Troy Christian has enjoyed many good streaks over the years, including a successful one that ended this year in the conference. But after Saturday night, the Eagles are stuck in a slump they badly need to escape from.
The Eagles lost their eighth straight game on Saturday, as they fell to Franklin Monroe 63-47 in Pitsburg, in a game that saw three players do most of the damage for the Jets.
“I felt our kids actually competed better than they have the past couple of games,” said Troy Christian coach Ray Zawadzki. “Also our offense started to find some identity which are two positive things. We still have a lot of work to do on the defensive end by giving up way too many easy baskets.”
“They had three very good basketball players on that team, and we let all three of them have a very nice night,” he added, as freshman Ethan Conley scored 23, Brady Hesler added 18 and Zach Hyre scored 11 for FM. “We have to learn to pay attention to detail and continue to grow.”
The Jets jumped in front early 8-2 behind a pair of three’s from Hesler before Chase Hayden and Jacob Brown answered to close the gap, FM added to their lead despite a three-point play from Ian Anderson, and led 16-10 after the opening period of play.
The Eagles fought back early in the second, as Seth Wynne and Colt Tanner brought the Eagles to within two, and that started a battle in the second period that saw the Eagles only trail by one with 2:37 left in the half on a layup from Hayden Hartman. Two free throws in the final two minutes from Wynne kept the Eagles close, but a quick 4-0 run in the final minute of the half by the Jets, took their lead to 30-25 at the break.
A 7-0 run midway through the third period allowed FM to take control of the game at 41-29 but Hayden kept the Eagles close with a pair of last minute shots.
Early in the fourth, Hayden and Luke Dillahunt scored to close the deficit to eight but that is as close as the Eagles would get, as they fell again.
Brown led the Eagles with nine points, Hayden and Anderson each added eight.
“Our kids started to understand what we are trying to talk to them about and got more side touches,” Zawadzki said. “It’s the same offense we have been running the last six years so I know it will work. We just have to be able to read and react.”
*Also on Friday night, the Eagles lost a fourth quarter lead and fell to Emmanuel Christian 40-35. Troy Christian led 19-10 at the half and 28-21 headed to the fourth before watching the lead evaporate.
Hayden led with 13 for Troy Christian, the only player in double figures.
The Eagles played Xenia Christian last night and returns to action on Friday night at Dayton Christian.