By Josh Brown
TROY — Following Friday’s 61-point loss at Trotwood, the Troy boys basketball team couldn’t get back on the court fast enough.
And even though the Trojans had to wait four days, it proved to be worth it.
Zach Reichelderfer had 21 points and 18 rebounds, and though he was the only Trojan in double figures, five of his teammates scored at least six points and Troy made clutch plays throughout the fourth quarter after West Carrollton had rallied to tie the game after three, pulling away for a 61-50 Greater Western Ohio Conference American League crossover victory Tuesday night at the Trojan Activities Center.
“This was kind of a gut check for us,” Troy coach Paul Bremigan said. “We felt like we needed to come back and play well. I told them that I wished we were playing on Saturday after Friday night, but we weren’t. Sometimes after you get beat like that, you have to wait nine days and rest on it. A game like that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
Tuesday’s game took care of all of that.
The Trojans improved to 6-8 on the year — last season, the Trojans didn’t win their sixth game until the 20th game of the year — as well as 4-5 in the GWOC American North Division. It was also Troy’s second win in its last three games and fourth victory in a row at home, making the Trojans 5-1 on their home floor.
But the Pirates (0-12, 0-8 GWOC American South) made the Trojans work for it.
Jaylen Sanders also scored 21 points and West Carrollton had three players reach double figures, and the Pirate defense forced 17 Troy turnovers in the game — including winning the turnover battle 8-1 in the second half after turning a 31-25 Trojan lead at the break into a 40-40 tie heading into the fourth quarter.
Throughout the entire game, though, the Trojans did work for it, outhustling the Pirates at every turn and — after seven lead changes in the first quarter and a half — taking control and never losing the lead again.
“There were some loose balls that we got, and there were some we didn’t get, balls that we should’ve got but they tipped around and eventually got a layup here and there,” Bremigan said. “That happens sometimes. That’s just the way the ball bounces. But we wanted that kind of tempo. In the second half, we got in a little foul trouble, but I thought we did what we needed to do.”
West Carrollton led by as many as six early at 11-5, but the Trojans rallied to take a 16-14 lead after one on a 3 by Brenden Kinnel. Chris Demeo hit a pair of second-quarter 3s and Reichelderfer scored on a lob inside to give Troy its biggest lead of the first half at 29-22, and the Trojans held a six-point lead at halftime.
But with Reichelderfer, Kinnel and Jacob Martinez all picking up third fouls in the third quarter, the Pirates were able to catch up, tying the score at 36-36 on a Jayden Evans 3, and the game remained tied at 40-40 going into the fourth.
“I thought our defense was consistent tonight and our rebounding was consistent,” Bremigan said. “But I thought at times, offensively, we made things hard on ourselves. We threw the ball away, we missed shots inside that we should make, we didn’t take the ball strong to the basket at times. Offensively, we made things difficult.”
When they needed to late, though, the Trojans were able to make plays.
Reichelderfer kicked off the fourth by blocking a shot on the defensive end and then converting a three-point play on the other, and the Trojans never lost the lead again from there. West Carrollton cut the lead to one at 44-43, but Cole Brogan drove and kicked out to an open Brayden Siler for 3 to widen the gap. After the teams traded free throws, Brogan stole the ball and fed Caillou Monroe for a fast break layup to make the score 51-45 with 3:45 to play as the Trojans went on a 13-2 run to put the game away for good.
The 21-point effort was the fourth time Reichelderfer has scored more than 20 this season, and it was also his fifth double-double of the year — and the 18 rebounds was also a career high. Monroe added nine points and seven rebounds, Martinez had seven points and five rebounds, Kinnel and Siler each scored seven points and Demeo finished with six. Brogan added two points and five assists and Sam Shaneyfelt had two points and six rebounds as Troy outrebounded West Carrollton 46-24.
“Brayden hit a big 3, got us a two-possession lead,” Bremigan said. “That was big. They’re pretty quick to the basket, but we were able to do some things defensively after that.
“That’s what we need to do — we can’t just rest on Zach. We need balanced scoring out of everybody. That’s the way we’re going to get some wins. We can’t just have Zach scoring and then two points, one, one, two from everyone else.”
After Sanders’ 21-point game, Dariane Matthews added 11 points and five rebounds and Jordan Joseph had 10 points for the Pirates. Evans added three, Donyea Ringer and Tristan Dillion each had two and Chavelle Champion scored one.
Troy returns to the road Friday, traveling to Piqua to take on the rival Indians.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.