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Trojans' loss to Eagles brings season to an end

By: Matt Long
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Bob Christensen talks a lot about learning life lessons through basketball. The Oak Ridge varsity boys’ basketball coach said after his team’s season-ending loss on Feb. 23 that he hopes that his players learned something about life throughout the season, which saw the Trojans post a 21-6 record. It’s an impressive record, but it was not a strong finish for the Trojans, who dropped six of their last eight games. Following the 62-58 loss to McNair in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I first round playoff game, Oak Ridge senior DJ Leszczynski said he did indeed learn something about life through basketball. “I learned that you should be confident in life and if you want something to go out and get it,” Leszczynski said. “You have to act like the alpha dog.” It was a heartbreaking loss for the Trojans, who were hoping to make a deep playoff run. The Trojans outscored the Eagles in the fourth quarter, 18-15, but McNair executed better in the game’s final two minutes and made nine-of-11 free throws to hold on for the win. Bryce Scott led Oak Ridge with 21 points, scoring seven of Oak Ridge’s 15 points in the fourth quarter. Tyler Simms and Findlay both scored 10 points. After the game, the Oak Ridge players and the coaching staff were understandably dejected. “It’s always difficult to see your season end,” Christensen said. “I’ve been doing this 20 years and I’m still not good at giving postgame speeches at the end of the season. I love my team. I’m proud of them. They gave it their all and they care. It’s tough to see them go through the pain they’re going through right now. “We had our opportunities but that bad stretch in the third quarter hurt us.” “We executed our game plan and played our butts off but didn’t come away with the win,” Leszczynski said. “They had that spurt in the third quarter and we didn’t recover from that. It’s been a fun season, but this is a tough way to go out.”