A three-point play would have won Monday's boys round one Substate game between South Tama and Vinton-Shellsburg.
With under 30 seconds remaining in the game and the Trojans trailing by two, STC Head Coach Burdette Brown called a timeout. The Trojans would inbound the ball near their own bench with around 10 seconds to find a shot. The play didn't go as planned however as the ball wound up in the hands of sophomore Keith Keahna. Keahna was forced to put up an off-balance three-point shot. In the few seconds it took for the ball to sail to the hoop Trojan fans collectively held their breath. To STC's dismay the ball bounced off the rim and the clock ran out with Vinton ahead 51-49 for the win.
It was a valiant effort by the STC Trojans. The two teams had met twice before in the season as both teams are from the WaMaC west conference. In the first matchup, the Trojans held a 20-point lead going into halftime. Unfortunately, it all fell apart in the second half and the Vikings won 65-60 in overtime. The second matchup came in January. The Vikings again were the victors with a 72-64 final score.
South Tama senior Clayton Rosenberger goes in for a layup in Monday’s round one substate game against Vinton. The Vikings came out ahead, 51-49.
News Herald Photo/Allison Graham
In their third and final meeting it was clear from the jump that the Trojans were seeking some redemption. The Trojans played a fast-paced offense which put the Vikings at the Trojans heels at times. The fast pace also meant a sacrifice in ball control. Defensively the Trojans struggled to stop Vinton's Cole Smith and Tyler Bartz from attacking the hoop. Smith led with 19 points, while Bartz had 16.
Senior Clayton Rosenberger lead the Trojans in scoring with 18 points. Rosenberger had a strong night from the free throw line going 6-8. He made some clutch free throws which helped the Trojans stay in the game late in the fourth quarter. Keahna was next with 11 points. He is a strong post player and provides some size and strength under the basket. He also worked very hard on the defensive end forcing some turnovers and had 5 rebounds. Leading the Trojans by a mile in rebounds (11) was junior Lane Koch who has been a stalwart on the boards for STC all season long.
All in all the Trojans had one of their strongest seasons in 15 years. They finished with a 13-9 record and were also third in the WaMaC west conference at 9-5. The Trojans also look to return a good portion of their lineup while they say goodbye to seniors Clayton Rosenberger, Riley Davenport, Adonis Lasley and Hunter Filloon.