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Oak Ridge's season comes to an end in Berkeley

By: Matt Long
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In the end the 2010-2011 basketball season for the Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ team was a good one. The Lady Trojans finished the year with a 21-11 record, losing to top-seeded Berkeley in the Nor-Cal quarterfinals on Thursday, 75-49. As the final score indicates, the Lady Trojans were no match for Berkeley, who jumped out to a big lead early and went on to win comfortably by 26 points. Oak Ridge coach Steve White, however, was proud of his team’s performance. “We were down by 30 early in the second quarter, 44-14,” White said. “We chipped away in the third quarter and got the lead down to 14 early in the fourth quarter and had a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 12, but missed them both and then had two turnovers that Berkeley took advantage of and that was pretty much the game. “I’m proud of the way we responded. We settled down and realized that we needed to be physical and fought back. I’m proud of the effort and the way they regrouped.” Oak Ridge senior guard Natalie Stone added, “Our game plan was to not let them get into a running game up and down the floor and that’s exactly what happened. After that first quarter I thought we were going to lose by 40, but we went to a half-court man defense and were able to keep them in front of us.” For Stone and the rest of the team, it was nice for the girls to upset Lowell in the first round of the Nor-Cal playoffs and fight its way back in the game against Berkeley. “It was nice to get that first win and get closer to where we were last year,” Stone said. “Against Berkeley, I really felt we came together as a team and battled back and that showed our heart.” Katie Hoisington led Oak Ridge with 14 points, while Dakota McLarnan finished with 13. “We also had good efforts by Stefanie Walberg inside and Carly (Bettencourt) also guarded a post and did a good job on her. Dakota also did a nice job defensively too.” While Stone was sad to season the season come to an end, she will always have great memories of her years at Oak Ridge. “I definitely came a long way since playing on the freshman team,” Stone said. “I will remember the state championship, of course, but I will also remember getting to know the coaches and players and the summer trips.” White is already looking forward to next season. “We’ve got some pieces coming back, but we’re going to have to find a point guard with Natalie and Carly graduating,” White said.