After a first round win in the Madison Tournament, the Community R-VI Trojans basketball team was hoping to pick up at least one more win to guarantee a trophy at this year’s event.
Unfortunately, the boys ran into two tough squads before placing fourth.
In the third place game, the Trojans had a close battle with Salisbury.
Community R-VI survived in the first quarter with five 3-point shots and added two more in the second to tie the game at 31 heading into halftime.
The Trojans’ offense went cold in the second half.
Though Blaze Escamilla made three 3-pointers in the final two quarters, the Trojans couldn’t take advantage of Salisbury’s poor free throw shooting.
The Panthers made just 5-of-17 free throws in the fourth but Community R-VI’s offense scored just 10 points in the 57-54 loss.
“Game was back and forth,” said Community R-VI head coach Matt Thomas.
“I thought our kids fought and battled. We started fouling late and they were missing free throws. We just couldn’t capitalize on them. We missed too many bunnies at the rim.”
Cordell Hollensteiner scored a team-high 19 points in the loss.
Bobby Jett added 13 points; Escamilla had 12 points; and Eric Hombs scored nine points.
In the semifinals, the Trojans had a rematch with rival Van-Far without Jett, who missed the game due to an illness. Though they were without their leading scorer, the Trojans gave the Indians everything they had. A defensive effort held Van-Far to just nine points in the first quarter before the Indians pulled away before halftime to take a 27-12 lead.
Hollensteiner led Community R-VI with 12 of his team-high 16 points in the second half but it wasn’t enough as Van-Far pulled away with a 45-32 win.
“We did some good things in this game” Thomas said.
“We were sluggish to start. First game back after the layoff. We hadn’t played in two weeks, so our game conditioning isn’t 100% where it needs to be. Bobby was sick and we struggled early getting some continuity going. Cordell and Eric both stepped up and played well. I thought our kids did a great job of fighting back. We had it to nine with a minute to play but couldn’t get any closer.”
Hollensteiner finished with 16 points; Hombs had 10 points; Kyle Oligschlaeger added four points; and Evan Hartsock had two points.