Hard work pays off. Even when Oak Ridge High’s junior varsity girls’ basketball team isn’t playing their best, just the fact that they’re working hard is sometimes enough to gain them a win. Such was the case on Jan. 11 in the Delta River League opener against St. Francis. The Lady Trojans didn’t play their best game and not much went right for them, but hard work kept them on the right end of a 52-39 score. Oak Ridge (2-0, 14-1) trailed 13-5 after the first quarter, but by halftime led 23-20. A 17-6 advantage in the third quarter put the game away. Michelle Barkley led the way with 15 points, while Ali Bettencourt and Jenn Hoffman both scored 10 points. “It wasn’t a great game for us, but the girls were intense and aggressive and working hard is never an issue with this group,” Oak Ridge coach Annie Lamy said. “Michelle stepped up and dominated and it was nice to see that effort.” On Friday Oak Ridge got off to a slow start against Folsom, leading only 7-3 after one quarter, but by the end of the game it was the Lady Trojans in a romp, 52-6. Jenna Ford scored 16 points to lead the team, while Hoffman added 12 and Bettencourt and Nikki Dow finished with eight points each. The freshman team also picked up two wins last week to improve to 14-2 on the season. With only four league games this season, every game is truly important and Oak Ridge opened league play with a 35-28 win over St. Francis on Jan. 11. It was a tale of two halves, as Oak Ridge dominated the first half, working up a 23-6 lead by halftime. While St. Francis came back to make a game of it, Oak Ridge hung on for the win, thanks for some clutch free throw shooting in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Trojans made seven-of-12 freebies. “We came out and played really well and were aggressive on both offense and defense,” coach Greg Lamy said. “In the second half it was a completely different team that came out and it’s a team I hope I never see again. They just lost all of their aggressiveness.” Lauren Barca was the team’s top scorer with seven points, while Nina Grimes scored six and Kristen Swanson ended with five. On Friday the Lady Trojans defeated Colfax in a non-league game, 47-18. The Falcons came in with an impressive 15-2 record, but Oak Ridge won easily thanks to a focused effort. Celeste Vitolas scored 18 points to lead Oak Ridge, while Krisztina Zagyi added 13 and Barca finished with seven.