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Trojans get ready for back-to-back home games

by Hope Nealson Western News
| December 13, 2007 11:00 PM

The Troy boys' basketball team will be at home this weekend, playing Thompson Falls this Friday at 4:15 p.m. and Superior on Saturday in a double header with the Lady Trojans, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Troy.

Trojan coach Tony Smith said both upcoming games would provide Troy with some valuable experience for different reasons.

"It's a very competitive team," Smith said of Thompson Falls. "Obviously they're ranked number one for a reason. We expect a lot of pressure on the ball - they're very quick."

Smith said Superior would present a different set of problems.

"They're more like us," he said. "They've lost all their starters. We're looking forward to finding out what we can do well and work on the things that we need to," said Smith.

In their first game of the Plains Tournament last weekend against high-ranking Helena Christian, the Trojans were ahead most of the game, only to let the lead slip, 60-50.

"As coaches, we just didn't make good adjustments, and it cost us the game," said Smith. "Our inexperience really hurt us in the last four minutes. I didn't have the kids prepared for the style of defense we faced."

Smith said the 59-78 loss to another top school, Valley Christian, wasn't indicative of how well the Trojans played overall.

"We got down early and got back within 10 (points), then we were down 15 and came back within 7 in the fourth," he said.

Smith said the team gained valuable experience and displayed a lot of strength.

"We did out-rebound our opponents by 20 in both games," he said. "I was very pleased with how hard our kids competed."

"These things will take some time to gel," he added, praising their hard work.

"Sophomore Brian Hammrich rebounded 9 against Valley Christian and Shado Garrett played excellent defense," he said. "The Palmer boy scored 24 in the first game and 27 in the second, rebounding 9 for 12 in the first game."

With only one returning senior, Aaron Palmer, Smith said the Trojans are a young team that is finding its way.

"We're not sure what kind of a team we are yet," said Smith. "It's going to take some time to find out our style."

Smith said he hopes to see more scoring this weekend.

"As long as our kids continue to work hard and play hard, I expect to see good things over the season," he said. "We have to have more scoring. I expect a very competitive team as the season unfolds."

Smith said it may take a little time.

"I don't see it happening early," he said. "It's going to be a work in progress."