Troy’s girls competed in the first round of sectional play in the MSHSAA Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1998, beating their opponents 57-44 and progressing to the next game.
The Trojans hit the court hard, playing aggressive and pushing against Fort Zumwalt West (FZW) where they could.
Ahead of their March 11 game, Coach Damond Lacy said everyone was asking, “‘what are you going to do differently, what’s the game plan?’”
“I said, ‘guys, we don’t’ have a game plan.’ This group plays with a lot of heart and they play hard, and that’s our MO,” Lacy said. “Go make more hustle plays than the other team does.”
FZW picked up the lead early on, with Troy trailing by at least four points through most of the first quarter. Early in the second, FZW had bumped their lead up by eight. The Trojans kept racing to catch up, keeping the scores as close together as they could, and making aggressive plays. Starting the third quarter, Troy was five points behind, 19 to FZW’s 24. Troy’s offense would hit a lull, though, and a few missed buckets would put them as much as 12 points behind toward the middle of the third.
“That’s how our kids can shoot,” Lacy said. “Like we talked about this week, some nights you have a bad shooting night or bad shooting quarters, but you never have a bad defensive quarter if you play hard and do the little things right, and our kids sat down and did those, until we got hot.”
Troy’s shooters did dial their game in, and players started finding the basket from the three-point line.
With the spell broken, Troy caught up to FZW, tying the score 35-35 with 17 seconds left.
Another shot from the three put the Trojans up 38-35 just as the third quarter buzzer rang.
Troy then got to enjoy a lead, as the girls stretched out their advantage and put more points up on the board.
A series of free throws within the last minute of the game let the Trojans increase the score, and end the contest with a safe lead ahead of FZW.
The comeback is a “testament” to the Trojans, Lacy said.
“That’s just how hard they play,” Lacy said. “We talked about it before: no quit, no matter if we’re up big, down big, just play hard and go get a win.”
Twelve points can be quite a bit in a high school game, Lacy said, but “it just takes making a few shots,” especially when three-pointers start coming in.
“I’m proud of them,” Lacy said. “There’s a lot of people last year that said ‘you’ve got to win it with this group that’s here,’ and ‘you’re losing a lot to graduation,’ and we did. We lost a lot of good kids, but in this group, they’ve stepped up and they’ve done their job and it’s been fun.”
Their next game happened after press time, on Saturday, March 14 at Lindenwood University at 6 p.m.