By Josh Brown
TROY — For Wednesday’s game against West Carrollton, the Troy girls basketball team switched some things up.
“We’re looking at Monday as a fresh start,” Troy coach Nathan Kopp said. “We sat on the opposite bench than we normally sit, and we changed some other pregame things, too.”
Whether or not those changes were responsible, there was a visible change in the Trojans’ attitude, too — and their confidence grew and grew throughout the game.
Troy (2-4) scored more points in a game than it had since the 2012-13 season, using a balanced attack on offense — including enormous contributions off the bench — and a stingy defense that forced 38 total turnovers in the game to put away a 64-29 victory over the visiting Pirates Wednesday night at the Trojan Activities Center.
The last time Troy scored 60 points was on Dec. 5, 2012, in a 67-19 victory over Springfield. Four of the 12 current Trojans that saw action Wednesday — Sierra Besecker, Maddy Taylor, Alexis Otstot and Kayla Niswonger — played in that game as freshmen.
And, even with the scoring outburst, the Trojans did so without a clear-cut leader, instead sharing the wealth as a team. And every time anyone made a solid play on the court, the entire bench erupted in cheers.
“That’s kind of how it’s going to be for us, with that balance,” Kopp said. “Eleven of our 12 girls scored tonight, and everyone contributed something, whether it was rebounds or steals or assists, not just points. I could talk about literally everyone that played tonight as playing a great game.
“Our bench is going to be just as important as the kids on the floor. Everyone’s going to get their turn right now, so everyone gets to be cheerleaders until they get on the floor.”
Otstot and Jordan Short both came off the bench to lead the Trojans in scoring with 10 points each, while Kiyha Adkins had eight points and five steals and Bailey Hess added eight points. Bailey Dornbusch scored seven points, Taylor had six points, four rebounds and five steals, Taylor Stookey had five points and Niswonger had four points.
Besecker had two points and four steals, Jenna Kaup had two points and three assists and Alaura Holycross had two points. And Stephanie Chavis, though she didn’t score, had four rebounds as Troy outrebounded West Carrollton 34-25 and won the turnover battle 38-13.
Still, the focus for Troy was its play on the defensive end — even with the game well in hand.
“If we scored 70 but they score 40, that’s just not us. That’s not what we believe in,” Kopp said. “Our number tonight was 29. We wanted to hold them to 29 or less, and they had 25 early in the third quarter. So, even with the game not in doubt, for the girls to stay focused, still go after that goal and get it, that says a lot about them.
“We pride ourselves on our defense, and we were able to turn them over a lot tonight. We were by far the more athletic team.”
The game was only tied once, at 2-2, before Troy took control. Hess canned a 3 to give Troy the lead, then Adkins stole the ball and took it in for a layup and Kaup hit Otstot for a 3 in transition after another turnover to make it 10-2. A free throw by Otstot and a bucket inside by Taylor completed an 11-0 run before Morgan Phillips — who led the Pirates (0-5) with nine points and six rebounds — hit a pair of free throws to make it 13-4 after the first.
Troy poured it on late in the second quarter. With the score 24-16, Otstot hit a 3, then Dornbusch scored on a drive and hit a 3 to make it 32-16. A Taylor steal led to a putback-and-foul by Otstot in transition, and she converted the three-point play to give Troy a 35-16 lead before Phillips hit a desperation 3 at the buzzer to cut the Trojans’ lead to 16 at the half.
The Trojans ended the third quarter on a 12-0 run and led 54-27 going into the fourth, then they held the Pirates to one lone basket early in the fourth to meet their defensive goal for the night.
It was Troy’s second win in a row after dropping its first four games to start the season — and it was also the second straight game Troy shot better than 50 percent from the free throw line as it went 18 for 34 in the game. The Trojans were 11 for 18 in Monday’s 45-31 win at Bethel.
The Trojans travels to Northmont Saturday for a girls-boys varsity doubleheader.
“The record is what it is,” Kopp said. “But tonight was a good team win, and now we have two days to get ready for a good Northmont team.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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