EL DORADO HILLS — Leave it to the section’s second-ranked team to quiet the host gym by turning a close game into a route like what happened Wednesday night in El Dorado Hills.
Flexing both offensive and defensive muscle, particularly in the middle quarters, No. 2 Jesuit upended Oak Ridge 75-57 in Delta River League action.
With the Blue Crew, cheerleaders, dance team and band all cheering their hardest, the Trojans hung with the Marauders at the start and led most of the first quarter after Connor Sende’s baseline drive and score. Sende’s spinning take from the foul line, a Tyus Millhollin free throw and two from Sende had Troy up four before a 6-0 Jesuit run closed the opening period.
Sende returned the lead for Oak Ridge with a three-pointer to open the second but before long the visitors tough, on-the-ball defense and interior shot-blocking took its toll on Oak Ridge which failed to find any offensive rhythm.
With Bradley Anderson lying in wait in the key, Jesuit got its transition game rolling to outscore the Trojans 26-12 as Isaiah Bailey had eight of his game-high 25 in the quarter.
Bailey continued after halftime. He opened with a top-of-the-key three and a putback to offset Sende’s trey and two Connor Davis free throws. In the quarter, Bailey tallied a dozen as the Marauders outscored Oak Ridge 23-10 for a 63-34 lead going to the fourth.
With Jesuit’s foot off the pedal and its main players watching from the bench, Troy had some breathing room to operate over the final eight minutes. The quarter opened with Millhollin converting a rare four-point play after swishing a three from the wing.
Two free throws from Davis, his follow and baseline flip had Oak Ridge trying to dent its huge deficit. Free throws from Sende and Jordan Roberts, Michael Wadsworth’s three and Jared Casey’s freebie had the Trojans within 20 but time running out.
Oak Ridge trimmed Jesuit’s lead to 18 twice in the finals minutes, the first on Michael Brenneman’s three-pointer; the last on Wadsworth’s reverse.
Sende led Oak Ridge with 18 points; Davis bucketed 13; and Millhollin added 12 points. Rounding out the scoring, Roberts and Wadsworth each had five points, Brenneman had three and Casey, one point.
Paul Vos from the California Montessori Project contributed to this story.