Troy boys basketball opens season with road win over Greenville


GREENVILLE — Troy boys basketball coach Mark Hess knew his team had put the work in.

But, he also knew he had a group that was playing with each other for the first time in a game that counted.

And after a slow start, the Trojans took control and posted a 54-37 win over Greenville Tuesday night.

Troy, 1-0 overall and in the MVL, will host West Carrollton Friday night.

Greenville dropped to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the MVL.

“This was probably the best offseason we have had since I have been here — as far as the kids being dedicated to the summer program,” Hess said. “They have put a lot of work in.”

With Greenville’s Orio Ribera scoring five points in the opening quarter, the Green Wave led 9-8.

But, Troy junior guard Konyae Foster sped the game up in the second quarter — literally.

“When, Konyae goes into the game it is like a track meet,” Hess said. “He gave us a spark. I think it did (speed up the game).”

Foster had six points off steals in the quarter as Greenville used a 21-7 advantage to go up 27-16 at the break.

“We have a lot of guys in the program for the first time — or guys playing together for the first time,” Hess said. “I think that (some of the sloppy play) is what you would expect. I think once we shook off the rust, we were fine.”

A play at the end of the first half demonstrated the kind of weapon Foster can be.

He got the ball at the Greenville foul line with 5.5 seconds left in the half.

He drove to the Troy end, dished it to Nick Prince — who found Charlie Walker inside. Walker’s shot just beat the buzzer to give Troy a double-digit lead.

“I think Konyae (Foster) is as fast as anyone going from one end of the court to the other,” Hess said. “I don’t know how many points he had tonight, but he just changes things (with his speed).”

Troy quickly opened the lead to 32-16 in the third quarter after Prince hit three free throws after being fouled and Isaac Phillips scored.

But, Greenville would outscore them 8-2 the rest of the quarter and when DJ Zimmer scored inside to start the fourth quarter, Troy’s lead was down to single digits, 34-26.

“We just got stagnant out there,” Hess said.

But, Troy quickly made it a 20-point lead.

After two free throws by Prince, Phillips hit a 3-pointer and Foster scored to make it 41-26.

Walker hit a free throw, Prince drilled a 3-pointer and after a basket by Noah Davis, it was 47-27.

“We did a great job down the the stretch,” Hess said. “Isaac Phillips hit a big three and we had nice baseline drive and just kept going from there.”

Prince led a balanced attack with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Phillips had 10 points and five rebounds and Foster added nine points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Walked netted eight points and seven rebounds and Davis added seven points.

Zach King led the Trojans on the boards with nine rebounds.

Ribera led Greenville with eight points, while Alex Baumgardner, Million Bryant and Hayden Bush all scored six points.

Now, Troy faces a big challenge in West Carrollton in the home opener.

“They are athletic,” Hess said. “They are going to come out and want to go up and down the floor. We have to be ready to play.”

After getting a game playing together under their belts.

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