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Pleasant Grove beats Oak Ridge in overtime in Delta River League opener

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Overtime was needed to decide the first Delta River League game between the Oak Ridge and Pleasant Grove boys’ basketball teams on Wednesday night. Clutch shooting and timely execution kept the Trojans in it during regulation, but Pleasant Grove scored the first seven points in the extra period and won a free throw shooting battle down the stretch en route to a 73-66 victory. Following the third quarter, Oak Ridge was down one. The lead quickly changed when Bryan Bare found Bryce Scott down low for a layup — the first of six lead changes in the fourth quarter. Back-and-forth the two teams went until Eagle guard Malik Thames knocked down a floater in the lane with 30 seconds left to put Pleasant Grove up by two. Fourteen seconds later, Cody Demps was called for an over-the-back foul, which sent Scott to the line to tie the game at 57 and send it to overtime. The Eagles outscored Oak Ridge in overtime, 16-9, to hold on for their first league win. It was the Trojans’ second overtime contest of the season. “I think we may have been a little gassed. They have a lot more depth than we do,” said Oak Ridge coach Steve Scott. “It’s a great league and they are one of the best teams in it. So we’re right there with the best teams. We just have to let this one go and get right back in it against Folsom on Friday.” Oak Ridge (10-7, 0-1 DRL) led 17-15 after the first quarter and fell behind midway through the second after an 8-0 Eagle run closed out the first half. The Trojans got their biggest shot of momentum with two minutes left in the fourth when reserve Sean O’Donnell — who hadn’t shot the ball all night — pulled up from the left wing and drilled a 3-pointer that put Oak Ridge up 53-52. “Our ball control was pretty good and it kept us in the game, but our defense had a little lapse at the end,” said Scott, the Trojans’ leading scorer (26 points). “I think we learned that we can beat anyone. We used our strengths against their strengths and I think we’ll be ready the next time we see them.” Thames led Pleasant Grove with a sneaky 25 points while Demps had 13 to go along with 13 rebounds. Josh Simms contributed 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting, while Bare and Scott Sanchez had eight apiece for the Trojans. Oak Ridge travels to Folsom High on Friday night to seek out their first league win against the Bulldogs.