Troy boys improve to 3-0 with win over Xenia

TROY — It may not have been a work of perfection.

But, in the end, the Troy boys basketball team was able to do what it needed to do in a 60-51 win over Xenia in MVL action Tuesday at the Trojan Activities Center.

Troy, 3-0 overall and 3-0 in the MVL, will travel to Fairborn Friday night.

“We won the game,” Troy coach Mark Hess said. “We know we weren’t great, but we were able to win. We didn’t have the same intensity we had Friday against West Carrollton. It started with practice yesterday. We were talking about it with the kids after the game.

“Usually, when you have a talk like that, it is after a loss. So, hopefully we can avoid any of those hard lessons.”

Xenia came out determined to make Troy play a half-court game and the Bucs held a 9-8 lead after one quarter.

But, Noah Davis knocked down three straight 3-pointers to open the second quarter and hit in four in the quarter, while Evan Kaiser would score four points in an eight second span as the Trojans took a 29-23 lead at the break.

“Those were some big shots by Noah (Davis),” Hess said. “They (Xenia) did a good job (making Troy play a half-court game).”

Xenia was still within three a 33-30 after two free throws by Damien Weaver at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter.

But, from there until early in the fourth quarter, Troy went on a 15-1 run to open a 48-31 lead.

Isaac Phillips had nine points in the run, Charlie Walker had four points and Zach King had a basket and an assist.

“We finally found some dead spots in the zone and were able to get the ball in the middle,” Hess said.

Xenia was able to get as close as eight points after that.

“They went to a man defense and we just got stagnant,” Hess said. “He is hard to get anything going in transition when you aren’t getting any stops.”

Nick Prince helped finish off the win, making eight straight free throws — including six down the stretch.

“Nick was feeling his best tonight,” Hess said. “So for him to gut it out and hit those shots at the end says a lot about him.”

Davis — who didn’t score in the second half — finished with 16 points.

Phillips had 12 points and six rebounds, Prince had 12 points and five rebounds and King had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Walker also had nine rebounds.

“We thought this would be a game where Zach (King) would have a lot of opportunities,” Hess said. “Getting the ball inside and on offensive rebounds. He had to have a double-double or be close to it.”

Weaver had 19 points and six rebounds for Xenia, while Kellan Starks had 14 points and five rebounds.

Juan Underwood added eight points and six rebounds.

Troy was 19 of 50 from the floor for 38 percent and 16 of 21 from the line for 76 percent.

Xenia was 18 of 51 from the floor for 35 percent and 11 of 17 from the line for 65 percent.

Troy won the battle of the boards 37-19, but had 13 turnovers to Xenia’s seven.

“We just need to get healthy and get our intensity back,” Hess said.

After a workman-like effort to get the win Tuesday night.