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Oak Ridge girls preparing for league opener against Pleasant Grove

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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With one non-league game remaining, Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ basketball team is as ready as they’re going to be for the Delta River League schedule. The Lady Trojans enter Thursday’s game at Inderkum with 10-4 record. It’s the team’s last chance to prepare for Delta River League favorite Pleasant Grove, who the Lady Trojans play on the road on Tuesday. “We hope to hit the league schedule rolling,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said. “Pleasant Grove is the favorite and the number one team. They’ve got a really good point guard, two taller, versatile players and a solid supporting case. We’re going to have to stick together, make the extra pass and play with confidence.” Oak Ridge is coming off a solid performance at the West Coast Jamboree where they won three of four games. Oak Ridge opened the tournament with a 54-35 loss to the eventual champion, Prairie. Despite holding them to their lowest point total of the tournament, the Lady Trojans only scored 35 points themselves and couldn’t hang with the team from Washington. “They were good and we struggled,” White said. “Offensively, we were pathetic for three quarters but the reserves came in with energy and a carefree attitude in the fourth quarter and played well.” Michelle Barkley led the team with seven points and Nikki Dow finished with six. Oak Ridge rebounded with three straight wins, starting with a 71-37 victory over Washington. The team played a lot better and it resulted in a resounding victory. Katie Hoisington and Kaitlyn Lendrum scored 10 points, while Jenna Klein and Barkley added nine to lead the way. The Lady Trojans then defeated Sheldon, 37-22, in a low-scoring defensive battle. After a first half which saw Oak Ridge leading only 12-10, the Lady Trojans outscored the Huskies by seven in the third quarter to pull away. Lendrum scored 14 and Klein finished with 12. “We had to grind it out and win an ugly game, but those are the games you’ve got to find the way to win,” White said. In the tournament finale, Oak Ridge played better offensively and easily defeated Eastside College Prep, 57-27. The team worked up a 36-8 lead in the first half to put the game out of reach. Klein led the team with 10 points, while Lendrum finished with nine and Lauren Liebert came off the bench to score eight. Lendrum was the team’s lone all-tournament selection. “Kaitlyn played more relaxed and did a good job throughout the tournament,” White said.