Oak Ridge JV, freshman girls cap off week with big wins over Del OroBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Oak Ridge High’s junior varsity girls’ basketball team remained undefeated after picking up three wins last week.
The Lady Trojans opened league play Jan. 8 with a 59-35 win over Pleasant Grove. Despite the 24-point win, it was a game in which Oak Ridge coach Annie Lamy never felt comfortable with her team’s play. Effort wasn’t the issue; however, instead, it was execution.
“The girls were working hard, but not doing the right things,” Lamy said.
Saraya Smith scored 19 points in the win, while Isamar Conde finished with 16.
A 58-29 win over Folsom Thursday was expected, but it was another game in which Lamy said her team didn’t play well. Varsity coach Steve White spoke to the JV girls the previous day, mainly about defense, work ethic and attitude and Lamy was expecting a better performance out of her team against the Bulldogs.
“It was more of the same from the Pleasant Grove game,” Lamy said. “We couldn’t translate how we practiced Wednesday into the game Thursday.”
Smith scored 11 points, while Sierra Lamy, Elizabeth Cameron and Lauren Gaddis all scored 10 points.
Those two games were quickly forgotten after Saturday’s showdown with Del Oro, a game Oak Ridge won 64-56.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to get, but the girls were focused and ready to go,” Lamy said. “We were a completely different team than we showed against Pleasant Grove. Our help defense and rebounding was great and I have no complaints about this game.”
Lamy said Cameron played well in the paint. Smith led the way with 19 points, while Conde scored 11. Sierra Lamy finished with 10 and Jessica Maglietta scored nine.
Free throw shooting was critical to the win. The Lady Trojans only made one basket in the fourth quarter, but connected on 10-of-12 free throws. For the game, the team made 22-of-28 shots from the foul line.
The freshman girls had its most competitive week of the season and passed the test with flying colors by winning all three games.
Oak Ridge opened with a 53-24 win over Christian Brothers on Jan. 7. The Falcons featured an athletic, hard working and disciplined team, but on this night were no match for the Lady Trojans. Oak Ridge turned a 9-7 lead after the first quarter into a 24-15 halftime advantage and pulled away even further in the second half when they allowed the Falcons only nine points.
“Our defensive pressure in the second half was the difference, as we played with more focus and didn’t give up as many chances,” Oak Ridge coach Greg Lamy said. “Offensively, we were moving the ball around better and we hit some shots. It was a good start to the week.”
Briana Dulgar led the team with 21points, while Shelley Hoffman scored 12 and Laura Soper finished with seven.
The team followed up the win with a 43-25 victory over Sacramento on Friday. The Dragons are as physical an opponent that Oak Ridge will likely see all season, but the team didn’t let it bother them and cruised to the double-digit win. A 12-2 scoring advantage in the third quarter added to a three-point halftime lead and the Lady Trojans pulled away even further in the fourth quarter. Dulgar threw in 15 points and Hoffman scored 10.
“Sacramento was extremely physical, but it was good for us to see that,” Lamy said. “The girls got annoyed, but they weren’t rattled by it. We had a much better effort in the third quarter.”
Saturday the girls faced the best team they’ve played this season in Del Oro. Oak Ridge brought its “A” game and an outstanding fourth quarter led the team to a come-from-behind 43-39 victory. Oak Ridge outscored Del Oro 15-3 in the final eight minutes.
The win was big, because the Golden Eagles were undefeated as freshmen (with two wins over Oak Ridge) and had yet to lose a game this season.
“Our girls brought focus,” Lamy said. “We had a tense talk at halftime and they came out in the third quarter on fire. Del Oro came back, but we held their best player to two points in the second half and in the fourth quarter they only made one basket and a free throw and we scored the last four points of the game.”
Rebounding was also key in the second half. After being outrebounded by 15 in the first half, Oak Ridge grabbed nine more rebounds than the Eagles in the second half.
“This was a hallmark game,” Lamy said. “It showed how this team is capable of playing.”
Soper scored 15 points to lead the team, while Hoffman added 12.
“It was a great week,” Lamy said. “Monday we beat a very athletic and disciplined team. Friday we beat an athletic and aggressive team and Saturday we beat the best team we’ve seen all season, including the junior varsity teams we’ve played.”