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Troy erupts for back-to-back victories

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| January 12, 2009 11:00 PM

Playing one of the strongest teams out of Class C, the Troy High School boys basketball team knew they would be in for a challenge Saturday night with a visit from Arlee.

The Warriors entered the fray with just one loss and the top scorer in 13-C in senior Wyatt O’Neill. Troy handled O’Neill as well as Arlee’s pressure-style game in a 67-56 victory.

“I felt we handled the pressure … that’s kind of what concerned us the most,” THS coach Tony Smith said. “We handled the press early and that took them out of their game.”

Troy proved that it has a full arsenal of weapons at its disposal. When senior Aaron Palmer had to sit out several minutes of the second quarter with three fouls, the Trojans didn’t miss a beat. In fact, it was Troy’s best 8 minutes of the evening by outscoring the opponent by six points.

“I was extremely pleased with our bench play tonight,” Smith said. “Dalton Powell, Brandon Rebo, Steph Jones – they really gave us the best minutes off the bench that we’ve had all year.”

Although those players had an impact, Troy senior Clayton Kyriss really stole the show. The sweet-shooting guard wearing jersey No. 3 found his zone during the first half with 13 of his 19 points.

Cubby Pierre, Arlee’s own No. 3, also had a big night from long range with 18 points – a total that included five of the team’s nine 3-pointers. Meanwhile, O’Neill finished well below his average with just nine points.

“Those two are just great shooters,” Smith said. “They just put it up. On the whole, we did a good job defensively.”

Arlee showed signs that it could put up points in a hurry and had a few good runs during the game. The Trojans, playing in their old, well-packed gym for the final season, led by nine points at the break but really started to take control in the third quarter.

Troy opened the second half with a 12-2 run to build a 19-point advantage. Over that stretch, Kyriss hit a pair of 3’s, Palmer had a couple of hoops and big man Brian Hammrich found the net. But Arlee battled back and things began to get interesting in the final quarter.

The Trojans maintained their double-digit cushion most of the way but Arlee rallied over the game’s final 3 minutes. When sophomore Trae Burland hit a 3-pointer with 1:18 left, the Warriors had pulled to within 63-56.

“We started standing around and got back on our heels and gave up some shots that they can hit,” Smith said. “So, it ended kind of ugly.”

But Troy hung tough and put the game away on a Palmer offensive board and basket with 42 seconds left.

“I thought we were on the whole very unselfish and got the ball where we wanted to,” Smith said.

Palmer and Hammrich each recorded a double-double in the victory. Palmer netted 21 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and Hammrich finished with 14 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Kyriss scored 19 with five of his seven field goals coming from 3-point territory.

As a team, Troy dished out 20 assists – including six by Shado Garrett, five by Palmer and four by Kyriss – and scored 34 points in the paint.

The Trojans put away outmanned St. Ignatius on Friday night, 64-29, in a District 7-B matchup. Troy built leads of 22-1 after the first quarter and 41-11 at halftime.

Smith played all of his players in uniform against an opponent that is struggling this season. Palmer led Troy with 21 points with 10 of those coming in the first quarter. Jesse Day added a dozen for the Trojans, which improved to 2-1 in the district with the win.

Jorren Geise threw in 21 points for the Bulldogs, which dropped to 0-2 in the district, 1-6 overall.

Troy takes its 7-1 record into Thursday’s meeting with Class A Libby. Junior varsity action begins at 4:15 p.m. with the varsity to follow.

The Trojans travel to Eureka on Saturday.

It Was Over When …

Troy’s Aaron Palmer scored with 42 seconds left in the game after grabbing an offensive rebound on an attempt by Steph Jones. The hoop put the game out of reach from a Warrior squad that was finishing strong.

Game Ball

Trojans senior Clayton Kyriss kept putting up the 3-pointers and finished with five on the night. Even on his misses, Kyriss was just a few inches off target. He had 19 points for the game.

Stat of the Game

Troy won the battle at the foul line. The Trojans sank just 8-of-14 free throws for an unimpressive 57.1 percent but they only put Arlee on the foul line three times the entire game. The Warriors made 1-of-3 free throws.

Trojans 67, Warriors 56

Saturday at Troy

Arlee (56)

Pierre 7 0-0 18, Felsman 5 0-0 11, Allensworth 1 0-0 2, O’Neill 3 1-2 8, Morigeau 1 0-0 2, Willougby 1 0-0 2, McClure 0 0-0 0, Burland 3 0-0 8, Pfau 0 0-0 0, Matt 2 0-1 4, Sansavere 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 1-3 53.

Troy (67)

Kyriss 7 0-0 19, Garrett 1 0-0 2, Palmer 10 1-4 21, Day 1 5-6 7, Hammrich 6 2-4 14, Powell 1 0-0 2, Jones 0 0-0 0, Rebo 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 8-14 67.

Three-Pointers–Arlee 9 (Pierre 5, Burland 2, Felsman, O’Neill), Troy 5 (Kyriss 5). Rebounds–Arlee 29 (Felsman 7), Troy 46 (Hammrich 11). Assists–Arlee 8 (Matt 3), Troy 20 (Garrett 6). Total Fouls–Arlee 15, Troy 6. Technical Fouls–None.

Trojans 64, Bulldogs 29

Friday at St. Ignatius

Troy (64)

Rayson 2, Kyriss 9, Alexander 6, Rebo 2, Garrett 6, Jones 3, Palmer 21, Day 12, Hammrich 3.

St. Ignatius (29)

McCollum 2, Ahlborn 2, Geise 21, Woodcock 2, Rohrich 2.