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Trojans likely need win Friday for chance at playoffs

By: Matt Long
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With their backs to the wall, Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys’ basketball team needs a win Friday over Ponderosa and perhaps even more help to earn a berth in the Division I playoffs. The Trojans enter their final regular season game with a 4-5 record in league and a 20-5 mark overall. On paper, they should win Friday’s game with ease. Not only are they at home against the struggling Bruins (0-9 in league, 2-19 overall) but they also defeated them earlier this season, 76-67. That said the Bruins are an archrival and despite their poor season would love nothing more than to upset Oak Ridge and keep them out of the playoffs. The Trojans, who have dropped five of their last six games, could be ripe for the picking. “It’s a one-game season right now and we need to win that game and it might depend what other teams do too,” Christensen said. “We’re going to be positive this week and hopefully get back to playing the way we were earlier in the season and we’ll see what happens Friday night. It’s a rivalry game and we will be playing under some adverse conditions, but we need to compete. Just like life, we have to learn to deal with adversity.” Regardless of Ponderosa’s poor record, Christensen and the Trojans know and have learned the hard way that life in the Delta River League is not for the faint of heart. “There are no nights off in the Delta River League,” Christensen said. Oak Ridge is coming off a disappointing 58-50 overtime loss to Folsom on Friday. Folsom led by three points with 30 seconds to play following a transition layup by Justin Woody, courtesy of a long baseball pass from Travis Perkins. Bryce Scott tied the score at 42 with 18 seconds remaining with a driving layup and ensuing free throw after being fouled by Tanner Trosin. Folsom had a last-second shot by Woody, which didn’t come close to going in, and the game went to overtime. Oak Ridge took a 44-42 lead in overtime after a bucket by Will Findlay, but Folsom scored the next six points to go up 48-44. Two free throws by Scott Sanchez cut Folsom’s lead to 48-46 with 1:09 to play and the game was nothing but a free throw contest the rest of the way. Folsom made 10 free throws in the final 69 seconds, while Scott and Sanchez both made two. For Oak Ridge, it was a disappointing loss after a big win over Pleasant Grove two days earlier. “We’re disappointed,” Christensen said. “What can we say, we shot 30 percent and we lost. It’s the third time we’ve played them and it’s hard to beat a team three times.” Despite sitting out the first half sick, Scott led Oak Ridge with 11 points. Findlay added 10 points, while Sanchez scored nine and DJ Leszczynski finished with eight. In the 64-59 win over the Eagles on Wednesday, Christensen was pleased with his team’s performance, though the feeling didn’t last past Friday. “I thought we got back to playing like we were earlier in the season,” Christensen said.