Troy Christiaan handles Miami East boys in TRC matchup

CASSTOWN — Troy Christian boys basketball coach Ray Zawadzki knew his unbeaten Eagles would face a challenge Friday night in the high-scoring duo of Miami East sophomores Wes Enis and Jacob Roeth.

But, the Eagles executed their plan to perfection in a 53-38 Three Rivers Conference victory.

Troy Christian improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the TRC, while Miami East dropped to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the TRC.

“They are two very special players,” Zawadzki said. “We looked at what we could do against them, which wasn’t a lot. But, we came up with a plan on what we thought we could do. We had a few lapses, but but for the most part we executed that plan.”

Enis and Roeth combined for 26 points in the game.

“We are putting our kids in some challenging positions,” Miami East coach Justin Roeth, who started five sophomores against an almost equally young Troy Christian team, said. “I felt like we had some good shots. We just didn’t make any shots tonight. When you don’t shoot well and are getting outrebounded, that is not a good combination.

“We had a number of turnovers, but I think you have to give Troy Christian credit. They are so well coached and they pressured us all night.”

The Vikings led much of the first quarter before a basket by Chase Dohme put the Eagles up 9-8.

But, the Eagles — who had had 15 offensive rebounds and outscored the Vikings 14-8 on second-chance points — began to take control late in the second quarter.

Lucas Day hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Troy Christian up 19-16 and the Eagles increased it to 26-20 at the break.

East was within 28-24 midway through the third quarter after a basket by Connor Apple.

But, Troy Christian would finish the quarter on a 9-2 run to make it 37-26 and East was never able to get close in the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well tonight,” Zawadzki said. “Those the rebounding was important.”

The other key was theme that has been there all season — balanced scoring.

“That’s us,” Zawadzki said. “It will be a different kid every night. That;s what we do.”

And then there was the play of 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Alex Free — whose play can’t be measured in the scorebook.

Free had 15 rebounds, four assists and five steals.

“How do you change the game without scoring?,” Zawadzki said. “That’s how you do it. I think Alex only took three shots all night. We always tell him he is LeBron (James) without the points.”

Junior post Ben Major led the Eagles with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Sophomore guard Parker Penrod had 10 points and six assists and Day had 10 points.

Senior guard Chase Dohme had nine points.

For Miami East, Enis had 16 points and seven rebounds and Roeth added 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Apple had nine points and Andrew Crane and Mitchel Kemp both had five rebounds.

Troy Christian was 18 for 54 from the floor for 33 percent, including two of 16 on 3-pointers for 13 percent.

The Eagles converted 15 of 27 free throws for 56 percent.

Miami East was 13 for 47 for 27 percent, including four of 29 of 3-pointers for 13 percent.

The Vikings made eight of 16 free throws for 50 percent.

Troy Christian won the battle of the boards 43-32 and had 15 turnovers to Miami East’s 18.

Troy Christian faces another tough challenge Tuesday, traveling to Northridge, who is also unbeaten in the TRC.

Miami East will play at Riverside Tuesday.