EL DORADO HILLS — What do you say to your team trailing by 60 points as the Rocklin High girls basketball coach had to during a third-quarter timeout: “not to worry, after all, Oak Ridge’s Lady Trojans are the defending Division I state champions?” Or, this might soften the blow: “girls, it’s the Foundation game — it doesn’t count.”
Either way, it was a rough night Monday for the Thunder who were routed by host Oak Ridge 87-24 in the first game of the hoops doubleheader. In the evening’s second game, Bryce Scott’s two, three-pointers fueled a 15-4 run to open the fourth quarter, propelling the Trojan boys to a 75-55 victory. The annual Foundation games help raise money for the A. Dale Lackey scholarship fund.
In Monday’s opener, Rocklin clearly wasn’t ready for what came its way: waves of relentless pressing, trapping Lady Trojans who made numerous steals or forced Thunder turnovers. Oak Ridge scored 28 in the first quarter and 24 more in the second to lead 52-14 at the break. Oak Ridge moved well without the ball and once point guard Carly Bettencourt had everyone involved, the senior added 15 points and a half dozen or so steals and assists to the first-half stat sheet.
Bettencourt is one of two starters, the other Natalie Stone, that return from last year’s state title team for coach Steve White. Include sharp-shooting Dakota McLarnan in the mix along with junior Lauren Sende and sophomore Haley Anderson and the Trojan foundation appears strong. Senior forward Stefanie Walberg is still injured but senior Alexa Pickett, who missed most of last year, isn’t and will be a contributor off the bench. Other key components include Jenna Klein, Katie Hoisington, Hayley Padua-Dean. Kaitlyn Lendrum, Lindsay Honaker, Nicole Rucker and Jacki Bateman.
A positive sign Monday was McLarnan knocking down her first three, Bettencourt and Stone creating havoc, Anderson’s hustle play underneath, Sende’s left-handed touch off the glass, her defense in the paint, Klein’s ability to score off the bench and Lendrum’s aggressive drives to the basket.
Oak Ridge fell back defensively in the second half. Troy’s largest lead was 65. Bettencourt led Oak Ridge with 19 points; McLarnan bucketed 14; Sende, 13; Anderson, 11; Klein, nine; Stone and Lendrum, eight each; Pickett, four; and Padua-Dean, two.
The boys game was much more competitive. The Trojans led by just three after the first quarter before Scott scored seven points in the second, Matt Howard cut to the bucket for two more and JT Tulabut converted underneath and added a free throw as Oak Ridge took a 34-26 lead to the locker room.
Troy’s size with center Will Findlay and forwards Scott Sanchez and Morgan Elmachtoub wore down the smaller Thunder in the second half. Oak Ridge began extending its lead in the third as Scott fed Tyler Simms on the break, Simms hit two free throws and Elmachtoub added a putback. Simms’ baseline reverse and D.J. Leszczynski’s basket pushed the Trojans’ advantage to 14 before a 12-0 run to open the fourth buried Rocklin as Scott and Steven Hofman drained threes.
Scott, who led all scorers with 18 points, hit another as Oak Ridge increased its lead to 25 at one point. Simms added 16; Tulabut finished with nine; Findlay, eight; Sanchez, six; Hofman, five; Elmachtoub, four; and Leszczynski, Howard and Sean O’Donnell, three apiece.