It was one of the biggest memories on the season for the Troy Trojans, and they hope it is the start of a solid tournament run.
Troy used a basket by Mechia Linton with 7.8 seconds left to give the Trojans a one-point lead, and they withstood a last second turnover by Sidney to stun the Yellow Jackets 55-54 in front of a solid crowd at Troy High School.
With the win, the Trojans moved their record to 7-14 overall, while the sixth-seeded Yellow Jackets dropped to 14-7 on the season.
“This gives the kids confidence going into the tournament,” Troy coach Paul Bremigan said. “Sidney is a very good team and we knew that going in. They have a very good guard and their bigs are physical.”
“The win shows that we stuck with the game plan and made the play at the end to win it.”
Sidney didn’t waste any time early as they jumped in front 7-0 before Romello Yaqub broke the ice with a 15-footer for the Trojans. The Yellow Jackets pushed the lead out to 11-4 before Troy answered.
Linton began an 8-2 run for Troy with a midrange jumper, while Ryan McClurg and Estevan Stafford each hit three’s to close the Sidney lead to 13-12.
Sidney quickly increased their lead back out to 18-12, but as they headed into the second period, the Trojans took control.
Troy outscored Sidney 13-4 in the second quarter, a quarter that saw Troy take their first lead at 21-19 on two free throws from Yaqub, and they scored late in the period to take a 27-23 lead at the half.
“We just wanted to limit Gordon and Gallimore’s touches,” Bremigan said. “We needed to contain them as much as we could. We didn’t want Gordon to get to the basket, plus Gallimore is a very good shooter and we wanted to force him to put the ball on the floor and make midrange jumpers.”
Sidney came out in the third period and scored the first seven points before Zach Reichelderfer broke the string with a layup, as Sidney led for the entire third period, and most of the fourth.
Sidney led by five late when they took a 50-45 advantage, but McClurg buried a three and Austin Persinger had a steal and layup, tying the game at 50 with two minutes left.
Sidney regained the lead and held it until the final seven seconds when Linton scored, and when Sidney turned the ball over with 1.5 seconds left, Troy ran out the final second, giving the Trojans the win,
“We head into the tournament with some confidence and we have some guys back from injury,” Bremigan said. “It makes a big difference, we can rest some of the big guys and rotate them more.”
Linton led Troy with 15, Yaqub added 13 and McClurg scored 10.
Troy opens tournament play this Friday night, as they play #5 seed Xenia at Vandalia Butler High School with tipoff set for 8:30. It will be the third game of the night.