneficial rest before advancing to the second round of the postseason. “I think our depth helps us,” White said. “(Grant) gave us some trouble but we made some adjustments and made a nice little run with our first group. That’s what they’re supposed to do. In playoff games, you have to take care of possessions. Little things lead to big things and we took care of those in the second half.” “We kept giving up little spurts where we’d give up a few rebounds but we came back and started moving the ball around better,” said Jacki Bateman, who provided a nice spark off the bench for Oak Ridge with 10 points and eight rebounds. After a swarming defensive first half (13 forced turnovers), Oak Ridge came out of the locker room on fire, shooting 11-of-14 on seven assists from the floor in the third quarter. The Lady Trojans outscored Grant 25-5 in the third. “We were a little rocky on rebounding (in the first half). We gave up a lot of second and third shots. But we had those moments where we’d come back and hit some big shots,” said Klein. At the three-minute mark of the fourth, White was able to sub in five JV call-ups—who contributed 12 total points to the win—to finish the game. “A lot of those (JV) kids could play varsity for other schools. They went undefeated this year and they have a lot of confidence so it’s not uncommon for them to get into games like this in critical minutes,” said White. Thursday continues D-I play for the Lady Trojans as they travel to Stockton to battle No.3 Lincoln High. The Lady Trojans know that it’s win-or-go-home time and are ready for any challenge. “We know how it feels trying to guard our own home territory,” said Klein. “If we’re on the road, we have to just step up and try to take over their house.” White added, “At this point, you’re in one-and-done territory. I like going on the road sometimes. You’re the underdog no matter what and you feed into that. If you get on a roll, it kind of turns everyone around.”