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Sabres stun STC Trojans in season opener

November 28, 2018
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

After a season opening 47-33 loss to Central DeWitt the Trojans are going to have some work to do. South Tama travelled to DeWitt on Tuesday, November 20 to play the Central DeWitt Sabers.

The Sabers were 7-14 last season and finished 6th in the WaMaC East. They graduated their top four leading scorers including Maggie Murphy and Sydney Smalls who averaged 9.6 and 10.8 points a game respectively. Replacing them is freshman guard Taylor Veach who led all scorers with 17 points in her debut varsity performance.

In the first quarter the Sabers went on a 9-0 scoring streak that left the Trojans looking shell shocked. STC's Madison Rohach finally got the Trojans on the board with a three point shot.

Article Photos

Madison Rohach (left) and Taylor Ray (right) go after a loose ball during the Trojans season opener with Central DeWitt on Tuesday, November 20.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham

What was most surprising was the performance by STC's team leader and last year's Class 3A leading scorer Jessica Musgrave. The last time the two teams met was in 2016. Central DeWitt sits in the eastern division of the WaMaC conference. That matchup resulted in 57-40 win for the Trojans. Musgrave scored 23 points in that contest.

On Tuesday she was held to just one field goal and two free throws for her lowest scoring performance in the past two years. Musgrave got into foul trouble picking up two fouls in the first quarter which sent her to the bench with the Trojans trailing 14-3.

The Sabers were not a particularly tall team but what they lacked in size they made up in energy. The Sabers were in South Tama's faces all night long. And their aggressive defense worked as it exposed the Trojans weak ball handling skills.

Makayla Backen and Zoee Buffalo came off the bench for the tail end of the first quarter. Backen stepped in at the point guard position, which the Trojans are lacking in with the absence of sophomore guard Tylese Rosenberger who is out with an injury. The Trojans have not appointed a designated guard to bring the ball up the court which causes them to struggle to get into any sort of rhythm on offense. Backen along with both Jessica Musgrave and Carissa Musgrave took turns in that roll on Tuesday night.

With the Trojans struggling offensively it was a relief when Jaelin Berger scored the Trojans second field goal of the night around the 6 minute mark in the second quarter. Musgrave made several attempts to score but the Sabers were keyed in on her. She tried from the three point line and from the post but nothing was falling. The Trojans managed to outshoot the Sabers from three (43% compared to DeWitt's 23%) and from the free throw line, but defense won the day as DeWitt forced nearly twice as many steals and captured ten more rebounds than South Tama was able to.

Rohach scored the Trojans third field goal before going into halftime trailing 28-8.

Coming out of the locker room the Trojans did show some improvement. They were able to put some more points on the board but the 20 point hole they had dug themselves into was too much to overcome.

They started the fourth quarter with back to back turnovers. Jessica Musgrave returned to the floor (now working with four fouls) but another turnover, this time between Carissa Musgrave and Jaelin Berger, resulted in another missed opportunity for the Trojans.

The Sabers closed out the night playing a game of clock management in the final two minutes. The one highlight of the night was that the Trojans did find some success from the three point line. Berger, Rohach and Backen each recorded three point shots. Berger led the Trojans with 10 points and also captured five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Ball handling and conditioning are going to be two key components of the game the Trojans are going to need to work on moving forward. They simply got outrun and outhustled.

The Trojans will be at home on Friday, November 30 hosting ?Beckman.



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