WENTZVILLE • Neither a cold shooting touch nor fired-up opponent could stop defending Class 5 District 6 champ Troy in boys basketball tournament test on Wednesday at Timberland.
No. 1 seed Troy (20-7) was too much for Timberland, brushing off a slow start to post a 51-34 victory against the Wolves.
“This was frustrating because we couldn’t hit shots, and we come into their house and they had all the momentum,” Troy guard Derek Deters said. “This was a team we’d beaten before, but all that doesn’t matter when it comes to districts. Anything can happen.”
Timberland (7-18), the district’s No. 5 seed, led 11-9 after the first quarter over cold-shooting Troy.
Deters and the Trojans started to heat up in the second quarter. Deters scored six in the quarter to help propel Troy to a 20-16 halftime lead.
“We got really good looks in the first half, and they just weren’t going down,” Troy coach Ryan Meyers said. “I thought we may have been a little soft around the rim, trying to float the ball up there instead of going in strong.”
Troy finally managed to gain a measure of control in the third quarter. Up by four points midway through the period, the Trojans went on a 10-3 run and led 35-24 at quarter’s end.
Meyers said he was happy with how his team handled its early adversity against Timberland, which still has a hop in its step after posting a double-overtime win against Fort Zumwalt West in the opening round on Monday.
“I told the kids in the locker room that this type of game is good for us,” Meyers said. “It’s not going to do us any good to come down here and not have a competitive game. I give (Timberland coach) Kyle (DeWeese) and his kids a lot of credit. They played well, and he had them ready to go.”
Deters led Troy with 22 points. Joey Rasco and Ben Chaney scored nine each.
Adam Ingle led Timberland with 15 points, and Bobby Marco added eight.
“Ingle carried us offensively through that first half,” DeWeese said. “I know we didn’t score a ton of points, but we were doing a decent job defensively, and they didn’t hit a ton of shots. We came in with that nothing-to-lose attitude, and we just came in to play.”
Troy will play Holt in the district final at 7 p.m. Friday. Troy defeated Holt 79-67 last week.
“We have to come into the game with the mindset that it’s our championship to have,” Deters said. “If we don’t have any letdowns, especially on defense, we’ll be all right.”