Trojans rally to down Spring Hill 61-60

The Osawatomie Trojan Boys held the lead over the Spring Hill Broncos exactly three times on Tuesday night January 5, 2010 at Osawatomie, but the third and final time was the most important, as the Trojans pulled out a come from behind 61-60 victory as both teams returned to action after the holiday break.

For most of the evening though, things did not look good for the home standing Trojans, as their shooting touch resembled the frigid weather outside the OHS Gym. With temperatures hovering in the single digits, the Trojans hardly cracked a double digit shooting percentage in the first half, as time after time good shots when bad for Osawatomie, as everyone who hit the floor for Head Coach Darren Soucie found making a basket not just an adventure, but a outright nightmare.

WLH0379 The Trojans managed only six points in the first quarter, three of which came early in the period as a field goal by Seth Jones and a free throw from Brandon Oaks gave the Trojans a short lived 3-2 lead, very early in the game. It would be the last lead the Trojans would enjoy until less than three minutes remained in the game. From that point, the Broncos went on a 13-0 run to open a 15-3 lead before Tyler Wright hit a three pointer to stop the run and slice the Spring Hill lead to 15-6. The Broncos scored the last four points of the quarter, and held a 19-6 lead at the end of the first period of play.

"We didn't seem to be getting the easy ball movement shots that you need to start a game with," said Trojans Head Coach Darren Soucie. "John Wooden has a quote "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail".  I don't think we were mentally ready to play the game for whatever reason."

The Broncos stretched the lead to 15 points at 21-6 on a basket by Derrick Koehn, but then the Trojans slowly started to claw their way back into the ball game. Although their shooting percentage didn’t exactly heat up during the rest of the first half, the Trojans were able to clip off six points off the Bronco lead, by outscoring Spring Hill 19-13 through the remainder of the first half to go to the locker room trailing by only nine points at 34-25.

The Trojan run was fueled by none other than Brendan Soucie, who hit six straight points late in the half to pull the Trojans back to within ten points at 31-21 after the Broncos had stretched their lead back to 14 points at 29-15 on the strength of two free throws by Mitch Watson. The Trojans were making headway in overcoming the first quarter freezer they found their offense locked in, but were also finding ways to make things difficult, most notably was Soucie being whistled for his third foul late in the second quarter, just as he had hit three straight baskets to ignite the Trojan offense.

"We talked at halftime about that and what they want to be remembered for as a team," Soucie said. "Sometimes you just have those games, if this team wants to reach their full potential then they are going to have all be on the same page and not let that kind of start happen again."

The third quarter gave no real reason for the Trojan faithful to celebrate, as no matter how hard they tried, the Trojans were able to trim but one point off the Bronco lead, outscoring Spring Hill 15-14 and still trailing by eight at the end of the third period at 48-40.

The teams traded baskets and points through much of the third period, Seth Jones finally was able to find the bottom of the basket after some early tough shooting luck, as he knocked down two big three pointers in the period, but it was Daine Needham who hit the biggest basket of the quarter, hitting a two pointer late in the quarter to trim the Bronco lead to single digits at 48-40.

Jones and Soucie hit two quick baskets as the fourth quarter got underway, and all of a sudden the Trojans were back to within four points at 48-44. Brady Donahue hit a bucket to give the Broncos a six point cushion, but Wright hit a basket and Soucie converted a three point play to cut the Bronco lead to just one point at 50-49. Miller and Oakes traded baskets to give the Broncos a 52-51 lead, and then Watson and Soucie traded free throws to keep the Bronco lead at one point at 54-52.

Then things really got interesting, Donahue hit a basket with a little over three minutes to play to give the Broncos a three point, 56-53 lead, before Jones hit the first of two free throws, to cut the lead to two at 56-54. Soucie pulled the Trojans even for the first time since early in the first quarter with a basket with a little under three minutes to play. The Trojans senior standout give the Trojans their first lead since early in the game as he hit a basket and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but the Trojans held a two point lead at 58-56. Wright gave the Trojans a four point advantage at 60-56 before Donahue hit back to back buckets to pull the Broncos even again with just under a minute to play at 60-60.

It was Seth Jones who gave the Trojans the last lead in the game as he hit the front end of two free throw attempts with about 15 seconds to play and the Trojans escaped with a 61-60 victory.

Soucie and Jones lead the Trojans in scoring with 19 and 17 points respectively, Jones’ stats included three, three point baskets. They were the only Trojans to hit for double figures on the evening. Mitch Watson lead the Broncos in scoring with 15 points, followed by Jordan Miller with 12 and Donahue with 11.

The Trojans well return to action Friday night, January 8, 2010 as they will venture to Mound City to take on the Jayhawk-Linn Jayhawks in Pioneer League action.