JD Powell (4) goes up for two of his 25 points against Fort Zumwalt West in the Trojans 68-59 win.
It took some time but the Troy Buchanan High Trojans experienced the first taste of victory when they defeated the Fort Zumwalt West Jaguars 68-59 in their Gateway Athletic Conference opener. In girls’ basketball, the Trojans ended up with two losses and a third-place finish in the tournament held at Parkway West.
In the boys’ win, JD Powell led with 25 points with teammate Tanner Ludwig following with 11 points.
“It was certainly nice to get a win in our first conference game as we start a new season,” said Coach Ryan Meyeres. “I was proud of the way we battle for the entire game and how we played with confidence in making clutch shots and free throws down the stretch. This was the fifth game this year that we had the lead in the fourth quarter, so it was a good sign of being able to close out the game. We also have good balanced scoring as well as we played good team defense. Tyler Springer and Austin Ferrell did a nice job of filling in for Adam (Mennemeyer) and hopefully we can get healthy soon.”
Mennemeyer, a sophomore, had minor knee surgery to repair a bone spur in his knee and could be out up to three weeks.
“With Adam’s injury, that makes six of our top eight players who have missed time because of injury,” said Meyers. “This has been an opportunity to give others playing time and experience.”
Another player, Connor Wiemann, is getting closer to a return from a broken hand suffered in the opening game of the season.
Getting back to the FZW game, Powell made 9 of 11 attempts from the two-point range and was 2 of 4 from three-point. Troy trailed 46-44 after three periods but pulled the game out with a 24-13 scoring edge in the final period.
In girls action, Troy got a first-round forfeit at Parkway West as weather prevented Cleveland from traveling to the game. This advanced them into the semi-finals where they lost 60-43 to Marquette. Marquette jumped out to a 34-22 lead at the half enroute to the win. Taylor Campbell led the Lady Mustangs with 26 points followed by Reje Pitchford with 18 points. McKala Lawler led Troy with 14 points and Nicole Schulte followed with 11 points.
Troy Coach Bryce Gregory said Campbell set the tone for her team. “Yeah she is good player, very good at getting to the basket. She scored the first nine points of the game for them. We took some bad shots early in the offense and we committed 22 turnovers. Our effort is not where it needs to be right now. We have to compete the whole game and we are having spurts where we aren’t working hard enough to win games against quality opponents. Lawler is doing a nice job coming off the bench and knocking down shots. Nicole (Schulte) is really doing a good job for us with her effort and ability to give us some scoring. She is averaging about 10 a game right now. We need to do a better job at scoring early in the game to get our intensity going. We haven’t had any games yet where the whole team is playing well.”
In the third-place game, the Ursuline Lady Bears rallied from a 27-20 deficit with a 17-6 edge in scoring in the final period to pull out a 37-33 win. Lauren Weschke led them with 16 points Emily Montgomery led Troy with 12 points. Haley Meyer scored six points and had 11 rebounds.
The loss dropped Troy’s season mark to 4-7 for the season
“We played a great 30 minutes of the game but just couldn’t finish it out,” said Gregory. “They started making shots and putting a lot more defensive pressure on us. We stopped attacking the basket and allowed ourselves to get trapped around the half court line. We had very costly turnovers that led to scores on their end. This was a game of who could calm down and handle the pressure and we weren’t able to do it. Defensively we held their best scorer to zero points all the way until the end of the third quarter. But in the fourth she found a way to score on the free throw line as well as getting to the basket for layups. We still have some inexperience at the guard spots that are learning as the season progresses.”