St. Charles – Troy Buchanan walked into Hyland Arena on the campus of Lindenwood University knowing it had an epic mountain to climb.
How does anyone beat an Incarnate Word girls basketball squad that hasn’t lost a game since the first cases of the novel coronavirus pandemic hit the country?
The Trojans looked for answers, but none would be found against the Red Knights on the way to a season-ending 68-26 loss in the Class 6 State quarterfinals March 11.
Despite the loss, first-year Troy Buchanan coach Ryan Meyers said one loss didn’t erase everything his girls accomplished during the campaign.
“This loss doesn’t define us,” said Meyers, whose squad finished the season 20-10. “We had an 11-game winning streak.
“It was the first time since 1997 that we won conference and district titles in the same season, so I’m proud of what these girls have accomplished.”
Incarnate Word dominated the contest from the outset, using its size and speed to its advantage to the open the game on a 17-0 run. Alyssa Schulte hit one of two free throws to finally break the run for Troy at the 1:27 mark of the opening quarter.
The Red Knights carried a 21-1 advantage at the end of one quarter, and in the second quarter Incarnate Word turned turnovers into instant offense, as it raced into the locker room with a 45-11 lead.
“We knew they were good and well-coached. We thought we could attack them early,” Meyers said. “We missed some open shots, and we couldn’t get any offensive rebounds.”
Mya Robinson led Troy Buchanan with nine points. Teryn Brown and Ava Meyers followed with six and five points, respectively.
Coach Meyers said for such a young team to advance as far as it did so soon is a promising sign for the future.
“We’ve got everybody coming back,” he said. “Our starting backcourt is a sophomore and two freshmen – and that’s something to build on to get better, so if we ever come back to this type of game, it’ll be a different outcome.”