Miami East boys stay perfect with win over Troy


CASSTOWN — The Miami East boys basketball team knew they would be challenged to remain unbeaten this week.

In the first of back-to-back nights against D-I opponents, the Vikings opened a big lead early and rallied late for a 52-49 win over Troy at Miami East High School Tuesday night.

Miami East improved to 9-0 with the win, while Troy dropped to 7-2.

“We scheduled up this year,” Miami East coach Justin Roeth said. “We didn’t get a chance to play Troy last year, because they had games to make up.”

And after East had opened a 16-4 lead early, the game came down to the final two minutes.

Troy, who had battled back, took its first lead on a Nick Prince 3-pointer with less than two minutes remaining to go in front 47-45.

“The kids never quit,” Troy coach Mark Hess said. “They kept battling.”

But, East didn’t panic.

Jacob Roeth answered with a basket with 1:13 to play to tied the game 47-47.

With less than a minute to go and Troy in possession of the ball, Connor Apple intercepted a pass in the lane to give the ball back to East.

Roeth was fouled with 45.5 seconds to go and hit both free throws.

Then, on a Troy drive to the basket, the ball ended up on the floor and Wes Enis grabbed it and was fouled.

He hit both free throws to make it 51-47 with 31.3 seconds to go.

“It is disappointing,” Hess said. “We had two bad possessions there in a row at the end. You can’t make those kind of mistakes.”

Noah Davis scored off a Prince assist with 17.8 seconds to go and East’s Bryce Haught was fouled with 7.2 seconds to go. He hit the second of two free throws to make it 52-49.

“We had some guys make plays tonight in key situations,” Roeth said. “That was huge for Wes Enis to come up with the ball on that rebound.”

Troy called timeout with 4.2 seconds to go, but a final 3-point shot was off the mark.

“I just felt like we didn’t play with the energy early in the game that Miami East did,” Hess said. “We just didn’t bring the same energy. And they have two really good players.”

Enis and Roeth combined for all 16 points for East in the opening quarter — and 45 of its 52 points in the game — to get the Vikings rolling early.

“We came out in a zone,” Roeth said. “We haven’t shown a lot of zone this year, but I thought that would be a good way to play them. Once they (Troy) calmed down, they started playing better. I think they outscored us 14-9 in the second quarter.”

That got the Trojans within 25-18 at the break. East still led 39-31 after three quarters, before Troy rallied to take it to the wire. Prince hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter rally and Davis had one.

“We knew Troy was going to hit some threes on us,” Roeth said. “But, we felt like if we could hold them to 25 percent shooting from three and outrebound them, we could win the game.”

Enis had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Vikings, while Roeth had 21 points and four assists.

Devon Abshire had ix points and eight rebounds.

Davis led Troy with 16 points, while Kellen Miller scored 11 points and Nick Prince added eight points.

Isaac Phillips had six points, five rebounds and three blocked shots and Konyae Foster had five rebounds and four assists.

East was 15 of 38 from the floor for 39 percent, including three of 11 from long range for 27 percent. The Vikings made 19 of 28 free throws for 67 percent.

Troy was 18 of 51 from the floor for 35 percent, including five of 27 on 3-pointers for 18 percent. The Trojans were nearly perfect from the line, going 8-for-9 for 88 percent.

East won the battle of the boards 31-26 and both teams had nine turnovers.

East was scheduled to play at Westerville North Wednesday before hosting Versailles Friday, while Troy travels to Springboro Friday.

“I thought for us to only have nine turnovers in a game like this was really good,” Roeth said. “Westerville North is going to be a challenge. It is a quick turnaround.”

After winning the first of its two-game challenge this week.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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