Troy’s 19-point loss to visiting Sidney on Tuesday was a catalyst for the Trojans in Friday’s 61-59 win at previously undefeated Butler.
“Coach motivated us,” Troy junior Zach Reichelderfer said. “In practice he chewed us pretty good after our loss to Sidney. We were ready for that fourth quarter.”
Using a 22-5 run in the fourth to turn an eight-point deficit into a nine-point lead, Troy held on for a two-point win in a key early season Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division contest at Vandalia’s Student Activities Center.
The Trojans, who were 0-2 following losses to Sidney and Greenville, improved to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the GWOC American North.
Butler, 3-0 for the first time since 2010, dropped to 3-1, 1-1.
It was Troy’s fifth straight win over the Aviators.
Reichelderfer was a factor.
Scoring a career-high 17 points, Reichelderfer scored seven in a row during a fourth-quarter stretch that saw the Trojans rally from a 52-51 deficit to take a 61-52 lead.
They held on from there. Closing the game on a 7-0 run, Butler had two shots at the basket in the final 10 seconds. Neither fell.
Instead, the Aviators did.
“We played well against Sidney and Greenville at times and were right in the mix and then we give up a 10-point lead or a bunch of points in a quarter,” Troy coach Paul Bermigan said. “Tonight we didn’t do that.”
Said Reichelderfer: “I wanted that game. I know my teammates wanted it too. We had the fire inside of us.”
Butler senior post Miles Joiner, a Chaminade Julienne transplant, led all scorers with 25 points. He had four fouls, all on charges.
Reichelderfer scored 11 of his team high in the fourth quarter. Ryan McLurg added 14 points, including back-to-back 3s to close out the first quarter.
“I want him to do more on offense,” Bermigan said of Reichelderfer. “We’d go through a scrimmage for six quarters and he’d shoot seven shots. We told him he can’t do that. He’s taken that to heart and he’s gaining confidence.”
Said Reichelderfer: “We were getting good defensive stops. When you have good defense it leads to offense.”
Before the game a moment of silence was shared in honor of 12-year old Vandalia seventh-grader Gabby Ellis who died in A car accident last Sunday with her 69-year old grandmother Lois Ellis. Cheerleaders from Morton Middle School, where Gabby attended, cheered throughout the game, and along with the varsity squad, wore #TeamGabby shirts.