Troy girls basketball evens score with Vandalia-Butler

VANDALIA — It was eerie how similar the second meeting with Vandalia-Butler girls basketball team was to the first one for the Troy girls basketball team.

For three quarters that is.

But, the Troy girls basketball team was determined there would be no deja vu in the fourth quarter.

The Trojans came away with a 37-30 victory at the SAC Wednesday night to improve to 6-4, while dropping Butler to 7-2.

“I just think that shows the improvement of our team over the last two weeks,” Troy coach Jeremy Hughes said. “We have had a lot of good practices and team bonding.”

In the first meeting, Butler led 16-14 at halftime before Troy took a 31-29 lead after three quarters and was up 35-31 in the fourth quarter before the Aviators scored the final 16 points of the game.

On Wednesday, Butler and Troy were tied 16-16 at halftime before Troy took a 25-21 lead after three quarters.

“We were talking at halftime about how much this mirrored the first game,” Hughes said. “The score at halftime was almost identical.”

This time Troy scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to open a 30-21 lead and Butler never got closer than six points the rest of the way.

Brynn Siler and Madalynn Hughes had baskets to start the fourth quarter and Macie Taylor added a free throw. Both Siler and Hughes made big contributions in the second half.

“That’s one of the things we talked to the girls about,” Hughes said. “Go out and believe in yourself.”

Another key was the defensive effort on Butler post Evan Neely.

“That’s what you want to see,” Hughes said. “How you make adjustments from the first game to the second time you play someone. She (Evan Neely) might be the best post player in the conference, at least offensively. Those rotations when they got the ball down to her were huge.”

Siler had a putback for a basket down the stretch, Hughes added another basket and Taylor hit two free throws to seal the win.

Taylor led Troy with 12 points, Siler had eight points and Hughes scored seven.

Troy will be back in action Monday, hosting Greenville at the Trojan Activity Center.

After making sure there would be no deja vu Wednesday night.