Oak Ridge girls still seeking consistent play

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ basketball team has a solid 13-5 record this season, but is still looking to put together a solid 32-minute performance. Each game they play, even in games they win, there’s a stretch of time, as short as four-to-five minutes or as long as a half, that they don’t play the way coach Steve White wants them to. On Saturday in the Common Good Classic against Del Oro (9-8), the Lady Trojans found themselves tied at 22 at halftime. Oak Ridge played very well in the second half, however, outscoring the Golden Eagles 30-10 on its way to a 52-32 victory. Jenn Hoffman led the way with 21 points, all coming on 3-pointers, while Jenna Klein finished with 13. Oak Ridge had no trouble beating Folsom Thursday night, 67-39, but White was critical of his team’s play in the first half. While the Lady Trojans jumped out to a 12-2 lead, they only led by 11 points at halftime. The Lady Trojans played much better in the second half, particularly in the third quarter when they outscored Folsom 20-6. It’s that kind of performance White expected from his team the entire game. “We’re just looking for that consistency for four quarters,” White said. “We played the way we should have in the third quarter and it’s frustrating that we don’t do that for the entire game.” Klein, who led Oak Ridge with 16 points, scored 11 of those in the first quarter and was a catalyst for the team, as she created several turnovers and was often the beneficiary on the offense end with the transition basket. Oak Ridge opened the third quarter on a 17-0 run, as Folsom made eight turnovers before scoring their first points with 2:11 to play in the quarter. Lauren Sende scored six, Kaitlyn Lendrum had five and Haley Anderson scored four during the run. The Lady Trojans featured a balanced attack. Following Klein’s 16 points, Sende scored 13, 10 coming in the second half, while Anderson finished with eight and Lendrum scored seven. All but one Oak Ridge player scored. “We just have to play more as a team,” Lendrum said. “In the second half when we made the extra pass we played a lot better. We just need to keep improving with each game.” Oak Ridge had the tough assignment of opening Delta River League play on the road against league favorite Pleasant Grove. White knew his Lady Trojans would have a tough task in challenging the Lady Eagles on their home court. Junior forward Avonna Lee scored seven of her game-high 17 points — without missing a shot — in the final quarter, including a 3-pointer that felt like a dagger with 1:35 left. The shot put Pleasant Grove up by 11 and the Lady Eagles went on to win 56-42. “It’s tough to have (Pleasant Grove) right out of the gate. No doubt, they create matchup problems,” said White. Oak Ridge led after the first quarter, 14-7, but the Lady Eagles made two momentous runs in both the second and third quarter to put the heat on the Lady Trojans. A 9-0 run midway through the second gave the Eagles a three-point halftime lead. Klein hit one of her four 3-pointers on the night on the first possession of the third quarter before the Lady Eagles went on to score 13 unanswered points to go up 36-23. In the fourth, Oak Ridge began trapping and making stops. Anderson took a steal for a layup and Katie Hoisington pick-pocketed a Pleasant Grove post player, which led to another Klein 3-pointer that brought Oak Ridge within six with 3:45 remaining — the closest they would get for the rest of the game. “I felt like we played with a lot of energy and played well as a team,” said Klein, who led Oak Ridge with 16 points and four steals. “I think we started out really well, but we just lacked on the rebounds and giving up easy buckets.” Hoisington gave Oak Ridge five rebounds, four assists and four steals while Hoffman scored 11 points with a pair of 3-pointers. “We had chances. We just struggled a little bit offensively tonight,” White said. “We had some girls hit some shots for us tonight but we just need to find that one more person, that one extra person to come off the bench and give us a lift.”