A spark out of STC sophomore Keith Keahna was just what the Trojans needed. It just came a little too late in the game.
The Trojans hosted Benton Community on Tuesday, February 8. It was the second meeting for the two teams. South Tama defeated Benton on their home court in January with a final score of 74-61. On Tuesday, there was much more on the line as the winner would lock up the runner up slot in the WaMaC west conference. Anyone following the WaMaC conference knows it has been a year of parity, to say the least. Center Point-Urbana became the conference champs with five regular season losses, two of them in conference against STC and Marion. At one point in the season STC, Benton, Marion and Vinton were each vying for the second-place finish. But Tuesday it came down to STC and Benton and the Bobcats won the night and the runner up spot, defeating the Trojans 51-46.
The first half was slow and difficult for the Trojans. "We didn't rebound. We didn't box out and offensively we just turned the ball over too many times," said STC head coach Burdette Brown. Benton jumped out to an early 10-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. By halftime they had more than doubled their lead 23-12. The Trojans simply could not contain Benton sharpshooter Spencer Touro. Touro was shooting lights out for the Bobcats. He hit a three in the first quarter and was sent to the line three times. Touro shared the leading scorer honors with Tyler Eggert who also finished with 21 points.
South Tama’s Keith Keahna takes it straight up the middle for a layup in Tuesday’s matchup with Benton. The Bobcats defeated STC for the conference runner up spot 51-46.
News Herald Photo/Allison Graham
Eggert started the second half with a three-point play for the Bobcats that got the Trojans off on the wrong foot in the third.
Then came Keahna. He was exactly what the Trojans needed to stay afloat. Keahna's energy on the court and strength under the basket helped the Trojans climb back in the game. "It's what we were looking for all night, someone to give us a spark," said Brown. "Keith came in and gave us a spark and everybody else picked up that energy." Still they were down by 8 heading into the fourth quarter.
By the end of the night Keahna, Shields and Davenport each finished with 11 points. Keahna cut the Bobcat's lead to three. Then a free throw by Shields put the Trojans within two.
Things just didn't seem to go the Trojans way though as foul calls and a few crucial missed shots kept the Trojans at bay long enough to prevent the comeback. As the clock ticked down the Bobcats were able to extend their lead back to five with Touro getting sent to the line to shoot three free throws.
Despite the loss the Trojans are still having the best season they have had in 15 years. They are currently 13-7 and a third place finish in the conference is nothing to bat an eye at.
"We've been on a long streak of winning and unfortunately all good things must come to an end. I am very pleased we came back hard in the second half so we can come back on Friday and get a win," said Brown.
The Trojans will host Beckman Catholic tonight (Friday, February 10) for their final regular game of the season.
Pts. - Keahna 11, Davenport 11, Shields 1, Rosenberger 5, Koch 2, N. Lasley 2, Tyon 2, Ward 2