Trojans split tourney games, first two in GAC division
Troy Buchanan Trojans didn’t break strides during the recent holidays, competing again in the Meramec Holiday
Troy Buchanan’s Landon Mills draws the attention of several Howell North players during first half action in a game the Trojans lost.
Tournament. They earned a split (2-2) against top quality St. Louis area competition. Landon Mills was named to the all-tournament team, representing the Trojans and was the tourney’s leading scorer.
Troy lost 47-38 against Eureka in their tourney opener. Troy led by two (17-15) at the half but the Wildcats held a 32-21 edge in scoring in the second half. Mills led Troy with 15 points followed by JD Powell with 14 points. Mills made six of 12 from the field and made all three free throw attempts. Eureka held a 28-11 edge on the boards, a key factor in the outcome.
Mills again had the hot-hand shooting scoring 20 points, leading Troy to a 57-42 win over St. Charles West. Powell followed with 19 points and Ben Chaney had 13 points. Chaney also had 14 rebounds helping Troy to a 26-15 edge. Mills was particularly deadly from the free throw line, making 13 of 14 attempts, and as a team, Troy held a 23-6 edge in scoring from the line.
Troy jumped out to a 12-4 edge in the opening period and 36-22 lead after three periods.
In their third game, A 20-5 edge in scoring in the second period keyed a 48-33 win over Kirkwood. Mills scored 21 points including a three of four effort from the three-point range. The Trojans held a 29-7 margin in rebounds. With Kyle Westerman leading with seven.
In their final tournament game, they matched up against Vianney, the team which eliminated from the state tournament last spring. This game was a thriller with the Griffins using a strong second half for a 43-42 win. Mills led with 20 points and Chaney followed with 17 points.
Troy built a 28-17 lead by halftime but Vianney roared back with a 26-14 edge in the second half. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field but Vianney held a 22-10 edge on the boards.
“Anytime you can play in four games in a tournament that is double elimination against some of the best competition in the St. Louis area you have had a good showing in the tournament,” said Troy Coach, Ryan Meyers. “I think we are getting better each game as both of our losses were to very good Eureka and Vianney teams. In our wins against Kirkwood and St. Charles West, we were able to really create scoring opportunities off of our defense.”
In their first game in January, the Trojans opened defense of their GAC South title with a 5k2-41 win on the road at Fort Zumwalt West. Chaney had a huge night, scoring 25 points and had nine rebounds. Mills was also in double figures with 12 points. Chaney made 10 of 14 attempts from the field (including ¾ from three point range) and was a perfect (8/8) from the free throw line. Defensively, Mills had four steals.
In their GAC home opener, the Trojans could not put two halves together and fell 60-55 to Francis Howell North. Kyle Lemons, just returning in recent games following an injury, led the Knights with 24 points followed James Gleeson with 13 points. Three Trojans finished with 15 points each including Ben Chaney, Landon Mills and JD Powell.
Leading 17-14 after one period, the Trojans increased it to 27-17 but the Knights battle back to within 28-23 by the half. The Knights turned up the defensive pressure in the second half. Gleeson knotted the game at 35-35 but Mills a traditional three-point (field goal and free throw), giving Troy a 38-35 lead. The Knights controlled much of the final period and a slam dunk by Lemon extended North’s lead to 47-39. The Trojans made one final push but their rally fell short.
“I thought we started the game well really defending them in the half court and sharing the ball offensively,” said Troy Coach Ryan Meyers. “In the second half our inability to attack their press and make good decisions with the basketball really hurt us. I thought that we were able to get some open shots but they just did not go in. We were only four of 21 from the three-point range. Moving forward we need to be more consistent on the defensive end of the floor and play with confidence on the offensive end.”