STC follows plan to perfection
TAMA — The plan for the Trojans was to play as a unit and to make Independence play at South Tama County’s pace Friday night.
Everything went to plan.
The STC boys’ basketball team jumped out early on the Mustangs, and when Independence attempted to make things close again as the first quarter winded down, the Trojans picked up the pace again. STC proceeded to pull away for the 61-38 WaMaC West win.
“(Independence) is very strong rebouding,” said STC coach Burdette Brown. “We thought if we got them tired, we’d have a better shot in the long run. We held them to two single-digit quarters, and that was when their legs were getting tired. We were still fresh. We went nine deep tonight.”
Keith Keahna and Clayton Rosenberger paced the Trojans (6-3, 4-1 WaMaC West) with 14 points apiece. Riley Davenport added 13, Gabe Shields contributed eight, and Nathan Lasley chipped in six points. As a squad, the Trojans went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.
“Instead of worrying about points and anything else, we just want to make the other guy better,” Brown said. “Do our one-fifth. Tonight we made everybody better. We had a lot of assists, and a lot of great passing.”
Shields helped the Trojans jump out to an early 10-3 advantage, thanks in part to a pair of 3-pointers that accounted for six of his eight points. After an exchange of baskets, the Mustangs (3-6, 1-4) went on a 6-0 run to pull within one. STC responded with a 6-0 run of its own to close out the first quarter. Rosenberger capped the quarter with a layup that dropped as the quarter buzzer sounded.
Keahna and Rosenberger each scored a bucket on fast breaks to begin the second quarter, forcing a Mustang timeout as the lead grew to 11. Independence got within seven on four straight points from Zachary Harris, but the Trojans didn’t allow the opposition to get any closer the rest of the way, and the lead stretched back out to 11 by halftime at 30-19.
A run of 6-0 in the latter part of the third quarter increased STC’s margin to 17 at 42-25. Rosenberger guided the Trojans to their first 20-point lead of the night early in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points for STC on back-to-back 3-pointers and a field goal for a 50-30 lead.
Despite the gap widening, the Trojans used a team effort to keep the pressure on. Davenport made two free throws. Then when the Mustangs turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, the basketball ended back in the hands of Davenport, who made the high-percentage layup, drew the foul, and converted the and-one for a 57-34 score.
STC is playing some of its best basketball in a while. The Trojans collected their sixth win Friday night, eclipsing the win total of a season ago. Brown though said STC will be tested in its upcoming games. The Trojans’ next three games are on the road, and they won’t be back home for two weeks. The first road test is at Marion on Tuesday. The Trojans will then be at Benton, followed by a trip to Center Point-Urbana. The Trojans will return home Jan. 20 to host Vinton-Shellsburg, who handed STC its only conference loss back on Dec. 9.
“Center Point-Urbana is supposed to win the conference,” Brown said. “Marion is tough, too. We have to take one game at a time right now. The biggest thing is to keep playing as a team, and working to get better.
“We just want to do more things as a team instead of individually, because we’re not big. We have to play as a team, and if we do, we can put up some pretty good numbers.”
South Tama County 61, Independence 38
INDEPENDENCE (3-6, 1-4) — Mason Wood 4 0-0 9, Sean Geertsema 3 0-0 7, Clifford Baldwin 1 0-0 2, Zachery Snyder 1 0-0 2, Thomas Reiff 2 1-2 5, Jake Crawford 1 0-0 2, Zachary Harris 2 3-4 7, Tyler Teeder 1 0-0 2, Clay Sturtz 1 0-0 2, Trey Corkery 0 0-0 0, Garrett Bitterman 0 0-0 0, Cyrus Butters 0 0-0 0, Kenyon Hosch 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 16 4-6 38.
SOUTH TAMA COUNTY (6-3, 4-1) — Gabe Shields 3 0-0 8, Clayton Rosenberger 6 0-0 14, Lane Koch 1 0-0 2, Riley Davenport 4 5-5 13, Keith Keahna 5 4-4 14, Justus Ward 0 0-0 0, Jessup Yazzie 0 0-0 0, Nathan Lasley 3 0-0 6, Adonis Lasley 0 0-0 0, Hunter Filloon 1 0-0 2, Courage Tyon 0 2-2 2, Jake Wilkerson 0 0-0 0, Shaye Betz 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 23 11-11 61.
INDEE 11 8 8 11 — 38
STC 18 12 12 19 — 61
3-Point Goals–IND 2 (Wood, Geertsema); STC 4 (Shields 2, Rosenberger 2).