By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — After completing his 800th career game as a varsity head coach, Troy’s Paul Bremigan knew this would be one he’d remember.
“It’s been a lot of games — and a lot of games like that, too,” he said. “More games like that than I remember winning by 30. You don’t remember those.”
It’ll be a pleasant memory, too.
The Troy boys basketball team finished the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good in another down-to-the-wire battle with Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division rival Tippecanoe, and a free throw by Tre’Vone Archie with 1.7 seconds left sealed the win as the Trojans capped off a tumultuous day between the two rival schools with a hard-fought 50-46 victory over the Red Devils Tuesday at the Trojan Activities Center.
The win was the second straight overall for Troy (8-12, 6-8 GWOC American North) and clinched a third-place finish by the Trojans in the division this season. It was also the fifth straight for Troy over the Devils (7-14, 4-10 GWOC American North), who saw their own two-game losing streak snapped.
And just like the first meeting between the teams this season, a 56-55 Troy victory on a last-second free throw, the Trojans overcame an impressive shooting display by the Devils in the first half, speeding the game up in the second half to take control. This time, though, the Trojans were playing with three players — Brayden Siler, Shaeden Olden and Chris DeMeo — who were either injured or unavailable in the first meeting.
“We were a different team this time, and I think they were missing some guys, too, so it was a different game,” Bremigan said. “It’s just good to get a win.
“That was what we wanted to do in the first half (speed up the game), but with their ability to hit shots, we weren’t able to press as much.”
Olden particularly was a factor, as he led the Trojans with 13 points — 10 in the second half — and added four rebounds, including three on the offensive end as Troy outrebounded Tippecanoe 34-25, which proved to be the difference in the game.
“Shaeden has doing a real nice job on the offensive boards,” Bremigan said. “It’s kind of taken some of the pressure off of Sam (Shaneyfelt) and Austin (Stanaford) and Caillou (Monroe). It gives us another rebounder in there, and that’s big for us. He’s got good timing and good hands and can rebound. That’s really helped us the last four or five games.”
“We struggled with offensive rebounds,” Tippecanoe coach Adam Toohey said. “They had 13, and we can’t give them 13 extra possessions. The plan was to keep them to five or fewer offensive rebounds and we could possibly win, but giving 13 free ones to them … there was a possession where, we were up 32-31, Olden took a 3 and missed, Monroe got the rebound, shot, missed, got his own rebound shot and made it. And in close games, free throws and rebounding wins.”
Nolan Mader, who led Tippecanoe in the first meeting, as well, had 16 points and five rebounds to lead the Devils Tuesday, but he was forced to sit much of the first three quarters in foul trouble.
“We’ve been talking about fouling the right way lately, and it’s kind of a foreign concept to us right now,” Toohey said. “We’ve been giving up a lot of and-ones, and they got three and-ones again tonight. We’ve got to foul in a way that they can’t get the ball up.
“We just play different against Troy. It’s a rivalry thing, I think, where we panic a bit. We looked like a veteran team against Oakwood Saturday, but today we looked like a young team.”
Tippecanoe looked like a team on a winning streak early, hitting three 3s in the first quarter to take a 15-11 lead after one — with Archie hitting a three-quarters-court 3 at the buzzer to keep Troy in the game — and then three more 3s in the second. The Trojans battled back, though, with Shaneyfelt hitting a jumper with 3:20 left until halftime to put Troy up 25-24 — and that was where the score remained at halftime.
The teams battled back and forth in the third quarter, with a Nick Robbins 3-pointer giving the Devils a 32-31 lead with 2:50 on the clock. But Monroe hit that third-chance putback to give the lead to Troy and kick off an 8-0 run, with Olden hitting a 3 and DeMeo scoring and drawing a foul with 2.4 seconds remaining to make the score 39-32 Troy going into the final quarter.
Troy led by five in the fourth quarter at 41-36 with 3:40 remaining, but Ben Knostman hit a layup and drew a foul with 1:27 remaining, missing the potential game-tying free throw but still cutting the deficit to 43-42 with 1:27 left in the game. A layup by Mader kept it a one-point game at 44-43 with 55 seconds left, but a free throw by Monroe, an offensive rebound on the missed second one by Olden and a pair of free throws by Brayden Siler gave Troy a four-point lead with 33.5 seconds remaining.
Tippecanoe continued to battle, trailing 49-46 with 3.1 seconds left, but a free throw by Archie with 1.7 on the clock made it a two-possession game and effectively sealed the win.
“I wasn’t real happy with the way we ran offense in the final three minutes or so,” Bremigan said. “I thought we could take some time off the clock and let them foul us a little more, but we shot some ill-advised shots. But in the last couple minutes, we made some free throws.
“You’ve got to make those, and you’ve got to get in situations like that. There’s no substitute for game situations in making free throws. We were 12 for 20 tonight, 9 for 13 in the fourth, which isn’t great, but against Celina we were 5 for 15. So we’re a little better. Not setting the world on fire with free throw shooting, but we’re getting better.”
After Olden’s 13 points, Archie had 12 points, three rebounds and three assists, Monroe had 11 points and nine rebounds, Siler had five points and six rebounds, Shaneyfelt had five points and five rebounds and DeMeo and Caleb Fogarty each had two points.
Mader had 16 points and five rebounds, Zach Frederick had nine points and six rebounds, Robbins hit three 3s and scored nine points, Knostman chipped in eight points and Pat Manes and Griffin Caldwell each added two points.
Both teams will close out the regular season Friday on the road, with Troy traveling to rival Piqua and Tippecanoe looking to play spoiler at Butler, which took a one-game lead in the division standings with a victory over Sidney Tuesday night.
Josh Brown is the Sports Editor of the Troy Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.