Troy girls handle Fairmont 56-45 in D-I sectional action


VANDALIA — Troy girls basketball coach Jeremy Hughes knew he had an ace in the hole at the tournament draw when he elected to play Fairmont — who had defeated the Trojans 64-42 in the season opener.

Senior guard Macie Taylor had not played in that game.

“I thought that was going to make a big difference,” Hughes said after Troy’s 56-45 win over Fairmont in D-I sectional action at Vandalia Thursday night.

The Trojans advance to play Miamisburg at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“There were a number of places I could have gone on the bracket,” Hughes said after the team’s first postseason win in five years. “I just felt like Fairmont was a game we could win.”

And Taylor wasted no time in introducing herself to Fairmont Tuesday night.

She scored on Troy’s first three possessions to give the Trojans a 6-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter, forcing a Fairmont timeout.

“I just think it was the energy we brought to the floor tonight,” Taylor said. “This has been the goal since my freshman year. This is my senior year and we hadn’t won a tournament game. It has been kind of a strange year. We had the slow start (when she missed the first five games with illness), but this is huge to get a tournament win.”

While Fairmont made several runs and tied the game once, the Firebirds never ever led.”

One key was the amazing passing of Taylor and the ability of Brynn Siler and Makenzee Maschino to finish on those opportunities.

Taylor scored 19 points herself and had 10 assists on Troy’s other 14 baskets — as Siler and Maschino combined to go 11 for 14 from the floor.

Siler had a career high 16 points and Maschino finished with 10.

“I just think we played with a lot of energy,” Siler said. “For an MVL school to beat a GWOC school — that is a whole different level of basketball. We haven’t won a tournament game since I have been around here.”

Hughes said it was the Trojans best offensive effort of the season.

“I think we were finally patient and waited until the shots were there,” Hughes said. “It just seemed to click tonight.”

Even when Troy was up 27-19 at halftime — and 40-31 late in the third quarter — Taylor knew a run from Fairmont was coming.

“I told the girls at halftime that,” Taylor said. “That we have to be ready.”

And when Sierra Baker hit a 3-pointer at the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Troy’s lead was 41-40.

But, the Trojans would answer with the next eight points and put the game away.

Maschino hit a jumper from just inside the baseline to make it 43-40.

Siler and Taylor each hit one of two free throws, Taylor scored and dished to Siler for another basket to make it 49-40 with less than two minutes remaining.

Mallory Hullinger hit a 3-pointer to get Fairmont within 49-43.

But, after Troy missed the front end of a one-and-one, Taylor forced a jump ball to keep Troy in possession.

Taylor hit Siler on the inbounds for an easy basket and Siler had steal.

Amyannah Tucker hit two free throws to make it 53-43 and Troy held on from there.

“I just think it was our senior leadership, starting with Macie (Taylor),” Hughes said. “It was the whole team. Everybody contributed. The bench all played well. This is a big win for us and it is big for the MVL.”

Taylor also led the Trojans on the boards with eight rebounds and had four steals.

Baker had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Fairmont, 13-9.

Hullinger had 15 points, Peyton Wells had six points and five assists and Mari Carter had three steals.

Troy was 24 of 44 from the floor for 55 percent and survived six of 16 shooting from the line for 38 percent.

Fairmont was 19 of 51 from the floor for 37 percent, with Troy limiting them to four 3-pointers on 16 attempts for 25 percent.

The Firebirds were three of five from the line for 60 percent.

Troy won the battle of the boards 23-20 and had 13 turnovers to Fairmont’s 16.

Now, comes a chance to flip another early season loss when the 16-7 Trojans face 13-7 Miamisburg Tuesday.

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