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Sende leads Lady Trojans to Division I final

Senior center scores 18, pulls down 22 rebounds in upset win over Armijo
By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Lauren Sende and her teammates had one goal on their mind all season and that was to get to Arco Arena, otherwise known as Power Balance Pavilion. With a 63-52 upset win over No. 2 seeded Armijo on Tuesday at the University of Pacific in Stockton, Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ basketball team achieved that goal and will play Kennedy for the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section Championship at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Fourth-seeded Kennedy upset Pleasant Grove, 52-48, immediately following Oak Ridge’s win. Sende didn’t let a head cold stop her from her best game of the season, as she scored 20 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in leading her team to the final. “I’ve been sick all week, but I just pushed through it for the team,” Sende said. “This senior class was the last team to get to Arco when we were freshmen and we wanted to start that tradition again. As the game went on I picked up more confidence and felt that we could beat them.” Oak Ridge had a great first quarter, working up a 15-5 lead before giving up the final four points of the quarter and leading 15-9. The Lady Trojans were patient on offense, made good passes and connected on their shots to work up the lead. The Indians played better in the second and third quarters, outscoring Oak Ridge in both segments, 15-12 and then 18-16 and trailed by one, 43-42, heading into the final quarter. After taking a 46-45 lead early in the fourth, the Indians went cold from the field, while Oak Ridge scored seven straight points to take a six-point lead, 52-46, with 4:13 to play. Sende scored four points and Jenn Hoffman followed with a three-pointer to give the Lady Trojans momentum. Fifty seconds later after Jenna Klein missed a shot, Sende grabbed the rebound and scored to put the team up 54-46 with 3:25 to play. Armijo scored six straight points to make the score 54-52 with 2:01 to play, but that’s as close as they got to the lead. Haley Anderson hit an 8-foot jumper with 1:38 to play to give the team a four-point lead. The rest of the game was about free throws for Oak Ridge, as they hit seven-of-nine to pull away to an 11-point, 63-52. Sende scored nine of her 20 points in the fourth quarter, while Anderson scored six of her nine points in the final frame. Klein scored all 14 of her points in the first half, while Hoffman scored five of her seven points in the fourth quarter. Michelle Barkley had a nice third quarter, scoring six points. Marshanique Hall led Armijo with 16 points. “What can you say about Lauren,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said. “She had a huge game. If we rebound we’re a pretty good team and she grabbed 22 rebounds. She’s always had great footwork and she’s always been a focused individual, but tonight she put it all together. Now we’re going to challenge her to do to duplicate it on Saturday.”