Troy’s boys and girls basketball teams are set to play in the Class 5 District 8 Tournament on Friday night, with the boys facing down Francis Howell, and the girls taking on Holt.
Coach Tim Gilmore said that district play is always the best time of year for any basketball team, adding that it was nice to get the tourney off to a good start on the evening of Tuesday, March 3. Troy took down Holt 68-46 in that game, and Gilmore said the boys were “very locked in defensively and in the second half executed well offensively.”
“Getting that opening round win is always nice to get out the nerves that this time of year provides,” Gilmore said.
The boys spent the time in between the first and final matches preparing for Howell, with the size of their opponents being a big target to overcome.
“They do a great job of pounding the ball into their post players and sharing the ball if you try and double them,” Gilmore said. “We feel the biggest key on the defensive end is to limit them to one shot each possession. It is hard to beat a great team if you give them multiple chances at the offensive end. Offensively, we have to make sure that each possession is a great one. Howell can make any team rush and take forced shots. We have to be ultra focused on the offensive end to pass up good shots to get great ones.”
The girls team from Troy came in at the 2 seed, playing their first game against Timberland on March 3.
Girls Coach Damond Lacy said the Trojans got off to a strong start, but ran into foul trouble and gave up a 22-1 in the second quarter.
“When we got to the second half we played much better defense and started hitting some shots on offense and got the win,” Lacy said. They beat Timberland 49-35.
The finals will be the fourth time the Trojans have faced Holt, and Lacy said his players are excited for the opportunity.
“We get to play for a district championship in our own gym, so if you can't get excited for that then you probably shouldn't be playing anyway,” Lacy said.
Holt does bring a good zone defense, however, and Lacy said they do a good job of pressing at different times to change the pace of the game.
They area also sitting on a good point guard and a solid scorer, and have lots of players that work hard at doing the little things right.
“We are very much alike as basketball teams,” Lacy said.
Lacy added that he’s proud of his players when they take pride in the little things, like acknowledging a teammate for doing something well, diving for loose basketballs and playing good defense.
“If we do the little things right then the big picture takes care of itself,” he said.