Emotions ran high as one by one the STC girls varsity basketball team filed out of the locker room, some in tears. Not only was it the final game for the STC seniors but also for assistant coach Larry Rohach along with several athletes, fans, friends, and parents who were feeling the sting of an early conclusion to their season. Rohach recently announced that he will be stepping down at the end of this season.
Trojans traveled to Center Point to take on the Center Point-Urbana Stormin' Pointers for the second round of Class 3A Regional play. As a side note, the Stormin' Pointers mascot is in reference to the pointer dog breed and not a stampeding group of librarians who will reprimand you for being too loud.
The Stormin' Pointers came into the match-up with record of 16-6 and unfortunately, for the Trojans, would extend their record to 17-6 by the end of the night. Starting for the Trojans were Regina Balderas, Paige Van Dyk Trisha Walz, Madie Bacon and Tieranny Keahna. Starting for the CPU were Shelby Brecht, Arika Wooldridge, Kennedy Salow, Emily Kramer and Brittany Buelow.
Dani Stubbs prepares to shoot for the Trojans.
The Pointers got off to a quick start with a basket by CPU's Salow within the first two seconds of the game. "In the first four minutes of play CPU went on a 10-0 scoring run, completely shutting down the Trojan offense. After the Stormin' Pointers initial offensive onslaught, Bacon got things going for the Trojans by forcing a turnover and converting a basket at the other end of the court. The Trojans were able to narrow the margin with a second chance basket after a rebound by Walz, who tied her season high with 14 rebounds. "A three pointer and a driving layup from Bacon would get the Trojans within two points of the lead, the closest they would come all night. The quarter ended with CPU leading 14-9 after Salow responded with a three point, 'and one', play.
Offensively, the Trojans struggled in the second quarter. Van Dyk was the only Trojan able to get points on the board as she connected from beyond the arc. Defensively the Trojans had a hard time shutting down the patient offense of the Stormin Pointers. They were not looking for just any shot, but the right shot, and that helped them score 10 points in the second. At halftime both teams went into went into the locker rooms with CPU holding a strong, 24-12 lead over the Trojans.
South Tama had a much better game offensively in the second half, doubling their first half production. However, CPU kept the pace and outscored the Trojans by three points. Salow and Wooldrige were the work horses for CPU and posted 10 of CPU's 17 points in the third quarter. Balderas, Keahna and Bacon all contributed offensively for the Trojans in the third with 10 points between them
Going into the fourth the Trojans were down 41-22. This would be the best quarter offensively for the Trojans as they scored 14 points. Within the first minute of the fourth sophomore Dani Stubbs came off the bench, drew a foul, and sunk her free throws. Walz nailed a couple of free throws and also had a rare three pointer as we are used to seeing her ...fighting for rebounds under the hoop.
One of the highlights for the Trojans was Stubbs, who had some crucial defensive rebounds in the second quarter and an emphatic blocked shot right before halftime. While a strong offense is obviously crucial, the ability of a defense to alter an opponent's game plan is just as important. Unfortunately for the Trojans it was not their night, as they were defeated by the Stormin' Pointers with a final score of 51-36. STC ends their season with a record of 17-5, a six win improvement over the previous season.