Their Metro Buckeye Conference winning streak was in serious jeopardy, but the Troy Christian Eagles turned a six point deficit with five minutes left, into a thrilling 51-47 victory over Xenia Christian on Friday night. With the win, the Eagles extend their league winning streak to 41 games.
“We didn’t panic when we were six points down,” Troy Christian coach Ray Zawadzki said. “We made a nice run and it was gut check time for the kids.”
Despite leading 29-20 at the half, the Eagles had to battle after Xenia Christian controlled the third period to take the lead into the final eight minutes.
With the game tied, Luke Dillahunt gave the Eagles a three point lead with 1:54 left with a big three-point shot, and down the stretch, it was Seth Wynne, who scored a career high 20 points, taking control of the game. He hit 8-9 free throws down the stretch. Also scoring double figures for the Eagles was James Anderson with 13 points and 11 rebounds, his first career double-double.
“We just relaxed and started getting back to back stops on defense,” Zawadzki said. “If we focus on our defense, our offense will come. We forced them into some tough shots, ran our offense and the kids made plays.”
“We talk about it all the time, this is a collective task and we all have to perform a role every play,” the Eagles coach said. “We have to move forward, and they are leading to trust each other. These kids give maximum effort on every play.”
*Troy Christian lost their first game of the year on Saturday night, falling to Mississinawa Valley 63-59 on the road in a non-league contest.
Down 14 at halftime, Troy Christian watched as Mississinawa Valley went on a 9-0 run to start the third quarter. The Eagles were down 25 with 12:50 left in the game, and Troy Christian made one of the biggest comebacks that coach Zawadzki had ever seen.
The Eagles hit eight 3’s to tie the game at 59 with under a minute to go. With 12 seconds left, the Eagles couldn’t get the shot they wanted, and had to foul extending the margin to four points.
“The kids played so hard, most teenage kids down 25 would have packed it in and gone home,” Zawadzki said. “There was a lot of heart in them, and were really competitive. In the locker room we used it as a lesson for life. No matter how far down you are, it can always turn around at any moment.”
Jacob Brown scored a career high 14 to lead Troy Christian, while Chase Hayden added 12 and James Anderson 11.
Troy Christian is 3-1 overall, and return to action on Saturday against Dayton Christian at home, 7:30. Next Tuesday, the Eagles host Yellow Springs also at 7:30.
“Those are the two biggest tests in our league, so they will be really big games for us,” Zawadzki said.
Troy Christian girls’ basketball-The Eagles’ girls’ basketball team lost to Dayton Christian 41-29 last week.