By Josh Brown
Miami Valley Today
CENTERVILLE — The Troy boys basketball team enjoyed its most successful season in eight years.
In the end, though, the Trojans couldn’t snap their postseason losing streak.
The 14th-seeded Trojans simply couldn’t hit shots when they needed to early, falling behind by halftime and then losing even more ground in the third quarter, while No. 13 Carroll was able to hit big shots and then made enough free throws in the second half to put away a 52-35 victory in the first round of the Division I sectional tournament Saturday at Centerville High School.
And while Carroll (10-13), which had lost seven of its last eight coming in, advanced to Tuesday’s second round to take on No. 5 Wayne, the Trojans’ season ended at 13-10.
Still, that continued an upward trend for Troy, which went 10-13 last year, its first season with 10 or more wins since 2011-12. When it was all said and done, though, the Trojans couldn’t end their tournament skid, dropping their ninth straight postseason game, a streak that includes its district final loss in 2011-12.
And despite Troy’s effort and the fact that the team came ready to play on Saturday, it simply couldn’t convince the ball to go through the hoop, following up a season-low 38 points in a regular-season finale loss by scoring three fewer points.
“That’s what was hard,” Troy coach Mark Hess said. “We knew they were going to make us hit shots. That’s kind of the way they guard. We knew they’d make us be patient with the ball and execute and hit shots. And we got some good looks early on that just didn’t go down. When we got down about four or six, we kind of panicked.
“We forced some things and into their hands, and they were able to extend their lead.”
Troy started the game off fast, with Shaeden Olden scoring off the opening tip and the Trojans leading 4-0 to start. Carroll eventually took the lead as Troy’s offense started to cool off, but a 3 by Olden tied the score at 9-9 after the first quarter.
A 3 by Landyn Henry have Troy a 12-9 lead early in the second, but that was the last time it was in front. The first of three second-quarter 3s by Carroll’s Logan Broaddus tied the score, Jaden Dahm scored a putback and Broaddus drilled another 3 to put the Patriots up by five. Olden eventually cut the lead to one at 19-18, but another 3 by Broaddus made the score 22-18 Carroll at halftime.
“He got free in transition a bit, and they stepped up and hit shots,” Hess said. “We just didn’t hit shots, and we missed free throws. We’ve shot them pretty well all year, and we were 1 for 9 today. I don’t know what it was, but that’s the name of the game.”
Troy’s offense really stalled in the third quarter, as it didn’t score until an Olden bucket at the 2:55 mark. By then, Carroll held a nine-point lead that only continued to grow as the Patriots outscored the Trojans 15-5 in the quarter. And while Troy began to hit shots in the fourth, Carroll hit plenty of free throws to keep pace and eventually put the game away.
In the game, Troy was an uncharacteristic 1 for 9 from the free throw line, while Carroll was 15 for 28 — going 6 for 11 in the third and 9 for 14 in the fourth.
Dahm led all scorers with 19 points and seven rebounds for the Patriots, while Broaddus finished with 14 points and hit four of Carroll’s five 3s on the day. Sam Severt added eight points, Ryan Seltsam had three points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Sean McKitrick, Steven Chapman and Logan O’Bleness each had two points.
Olden led the Trojans with 16 points and two assists and Archie had seven points, four rebound and three assists. Austin Stanaford had four points and six rebounds, Jaden Owens and Henry each had three points and Andrew Holley and Hollis Terrell each scored two as Troy was outrebounded 33-29 and matched Carroll in turnovers 16-16 but just couldn’t convert when it had chances.
“We talked to the young guys about becoming better shooters in the offseason, because that’s going to be a big focus for us moving forward,” Hess said. “It’s tough.”
It was the final game in the careers of Troy’s six seniors: Archie, Stanaford, Elijah Reynolds, Ryan Davis, Tucker Raskay and Brayden Siler. And though they will be missed, Hess said that any continued success the team has in the years to come will be because of their hard work.
“When we sit back and reflect, I think there’s some good building blocks. And I told the seniors that they really set a good foundation for us,” Hess said. “And I don’t think they’re going to see the rewards of their hard work and investment for a year or two, because they came in and set a tone, really built a little buzz around the program. We had youth program kids and junior high kids coming to our games, and that’s great.
“They built that excitement into our foundation with the way they played. I thought we always played hard. And moving forward, we’re excited about the way we’re heading. Obviously there’s a lot to improve on, there’s a lot we can do better, and we’ve just got to continue to build — our skills, ourselves as teammates and our leadership. As a coaching staff, this will be our first full offseason, so we’ll be able to get in the gym and continue to work so that we don’t have this feeling here next year.”
Contact Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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