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Oak Ridge holds off Folsom, 57-50

By: Matt Long
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In a precursor of what is to come in the upcoming Delta River League, Oak Ridge and Folsom locked into a defensive battle on Thursday in the championship game of the Toss-Up Tournament and the Trojans came out on top, 57-50. Oak Ridge led the entire game and the win improved its record to 14-0, while Folsom fell to 7-4. The Trojans outscored Folsom 17-8 in the first quarter and that proved to be big, as the Bulldogs outscored the Trojans over the final three quarters, 42-40. The Trojans held a narrow 11-8 lead late in the quarter before Bryce Scott and DJ Leszczynski hit back-to-back threes to give the Trojans some breathing room. Oak Ridge led 17-16 three minutes in the third before Matt Howard scored eight straight points for the Trojans during an 11-2 run that saw the Trojans increase its lead to 28-18. Howard ended the game with a career-high and team-high 16 points, scoring most of his points on cuts to the basket. “Matt’s a slasher and a high-energy guy and that’s his game,” Oak Ridge coach Bob Christensen said. Howard keyed Oak Ridge runs in the second and fourth quarter, as he scored eight points in the fourth quarter after Folsom got as close as two points, 43-41, midway through the quarter. For his efforts, Howard was named to the all-tournament team as was Bryce Scott, who scored 15 points. Will Findlay was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, though he only scored five points against Folsom. He played stellar defense, however, and Oak Ridge’s team defense was the key to the victory. “Oak Ridge does a good job of disguising their defenses and we struggled with it,” Folsom coach Frank Horwath said. “Our kids were confused, but I was proud how we fought back a couple of times despite trailing the entire game. We played very hard.” Justin Woody led Folsom with 17 points and was named to the all-tournament team, as was Drew Whitney, who finished the game with four points. For more on Oak Ridge and Folsom, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Telegraph.