Trailing by 15 points early in the third period, the Troy boys’ basketball team needed a spark. What they got was a much needed run to get back into the ballgame.
Troy put together a 21-5 run in the span of eight minutes, as the Trojans fought back to defeat Fairborn last week 54-53 at the Student Activity Center in Troy.
It started out with Fairborn jumping in front early 14-5, as the Skyhawks used the Branden Lilley Show to get the early lead. Lilley, who ended up with 39 points with eight three-pointers on the day, hit three of them in the opening period, as Fairborn led early 8-2 and 11-5 before Troy cut into the deficit. Romello Yaqub hit a short jumper, and when Austin Funderburg hit a layup with 30 seconds left, the Trojans only trailed 14-9 after the opening period.
Troy continued to try to get the lead as Trey Bucio hit a 15-footer and the Skyhawks lead was one point. Lilley answered with another three, then hit two more and added a free throw with 3:18 left in the opening half, pushing the Fairborn lead out to 26-15.
Zach Reichelderfer broke the string with two free throws, and later an old-fashioned three-point play from Yaqub allowed the host Trojans to close the gap to 29-20 with 1:46 left in the half.
In the final minute of the half, Jordan Pumroy connected on a three, and Lilley added a pair of layups, taking a 37-24 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw Troy begin their comeback. Reichelderfer buried a three, then later scored on a rebound to cut the Fairborn lead to 41-31.
Funderburg and Persinger each cut the deficit to 41-35, then as Keenan Kinnel connected from three point land, and it was a one possession game.
Lilley connected on another three to end the third period, giving the Skyhawks a 44-40 lead, but Trojans finally got the momentum to start the fourth.
Yaqub and Persinger gave the Trojans their first lead of the game early in the fourth. There were five lead changes in the final two minutes of the game, and with 8.5 seconds left, Yaqub hit the game winner to give the Trojans the 54-53 victory.
Yaqub led Troy with 17 points, one of three players in double figures. Persinger added 11 and Reichelderfer scored 10.
On Friday, the Trojans fell short to Greenville in a GWOC North contest 74-46, and on Saturday, Troy was defeated at Northmont 69-53.