HS Girls Basketball: Klein Oak hands Oak Ridge first district loss
OAK RIDGE, TX -- On the final day of 2019, the Oak Ridge War Eagles were looking to carry their undefeated district record into the new year with a win over the Klein Oak Panthers. However, a pair of 14-point performances from Ashlyn Jones and Lane Rice was enough to hold off Oak Ridge’s second-half surge and defeat the War Eagles 57-52.
Oak Ridge fell behind early in Tuesday’s contest due to a relentless press from the Panthers. When the War Eagles were able to break through the airtight Klein Oak defense, they were unable to convert on open looks. Luckily for The Ridge, senior guard Grace Roberts stepped up and dropped 13 in the first half to keep her team within striking distance. At the half, Klein Oak held a 30-22 lead over Oak Ridge.
Business picked up in the second half when the War Eagles’ strong scorers came alive. With the shots falling, Oak Ridge gave Klein Oak a taste of their own medicine on the defensive end. The War Eagles’ trap caused multiple turnovers and flipped the game’s momentum back to the home side of the gym.
The second half belonged to Oak Ridge’s Nikki Petrakovitz. The junior guard was in full 2K takeover mode as she engineered the War Eagles comeback. Petrakovitz’s game-high 18 points brought the crowd to their feet on multiple occasions, including a couple of lead-changing clutch buckets down the stretch.
The free-throw line played an important role early in the game and it would be a factor at the end as the Panthers were able to get to the line, hit their shots, and hold off a last-second Oak Ridge comeback.
Klein Oak moves to 5-1 in district 15-6A and is the first district opponent to defeat Oak Ridge so far this season. Losing for just the third time overall, Oak Ridge drops to 4-1 in district play and falls out of the first-place tie with undefeated Conroe. Up next for the War Eagles is a trip to Klein Cain on Friday, January 3.