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Oak Ridge JV girls win Bulldog Winter Classic, freshman girls tie for first at El Dorado

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Oak Ridge High’s junior varsity girls’ basketball team remained undefeated by winning the Lady Bulldog Winter Classic, while the freshman team tied for first in the El Dorado JV Tournament by winning two of three games.

The JV squad improved to 12-0 with three more wins last week, including a 58-46 win over Pleasant Valley in the championship game. It was an impressive win for the team.

“I was watching them warm up and everyone could dribble and shoot and they were bigger than us,” Oak Ridge coach Annie Lamy said. “I didn’t know how we were going to win.”

In the end, the Lady Trojans won the game with a solid fourth quarter in which they outscored Pleasant Valley 15-7. They also had players step up with impressive performances, including point guard and tournament Most Valuable Player, Jessica Maglietta, who scored 22 points, including 12 points coming on three-pointers. Saraya Smith also had a good game, scoring 17 points, while also playing better defensively, according to Lamy.

“Jessica stepped up the last two games and finally started shooting the ball,” Lamy said. “We also changed up our offenses and defenses throughout the game and the kids worked hard.”

Elizabeth Cameron finished with eight points, while Isamar Conde scored seven.

Aggressive play was also important for the team, as Cameron and Sierra Lamy led the way in that area, providing solid defense on Pleasant Valley’s post players. Free throw shooting was also key, as the Lady Trojans made 11-of-15 attempts in the fourth quarter.

Oak Ridge had an easier time in the first two rounds of the tournament, beating El Camino on Thursday, 65-25 and Chico on Friday, 56-30. In the win over El Camino, Smith equaled the Eagles’ total of 25 points. Conde scored 19, while Lamy scored nine and Maglietta had eight. Against Chico, Smith scored 16, while Maglietta and Conde finished with 10 and Lamy scored nine.

Joining Maglietta on the all-tournament team were Conde and Smith.

The freshman team (8-1) also had a good tournament at El Dorado High, winning two of three games against junior varsity teams, though the loss against Ponderosa was the team’s first of the year.

Oak Ridge opened the tournament with a 38-33 win over Bella Vista. In all three games of the tournament, Oak Ridge got off to good starts and played relatively well in the first half, but struggled, sometimes mightily, in the second half.

The Lady Trojans went cold from the field in the fourth quarter against the Broncos, as they saw their lead cut to two, 30-28. The team, however, regained its composure enough to hold on to the win, hitting five key free throws in the fourth quarter. Briana Dulgar led the way with 18 points, while Laura Soper finished with nine.

The team then earned a hard-fought 60-52 win over El Dorado. Again, the team played well early and led 35-18 at halftime. In the second half, the Lady Trojans managed to make five three-pointers and 10 free throws, but no two-point field goals. The Cougars got within four points, but Oak Ridge did a good job controlling the ball, working the shot clock and getting to the basket, according to coach Greg Lamy, which allowed the team to hold on for the win. Soper and Dulgar both scored 19 points, while Shelley Hoffman scored nine and Siera Rasmussen finished with eight.

In the final game, Oak Ridge lost to Ponderosa, 58-43. The team trailed 21-20 at halftime, but only scored five points in the third quarter, while allowing 23.

“We just stopped scoring offensively, and defensively, we looked tired and were unwilling to extend the effort to fight for rebounds,” Lamy said. “We played hard in the fourth quarter, though. Right now, we’re really struggling with our rebounding.”

Hoffman led the way with 12 points, while Soper scored 11. Hoffman and Dulgar were named to the all-tournament team, while Oak Ridge tied Ponderosa and Bella Vista for first place, as all three teams had 2-1 records.

“This tournament was very good for us in that it showed us things that we don’t do very well and we’ve got to fix them,” Lamy said. “That’s a huge positive for us and winning two games against JV teams was a good accomplishment.”