The Troy Christian boys’ Basketball team was defeated 59-49 in a hard fought battle against the Tri-Village Patriots Tuesday night at Kettering Fairmont’s Trent Arena. For the second time this season the Patriots proved too much for the Troy Christian Eagles, this time when it counted most, the state tournament round of sixteen.
Consistently getting the ball into the low post and scoring with little deterrence, Tri-Village kept a large lead for the majority of the match and the deficit was too much for the Eagles to overcome. Showing grit and a determination to not easily give up, Troy Christian gave everything they had to the cause but the Patriots’ offensive attack down low was too effective.
The game began with the two teams trading three point baskets, and it was apparent to all the spectators that neither team was going to go down without a fight. Early in the second quarter with the score still teetering back and forth, Tri-Village’s Mason McCabe checked into the game and wasted no time making an impact, hitting his first four three-point shots he attempted. McCabe’s shooting performance to go along with the interior scoring of Colton Linkous and Damion Cook really gave Troy Christian trouble, outscoring the Eagles 18-8 in the second quarter, Tri-Village was sitting comfortable with a 34-20 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Troy Christian kept battling and held Tri-Village’s outside shooting to a minimum but the battle in the interior still was won by the Patriots. With Grant Zawadski and Holden Varvel attacking the basket and shooting the three pointer well, making nine in total for the Eagles and at one point cutting the Patriot’s lead to just seven, but it still was not enough to tame the rebounding and interior scoring by Tri-Village.
Troy Christian Eagles coach Ray Zawadski was well aware of Tri-Village’s ability to smother teams into submission, already facing them once this season and seeing them roll over teams throughout the post-season tournament play. “They are a quality basketball team. It shows in their season record, and their number one seed to begin the tournament.”
Even after cutting the Patriot lead to seven points late in the game and making nine three pointers, Troy Christian was unable to overcome the Tri-Village attack. The Eagles’ late effort and pressure defense never let up and though it was evident on the scoreboard that Troy Christian was going to be defeated, they fought hard to the bitter end. Leading scorers for Troy Christian were Grant Zawadski with 15 points, Holden Varvel with 12, Spencer Thomas and Aaron Horn each added 7.
Coach Zawadski, proud of the way his Troy Christian Eagles played throughout the season, commented on their effort, “It starts with training. We train our team to believe in each other and never let up.” Finishing the year with a win-loss record of 24-3, Troy Christian showed they are a difficult team to go up against. Making the District tournament two consecutive years is a very commendable achievement and will prove a solid foundation for future Troy Christian teams to build upon. Coach Zawadski was thrilled with the overall year his team had and the accomplishments his players achieved, “These seniors have raised the bar for Troy Christian basketball going forward. It will be tough for future teams to live up to the standard these guys have set. Not just going to Districts two straight seasons, but also with their great attitudes off the court.”