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Oak Ridge JV girls close in on unbeaten season

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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One opponent separates Oak Ridge High’s junior varsity girls’ basketball team from perfection. The Trojans, 24-0 on the season, finish their season tonight on the road against archrival Ponderosa. The Bruins, however, will need a miracle to tarnish Oak Ridge’s season. When the teams last met on Jan. 26, Oak Ridge won by 55 points. The last team with a chance to upset the Lady Trojans was St. Francis, who traveled to Oak Ridge last Friday and went home after losing 58-48. Oak Ridge held a narrow 11-8 lead after the first quarter, but a 28-8 second quarter gave the team a comfortable 39-16 lead at halftime. Oak Ridge led by 20 after three quarters, before St. Francis made a nice run in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to single digits before losing by 10. “We played great for the first three quarters and then we stopped thinking,” Oak Ridge coach Annie Lamy said. “St. Francis started to hit their shots and we let ourselves get caught up in the thought that we had the game won.” Celeste Vitolas led the team with 18 points, while Krisztina Zagyi scored 14. Lauren Barca finished with eight points and Nina Grimes had six. Two days earlier, Oak Ridge defeated Del Oro in a non-league game 71-36. The Golden Eagles were the only team to beat Oak Ridge’s junior varsity team a year ago, but this year the roles were reversed. In what might have been the most complete game the team’s played all season, Oak Ridge jumped out to an 18-4 lead after the first quarter and continued to pour it on. “We played the entire game, from start to finish, with a lot of energy,” Lamy said. “We ended the game with the same intensity we started with. It was great.” Vitolas again led the team with 13 points, while Zagyi had 12. Gabby Flores and Kristen Swanson scored nine each, while Shelby Peters, Grace Derksen and Alyssa Ramona all scored six points. Oak Ridge’s week began with a 66-16 win over Sheldon. Zagyi led all scorers with 16, while Derksen and Vitolas both scored 10. Peters and Grimes scored eight. The freshman team also had a good week, splitting two games but playing well in both games. “I’m so stoked at how the girls played this week,” Oak Ridge coach Greg Lamy said. “They finally played like they’re capable of playing.” Oak Ridge, 3-0 in league and 20-4 overall, opened the week with a 42-40 loss to Del Oro, the first of what Lamy called their two-part final exam. The game was close throughout and the Lady Trojans had a chance to extend the game, but Katey Nill’s driving layup failed to find the basket and no foul was called on the bumpy path to the rim. “We did what we needed to do at the end of the game and there was a lot of contact and no foul was called,” Lamy said. “In the end we lost the game because they out-rebounded us. They went after the ball harder than us and it was obvious in a lot of key instances. “It’s the best I’ve ever felt after a loss, though. You could see the disappointment in the team’s eyes and I’ve been waiting to see that they cared all year. I’ve been waiting for them to show me that basketball is important to them so that was great to see.” Nill’s 11 points led the way. Isamar Conde finished with 10, while Jessica Maglietta scored nine. Oak Ridge ended the week with a 50-35 win over St. Francis, a win that made them Delta River League champions. The team came out firing on all cylinders on their way to an 18-10 advantage after the first quarter. After outscoring the Troubadours 15-7 in the second quarter, Oak Ridge held a 20-point lead for most of the second half. The team received great scoring balance, as Morgan Jones led the way with 14 points. Nill and Lauren Gaddis both scored eight, including two threes from Gaddis, while Maglietta and Ella Marina scored six points each. “Jessica has really stepped up the last three weeks,” Lamy said. “She’s become a leader on the floor and her team can count on her. She’s exceeded my expectations.”