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Sheldon girls push Oak Ridge into second-place deadlock

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Any coach will tell you it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season. Sheldon proved that on Tuesday night, as they defeated Oak Ridge 51-40 and moved into a second-place tie with the Lady Trojans at 5-3 in the Delta River League. The Lady Trojans entered the game having won the two previous meetings against the Huskies. Oak Ridge, who was without starting guard Kaitlyn Lendrum (broken foot), only managed to produce exactly 10 points in each quarter on Tuesday night on 27 percent shooting for the game. Sheldon, meanwhile, outscored the Lady Trojans in each period with the exception of the fourth, including 17-10 in the third quarter. “(Sheldon) came into our building and wanted it a whole lot more. They out-hustled us for loose balls and rebounds. They rattled us and we didn’t have any fight,” said Oak Ridge coach Steve White, whose team now sports an 18-7 overall record. After Sheldon put up a 14-10 lead in the first quarter, Oak Ridge tied the game at 18 when Haley Anderson kicked it out to Jenna Klein for a 3-pointer. Jenn Hoffman then drove from the top of the key through traffic for a lay-in that gave the Lady Trojans a brief two-point lead. Sheldon followed by going on a seven-point run to close the half with a five-point cushion. Anderson and Klein began the third quarter with back-to-back threes that brought Oak Ridge within one at 27-26. Sheldon’s Kedina Monroe responded by scoring 10 points during a 15-3 run that closed out the quarter and opened up the game for the Lady Huskies at 42-30. A nine-point lead turned into a 15-point spread during what would become a six-point Sheldon possession in the fourth. With Sheldon inbounding under its own basket, Brianna Burgos drew a shooting foul just before the shot clock expired. White was whistled for a technical and Burgos smoothly sank all four free throws before Donielle Hair hit a baseline jumper to cap the possession, making the score 48-33, Sheldon. “We needed to pressure them more because they have good ball-handlers. You can’t trade baskets,” said Anderson, who led Oak Ridge with 11 points, five boards and three assists. “We were playing a bit selfish. We weren’t moving the ball around and we weren’t getting stops. You can’t come back when you’re not getting stops.” Monroe led all scorers with 16 points (7-for-10) and seven boards while Hair added 14 points for Sheldon. Klein also had 11 points with three 3-pointers, while Jacki Bateman came off the Oak Ridge bench to lead the team with seven rebounds in less than two quarters of play. White knows that Oak Ridge must shake off this loss and look forward to the final two games of the season for potential playoff positioning. “We’ve got to worry about the next game (senior night against St. Francis),” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get some wins and if we can click at the right time, we’ll be scary. I don’t think teams are necessarily going to want to play us.”