HS Girls Basketball: Oak Ridge wins district title
Oak Ridge, TX -- It may have been a rainy, gloomy night outside, but inside the gym at Oak Ridge HS, everyone was in a celebratory mood as the Oak Ridge Lady War Eagles defeated Conroe to win the District 15-6A title. The 62-52 win over the Lady Tigers on Senior Night earned Oak Ridge their second-straight district title under Coach Deidre Vasquez and the district’s top seed heading into the state playoffs.
For Oak Ridge to clinch the district title, they had to go through a very talented Conroe team who had every intention of spoiling the War Eagles’ plans for a championship celebration. Both teams came out eager to establish control early on, which led to a very back and forth game to start. Oak Ridge was very active defensively, causing Conroe to work hard for every bucket. Offensively, senior guard Grace Roberts set up multiple scores with great passing, especially down into the paint where the War Eagles had success early on.
Conroe’s shooters were on a mission early on as the Tigers responded on their end of the court with some nice three-point shooting. A couple of big shots from behind the arc by Jakayla Bradford and Kennedy Powell gave the Tigers a one-point advantage after the opening quarter.
Tuesday night’s player of the game, Nikki Petrakovitz came off the bench to ignite a fire under Oak Ridge beginning in the second quarter. Petrakovitz changed the entire dynamic of the game and helped launch a big run to put the War Eagles in the driver’s seat. Being a strong two-way player, Petrakovitz provided great passing, five points, including some acrobatic finishes at the rim, as well as forcing turnovers with quick, smothering defensive skills. This pushed Oak Ridge out to a nice lead late in the half, but as would be the trend all night, Conroe’s skill would keep them in the game. Once again, the three-ball helped Conroe close down the deficit and Oak Ridge went into halftime with just a 26-23 lead.
The third quarter was pivotal in Oak Ridge’s win. The War Eagles looked determined to put away Conroe, outscoring the Tigers 21-12 in the third frame. Oak Ridge received great production from guard Malade Hollis, who scored five of her 13 points in the third. Conroe’s Kennedy Powell scored some tough baskets to try to keep the Tigers in it, but Oak Ridge consistently found ways to get buckets with five different players scoring to give the War Eagles a 12-point lead going into the final quarter.
Oak Ridge cruised for most of the 4th quarter. Mersadez Nephew provided some smooth mid-range game and Petrakovitz continued to wow the crowd and finished with 17 points. It was enough to hold off one last surge from Conroe to get the 10-point win.
Oak Ridge finishes their district season with a 14-2 record, earning them a matchup with District 16-6A’s fourth-place team in the Bi-district round which takes place February 17-18.