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Trojans win three games at Tip-Off tourney, host Vista tonight

Middleton is all-tourney selection
By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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A disappointing 57-48 loss to Clovis West Thursday didn’t get Oak Ridge’s varsity boys’ basketball team down, as the Trojans responded with back-to-back wins over Laguna Creek and Central to place fifth in the Nor Cal Tip-Off Tournament held at Whitney High School.

The Trojans won three of their four games during the tournament, with the loss to Clovis West being the only downer. Clovis West went on to beat the two host teams, Whitney and Rocklin, to win the tournament.

“We didn’t play all that badly against Clovis West, we just didn’t shoot well,” Oak Ridge coach Rich Sondhi said. “We missed a lot of shots and only shot 26 percent from the field. It’s hard to win when you shoot that poorly.”

On Friday, Oak Ridge defeated Laguna Creek, 74-55, before finishing the tournament Saturday with a 72-59 win over Central.

“Overall, we played really well,” Sondhi said. “We jumped on Laguna Creek early and led by 30 at halftime. Against Central, they were beating us most of the game, but we came on late in the third quarter and in the fourth and beat them.”

Drake Middleton was the team’s all-tournament performer. Middleton did a lot of things well, according to Sondhi, one of which was scoring.

“Drake scored really well with 28 points against Central,” Sondhi said. “He also had 23 against Clovis West. He also rebounded well in the tournament and led us in energy. He did a lot of good things.”

Sondhi also said Jacob Brown played well at ends of the floor, not only playing good defense, but also hitting big baskets. Tommy Ball provided points from the perimeter, as he hit five, three-pointers in two of the games.

“I was happy to see the consistency we played with on defense,” Sondhi said. “The players followed the game plan and were buying into what we needed to do defensively to stay in games. Offensively, we executed well and we’re getting good shots. We’re becoming more and more disciplined with each game. We have a lot of first-year varsity players who are getting on-the-job training and they’re growing with each game.”

Oak Ridge (3-1) plays host to Vista del Lago Tuesday before playing in the Titan Holiday Classic Tournament Thursday through Saturday at Antelope High School. The Trojans open the tournament at 5 p.m. Thursday against College Park.