Troy teams remain in thick of GAC divisional races
Placing second in the Fort Zumwalt North Tournament was brightened a bit when the Troy Buchanan High Trojans posted a narrow 41-40 conference win at Wentzville Timberland Tuesday night.
“We were able to take the overall lead in conference play by winning at Timberland,” said Coach Ryan Meyers. “Overall I thought that we were very good defensively holding them to only 40 points. Offensively we struggled to find a way to really attack their defense in which they were focused on stopping Ben (Chaney) and Landon (Mills) by guarding them man to man. We were able to make some plays down the stretch including a three pointer and drive by Landon. Moving forward, teams are going to continue to focus on Ben and Landon and we are going to have to find some players that are able to set up and make some plays on the offensive end.”
Mills ended the game with 20 points followed by Ryan Cockrell with nine points and JD Powell finished with six points. Chaney was held to only three points.
Troy held a 36-30 lead going into the final quarter. The Wolves attempted to rally for the win with a 10-5 scoring edge but it fell just short.
In the championship game of the tournament, the Trojans hooked up with Hazelwood East, a team which had beaten them earlier in the season at Troy. Chaney led Troy scorers with 15 points and JD Powell was in double figures with 10 points. Mills, after scoring 32 and 31 points respectively in the first two games, was held to four points.
East jumped out to a 12-0 lead and led 19-12 after one quarter. That later would prove crucial as the Trojans played on nearly even terms after that start. Late in the game, they cut it to five but couldn’t get any closer.
Mills and Chaney were named to all tourney team at FZN tournament. “Overall it was a good tournament for us except we didn’t play as well defensively against East as we normally do. Hopefully it will give us some confidence for the remainder of conference and district play.”
Four Spartans finished in double figures led by Rashawn Chapman with 16 points.
Meanwhile, the Troy Buchanan High Lady Trojans continue to set the pace in the GAC South Division with a 53-44 win over Francis Howell North and opened the Borgia Tournament with a 55-36 win over Union.
“We got another nice conference win versus Howell North which put us at 5-0 in the conference,” said Coach Bryce Gregory.
Leading the way was Madi Thoroughman with 14 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Also, contributing was Alyssa Schrader with 13 points. “Alyssa has really done a nice job lately with not only scoring but also having to defend the other team’s best player,” said Gregory. “She has really embraced her role and importance to the team. I am proud of her efforts and contributions.”
“We received the sixth seed which really seemed to motivate the girls,” said Gregory. “We knew we were better than the sixth seed and really wanted to show the rest of the teams in the tournament.”
Haley Meyer led Troy with 18 points but received balanced contributions from Mimi Henderson with 10 pts., Madi Thoroughman with eight and Schrader with eight pts. “I was really proud of our effort and energy,” said Gregory. “Union is a fast team that has really good guards. We played tough and handled their pressure well. We only turned the ball over five times which was a huge factor in our win. As we turn the corner for districts we really continue to make improvements in all areas of our play. I look forward to the challenge of the rest of the conference schedule.”
In the tourney semifinal round, Troy advanced to the title game with a 49-36 win over Jefferson City Helias. Alyssa Schrader scored 18 points and Haley Meyer followed with 10 points. The key to the outcome was Troy jumping out to a 20-3 lead in the first period. Helias held the edge in scoring in the second half.
“It was an awesome win for us,” said Gregory. “The girls played very well. Their defensive pressure is really making it difficult for teams to get shots off. We are rebounding the ball well and really taking smart shots. I am very pleased with the energy and focus that we have right now. Alyssa is really shooting the ball well. She is really helping set the tone for us. Helias was 13-5 heading into the game and we jumped out early on them.”
They will play Parkway South in the championship game Feb. 2.