Oak Ridge Wins California Division I State Basketball Championship

Our oldest granddaughter, Megan, was a starter on the Oak Ridge High School Lady Trojans and on March 27, 2010, the team won the California Division I State Basketball Championship by beating the reigning Division I champion, Long Beach Poly, by a score of 55 to 42. That score prompted Cal-Hi Sports/ESPN Rise editor Mark Tennis to comment, “You don’t see that for great state-title teams, a really bad loss like that, and that’s why what Oak Ridge just did is the biggest upset in a girls title game, and they’ve been playing these since 1981. Not even close.” The following photo appeared on the front page of the Sacramento Bee on March 28, 2010.

Megan receives trophy

According to the article in the Sacramento Bee:

“Oak Ridge High School is awash in its history-making trek to Southern California, celebrating wildly at midcourt inside Rabobank Arena after scoring what longtime prep pundits here view as the greatest upset in CIF state girls basketball championships history. The Trojans kept up with Long Beach Poly early, then pulled away impressively late with passing, defense and free throws to post a 55-42 Division I stunner Saturday night.

“Oak Ridge players will insist – all 20 of them – that this was no upset. What is certain is this was no fluke. The better team won as the Trojans (32-3) became the first Sac-Joaquin Section large-school team – girls or boys – to take home a state title.”

Much of the credit for the Oak Ridge victory must go to the great offensive play of the Lady Trojans, especially All-American Sara James (26 points), Dakota McLarnan (14 points), Natalie Stone, and Carly Bettencourt.

The defense was important, too. Megan is a great defensive player and the Oak Ridge defense held Poly to 29 percent shooting from the floor (14-for-48) and to just 23 percent (9-for-38) after the first quarter. Oak Ridge’s 2-2-1 zone defense was effective in keeping the Poly posts from getting clean looks at the basket and Poly made just two 3-point shots in the game. According to Poly coach Carl Buggs, “Their 2-2-1 shut us down…”

Megan fights for ball

Other teams refer to the Oak Ridge girls as “Barbie Dolls.” The Poly girls were bigger, faster, taller, and stronger than the “Barbie Dolls,” but the Lady Trojans were not intimidated. It cost Megan a penalty and I’m not sure what happened (someone behind me said Megan made a great judo move), but one of the larger Poly girls was incapacitated early in the game.

Player hurt

The girls from El Dorado Hills rewrote history and ended a dynasty. Congratulations, Lady Trojans!

Copyright © 2010 William S. Pitt. All Rights Reserved.