By Josh Brown
OAKWOOD — Troy’s girls basketball team pressed a little too hard coming out of the gate to start the new calendar year.
In the end, though, the Trojans were able to settle down and — thanks to clutch free throw shooting by Jenna Kaup and Jordan Short on an otherwise off night from the line — hold on for a 36-33 victory over Oakwood on the road Monday night.
The win makes Troy 6-4 on the season and helped it bounce back from a 46-29 loss to Tippecanoe to close out the 2016 portion of the schedule — and that loss may have still been on the Trojans’ mind.
“We had some issues with execution, where we tried to force some things,” Troy coach Aaron Johnson said. “We were up 15-11 at halftime — great defense to hold that team to to 11 in the half. We just could not shoot. We didn’t shoot the ball well. You could tell the girls were really, really trying and not just letting the game come to them.”
Oakwood rallied and took a 25-24 lead after three, but the Trojans outscored the Jills 12-8 in the final quarter to hold on for the win — despite going 11 for 39 (28.2 percent) from the field and 13 for 27 (48.1 percent) from the free throw line as a team.
Short led the Trojans with 11 points and Kaup added 10 points, with Short going 2 for 2 from the free throw line and Kaup 5 for 7. Alaura Holycross added six points and eight rebounds, Kiyha Adkins and MaKenna Taylor had four points each and Alyse Holter had two points.
“Kiyha came out in the second half with two steals for layups that kept us in the game,” Johnson said. “Kaup had a great game, going 5 for 7 from the line and hitting a big 3, Jordan was steady throughout and Alaura gave us that presence inside. But we’ve got to make those free throws, and we missed probably seven wide-open layups, too.
“It was a poor shooting night all around, but to go less than 50 percent from the line and around 20 percent from the field and still come away with the win? Like I’ve said before, I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”
Troy gets a few days to rest, traveling to Fairborn on Saturday.
* Boys Basketball
Troy Christian 62,
Miami Valley 57
DAYTON — A pair of career highs and success at something they haven’t had much success with this season.
The Troy Christian Eagles used it all to knock off Miami Valley Monday night, rallying from a four-point halftime deficit to knock off the Metro Buckeye Conference rival Rams 62-57 on the road — the team’s 12th straight win over Miami Valley.
The Eagles (5-3, 2-1 MBC) went 16 for 22 (72.7 percent) from the free throw line in the game, including hitting their last eight in the fourth quarter to seal it.
“We came into the game shooting about 48 percent from the free throw line,” Troy Christian boys basketball coach Ray Zawadzki said. “We hit our last eight tonight to close out the win. That’s a big accomplishment for the kids, and it should start propelling us forward.”
James Anderson was a big part of that effort, scoring a career-high 31 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking two shots while going 7 for 10 from the line. Ben Schenk also had a career high with 13 points and added three steals and three assists, and Peyton Spurlock had 10 points and five steals. Connor Case chipped in four points, Jacob Brown and Cameron Strine each had two and Seth Wynne had a team-high six assists.
“I was very proud of the kids,” Zawadzki said. “The first half was very selfish basketball. But in the second half, the boys were very team oriented, and we had more assists than turnovers as a team. It was good to see the kids come together and play as one unit with one purpose.”
The Eagles host Mississinawa Valley Friday in non-league play.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.