Trojan boys take down Folsom in “must-win”

By: Nick Pecoraro
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After the Folsom girls handed the Trojans their first league loss earlier Friday night, the Oak Ridge boys made sure their home crowd went home happy.

The young Trojans — who Coach Rich Sondhi says is still learning how to finish games — completed a third-quarter comeback and held on down the stretch to knock off the visiting Folsom Bulldogs, 47-42.

Junior Cade Hoppe led the Trojans with 13 points and 11 rebounds and got the better of counterpart Mason Forbes. Spencer Duane added nine points, 12 rebounds and three steals, including one big takeaway for a layup midway through the third quarter that gave Oak Ridge its first lead since the score was 1-0.

Oak Ridge (10-12, 3-4 SFL) had lost three of its last four entering Friday. Folsom (16-6, 4-3 SFL) defeated the Trojans, 52-33, on Jan. 3 in the SFL opener behind a combined 25 points and 14 rebounds from Forbes and Martis Johnson. On Friday, Oak Ridge held that tandem — who together average about 33 points and 12 rebounds — to just nine points and nine boards.

“I thought our defense was where we really won this game,” said Sondhi. “We had a plan of trying not to let them get the ball inside. We knew we’d give up a few looks from three, but we weren’t going to let them get in the paint. After the Del Oro loss (on Wednesday), we talked about tonight being a must-win. Tonight was huge.”

Folsom began the fourth quarter down six and brought it back to within one after they forced back-to-back 10-second calls from Oak Ridge. Momentum began leaning toward the Bulldogs before Sondhi took a timeout.

“We gave Cade a little more freedom with Forbes playing high and with him freelancing a little bit, we were able to get to the foul line and stop the run,” he said.

“(Oak Ridge) played a great game,” said Folsom Coach Mike Wall. “Their bigs were outstanding and dominated on both ends of the court.”

Binder Palane led the Bulldogs with 10 points off the bench.

Two road tests face the Trojans next week, as they travel to Granite Bay on Wednesday before heading to Nevada Union on Friday. Folsom will host Del Oro on Wednesday and then Granite Bay on Friday in what could be an integral matchup for postseason seeding.