Trojans take down Eagles

Vista still in first; Trojans one game back
By: Jim Ratajczak The Telegraph
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EL DORADO HILLS-- It was a good ol’ fashioned nail-biter of basketball game that kept the crowd on the edge of its seat. Well, at least until the final quarter. The Vista del Lago Eagles were upset by the Oak Ridge Trojans on Tuesday night, 63-52. The loss snapped Vista’s eight game winning streak and ended the team’s chance at a perfect conference record, dropping the Eagles to 5-1 in league games. Oak Ridge, though, pulled out a much-needed win in a make-or-break conference game that keeps the squad's playoff hopes alive. The Trojans are now 4-2 in league and 14-5 overall. "It was a great high school game in front of a packed crowd against rival schools," Oak Ridge coach Bob Christensen said. "We carried out our game plan that we had been working on, which was to take the ball aggressively to the basket. Defensively, we worked hard and played with energy." The loss, however, did little to squash the good vibes coming out of the Vista camp. “We’re still positive,” said Vista coach Jeff Bridges. “We’re still first in the conference. We still feel good.” The first three quarters of the game went back and forth. In fact, prior to the fourth, the largest lead either team had in the game was six points when Vista ran the score to 25-19 in the second. Oak Ridge took a 28-27 lead at the half and continued to build the lead in the third. Vista was able to hang around thanks to spirit play from power forward Marques White and forward Demarcus Wishom but the Trojans took a 43-38 lead heading into the fourth. Down only five with an entire quarter left, the Eagles couldn’t muster enough offense to overcome the deficit. Shots just wouldn’t fall and Vista’s sloppy play proved costly. When Trojan Colin Johnson slammed an unopposed dunk into the basket to open up a 48-38 lead early in the fourth, Vista’s night was over. “Towards the end of the game, we just started missing shots,” said White. “It was all downhill from there.” Despite the final score, White took a philosophical approach to the loss. “We all have one game like this,” he said. “We just need to let this one go.” Christensen said his team's defense was the difference in the fourth quarter. "We held them scoreless for a few minutes in the fourth quarter, which was key," Christensen said. "We played with a sense of urgency and our seniors stepped up and led us. This wins gets us back in the race for the league title." Johnson led Oak Ridge with 22 points, while Ryan Mastella scored 11 and Chad Nunes threw in 10. Vista also had three players in double figures as Jaqyai Wiley scored 13, Wishom added 12 and Hayden Lescault finished with 10. White also scored nine for the Eagles, while Chris Browning chipped in eight for the Trojans. Tuesday’s action was not exclusively on the court. With two local teams squaring off, the bleachers were packed with screaming fans who weren’t shy about cheering or jeering. “We like the atmosphere when the fans are into it,” said White. “It was a real exciting atmosphere,” said Bridges. “It was a lot of fun.” Vista will continue its conference play at home Friday when Cordova rolls into town. “We’re going to try to make more shots,” said Bridges. “As long as we do that, we’re in good shape.” Oak Ridge plays host to Ponderosa on Friday, as it looks to avenge a 45-33 loss to the Bruins on Jan. 6.