By Josh Brown
FAIRBORN — Maybe it was weariness from completing a three-game road trip.
Or maybe the sting of coming off of back-to-back losses — especially a narrow three-point loss in the final seconds at Urbana over the weekend.
Or possibly Fairborn just has Troy’s number.
Whatever the underlying cause, the Troy boys basketball team dropped its third straight as the Skyhawks used an 18-0 run to turn what had been a close, competitive game in the middle of the second quarter into a 58-35 victory over the Trojans in Greater Western Ohio Conference American League crossover play Tuesday night at Baker Middle School in Fairborn.
The loss dropped Troy to 4-7 on the year and 2-4 in the GWOC American North Division, while Fairborn improved to 3-8, 2-3 in the GWOC American South. For the Skyhawks, it was also the third straight win over Troy and fourth in the teams’ last five meetings. Fairborn won the regular season matchup last season, as well as knocking the Trojans out of postseason play.
It was also the Trojans’ fifth loss in their last six games, and the 35 points was the lowest output for Troy’s offense this season. And it was easy to see why: the Trojans committed 25 turnovers in the game, and when they did get shots off, they were 13 for 45 from the field (28.9 percent).
“We didn’t defend very well, we didn’t have some shots go in and we turned the ball over too many times in the second half. We turned the ball over too much the whole game, really,” Troy coach Paul Bremigan said. “When you do that and you don’t shoot well, it really limits your opportunities.”
Even after Fairborn took a 13-8 lead after the first quarter and led 15-8 early in the second, though, the Trojans found a way to fight back, scoring seven straight points and tying the score at 15-15 after a pair of Zach Reichelderfer free throws midway through the quarter. The Skyhawks answered that run with back-to-back 3s by K.J. Redmon, but a Reichelderfer layup kept Troy alive at 21-17.
That was as close as the game would get, though. Fairborn closed out the half with four straight points to take a 25-17 lead, and then the Skyhawks shut Troy out for the first five minutes of the second half, scoring the first 14 points of the third quarter to build a 39-17 lead before the Trojans dented the scoreboard again. Fairborn’s Shaunn Monroe scored 10 of his game-high 25 points during that run, turning three of Troy’s turnovers into easy layups on the fast break — something Fairborn made a regular occurrence.
The 25 turnovers were also the most for the Trojans this season.
“Yeah, a lot of times they did (turn steals into easy points),” Bremigan said. “We did (have our turnovers under control), but our guards didn’t get much help from everyone else getting open. Fairborn did a nice job of defending us tonight. The guards struggled, but they’ve got to have help, too. It’s not all on them.”
Fairborn continued to pour it on in the fourth, with Monroe hitting back-to-back 3s to make it a 26-point game at 53-27 — the Skyhawks’ biggest lead of the game — and it coasted to the win from there.
Reichelderfer was held to eight points and eight rebounds, only the second time this season the Trojans’ leading scorer has been held to single digits. He only scored six points in Troy’s 68-42 loss to Butler, the team’s largest margin of defeat this season. Six of his eight points Tuesday night came in the first half as the Skyhawk defense limited his touches to a bare minimum in the second half.
“A lot of that is working hard, and a lot of that is on our other players getting him the ball,” Bremigan said.
Chris Demeo hit the Trojans’ only two 3-pointers on the night — Troy was 2 for 17 (11.8 percent) from long range in the game — and also scored eight points. Brayden Siler, Caillou Monroe and Jacob Martinez each added four points and six rebounds as the Trojans outrebounded Fairborn 39-30 in the game, Brenden Kinnel scored three points and Cole Brogan and Brandon Lavy each scored two.
After Shaunn Monroe’s 25 points, Jordan Greene hit three 3s and scored nine points, Redmon added eight points, O.J. Person had six points, Wesley Watts and Tarik Yagmurkaya both scored four and Tyler Eatmon chipped in two.
Things don’t get easier for the Trojans, either — Troy returns home Friday to host 6-5 Stebbins, which will come into the game having lost by two to Butler but having won three of its last four.
“We don’t have any time to sit around and mope about it. We play Friday,” Bremigan said. “We’re going to watch tape, work on improving and get ready for Stebbins.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.