Early in the game, the Troy Christian strategy appeared to be to keep the game low in scoring and their chances of upsetting the second-seeded Southeastern Trojans would vastly increase.
The plan was working in the first four minutes, but the Trojans would start to put points on the board, while the Eagles struggled to match them. Troy Christian would see their season come to an end in their first tournament game as they lost to Southeastern 48-24.
“The season may not have gone the way we wanted it to as far as wins and losses, but I would be a pretty shallow person if that was the only reason that I’m coaching,” said Troy Christian coach Ray Zawadzki following the game. “These kids really did work hard and they did get better from day one to today, and we will be better tomorrow because of it.”
The Eagles methodically moved the ball around in the opening minutes looking for a good shot, and actually had their only lead of the game at the 4:42 mark of the first quarter when Chase Hayden scored in the paint, but 30 seconds later, the Trojans would start to slowly take control of the game.
James Anderson cut the Trojans deficit to one in the opening period, but Southeastern went on a 9-0 run over the final 3:18 of the quarter, and a big three from Jordan Greene in the closing second put the Trojans up 14-4 after the first period.
Troy Christian used a stretch in the opening two minutes of the second period to close the deficit to 14-0 when Anderson scored twice at the rim, and Luke Dillahunt added a free throw to cap a 5-0 run for the Eagles.
The rest of the half belonged to Southeastern, as they outscored the Eagles 11-3 over 6:25, and went into the half leading 25-12.
For Troy Christian, their hopes of any kind of comeback were diminished in the first five minutes of the second half. A 13-0 run put the game out of reach for Troy Christian, as they trailed 38-12 midway through the third period.
Anderson led the Eagles in scoring with eight points, while Peyton Spurlock added seven in the loss. Eight different players scored for Troy Christian. The Eagles end the season 9-14.
“James will be pushed in the off-season to get to the next level,” Zawadzki said. “God has blessed him with size and athletic ability and now he has to apply what God has given him and he can be a dominant force. The sky is the limit for him, I expect him to be a bigtime player at the Division Four level.”