TROY — The Troy boys basketball was coming off its biggest win of the season Friday night against Tippecanoe to gain a share of the MVL lead.
So, a little bit of a hangover from that emotional win was not unexpected Tuesday night at the Trojan Activity Center.
And it didn’t last for long as the Trojans overcame an early 17-9 deficit with a 13-0 run, then took control in the second half for a 60-54 victory.
Which sets up the biggest regular season game in sometime Friday night, when Troy can clinch a share of the MVL title with a win at Piqua.
It would be the Trojans first league title in boys basketball since 2012.
“I kind of anticipated being a little flat tonight after the big win Friday night,” Troy coach Mark Hess said. “It would have been good if it didn’t happen, but I was not surprised. I am sure they (Piqua) will be jacked up Friday night. It is probably their senior night and they will have a big crowd.”
Stebbins was able to beat Troy down the floor and get inside for easy looks in the early going.
Following a timeout by Hess, that changed.
Kellen Miller had a basket, then dished to Evan Kaiser for the final basket of the first quarter to get the Trojans within 17-13.
Hollis Terrell opened the second quarter with a basket, Noah Davis hit a 3-pointer to give Troy the lead, Miller had a block and then fired the ball down the court to Davis to make it 20-17.
Isaac Phillips added two points to make it 22-17 and Troy was still in front 33-28 at the break.
“We settled down in a zone and started getting some stops,” Hess said.
Troy then scored the first nine points of the second half to make it 42-28.
Davis scored off a Terrell assist, then Konyae Foster scored off a Davis assist.
Following a basket by Phillips, Davis tipped in an offensive rebound and was fouled, hitting the free throws to make it 42-28.
“That is a credit to the kids,” Hess said about the fast start in the second half. “We talked about that at halftime.”
Troy led 46-35 after three quarters and Stebbins could never get the deficit down to single digits.
“I would have liked to have opened a little bigger lead,” Hess said. “But, we will able to get the job done.”
Davis led Troy with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Phillips had 10 points and Terrell scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds.
Nick Prince had eight points and Evan Kaiser added seven points.
Kellen Miller had five rebounds and blocked two shots.
Ray’Vonn Harris led Stebbins with 19 points.
Caden Keller added 12 points and Jionni Harris pulled down five rebounds.
Troy was 25 of 51 from the floor for 49 percent, including two of 11 from long range for 18 percent, The Trojans made eight of 11 from the line for 73 percent.
Stebbins was 19 of 50 from the floor for 38 percent and six of 12 from the line for 50 percent.
Troy won the battle of the boards 33-19, but had 12 turnovers to Stebbins’ nine.
“I didn’t think we were as focused tonight was we were last Friday (against Tipp),” Hess said. “We are going to need the same kind of focus Friday night as we had against Tipp. They are going to come out fired up and we need to have the same focus.”
To earn at last a share of its first league title since 2012.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]