The last time the Community R-VI boys basketball team played Silex on their home court, the Trojans led 33-4 at halftime before cruising to an easy EMO Conference victory.
Unfortunately, the Trojans’ Homecoming game last Friday night didn’t have the same results. Community R-VI led by five points heading into the fourth quarter before turning the ball over 14 times in the final eight minutes in a 42-39 loss. One of two Trojans’ baskets in the fourth came on Brennan Wells’ 3-pointer at the buzzer. Silex made 7-of-13 free throws in the fourth to seal the win.
“The fourth quarter turnovers were our main problem,” said Community R-VI head coach James Benson. “We handled their pressure all night until that point…We missed a lot of free throws and ‘chippy’ layups that we don’t miss.”
The Trojans started the game trailing 8-4 before a 10-0 run sparked by two 3-point plays from Justin Durham for six points.
Community R-VI extended the lead to six early in the second. The Owls responded in the final three minutes of the half making two big 3-pointers, the final one coming at the 1:07 mark to tie the game at 22 at halftime.
Silex fell behind early in the third and responded with a 6-0 run to tie the game at 28. The Trojans appeared ready to take control of the game when Cameron Foreman hit a 3-pointer to give Community R-VI a five point lead heading into the fourth.
Community R-VI increased their run to 8-0 for an eight point lead when Silex began chipping away on the free throw line. They put together an 8-0 run of their own behind a 3-pointer and three free throws to tie the game at 36 with 1:30 remaining.
Community R-VI missed a couple of critical layups in the final 1:30 and lost the game by three points.
Durham led the Trojans with 11 points, seven rebounds, one steal, and one assist while Justin Gastler tallied eight points, six rebounds, and one steal.
Wells added seven points, two assists, one rebound, one steal, and one block; Austin Layman had four points, seven rebounds, three assists, and one steal; Foreman tallied three points, two assists, and one rebound; Clay Thebeau had two points, one rebound, and one steal; Aaron Fairchild added two points and two rebounds; Sean Wilson tallied two points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists, and one block; and Cameron Dubbert had one rebound and one assist.
Benson said his team, which now has one loss in the conference, will need to refocus in practice this week to make sure it’s the only conference loss of the season so the Trojans can win an elusive conference title.
“We obviously need to work on a few things,” he said. “We need to get better down the stretch, working on things situational wise…I think the boys know if we’re going to have any chance to win conference, that’s going to have to be our only loss.”
Before the loss, the Trojans exhorted a lot of energy in upsetting Monroe City on the Panthers’ home court, 48-47.
“This was a complete team win,” Benson said. “It was a very physical game that will only make us better. We were able to hit our free throws down the stretch and that ended up being the deciding factor.”
The Trojans made 10-of-13 free throws in the victory.
Wilson led Community R-VI with 17 points and three steals while Fairchild had seven points.
Layman added six points, four assists, and two steals; Gastler had six points and four rebounds; Dubbert added four points; Durham tallied four points and four rebounds; Clay Thebeau had two points, three assists, and two steals; Foreman had two steals; and Lane Thebeau had two points.