MENDOTA — Princeton traveled to Mendota to face the Trojans Friday night. While their performance was scrappy, it wasn’t enough to stop James Carroll and Austin O’Sadnick. The final score was 60-51 in favor of the Trojans with Carroll racking up 23 points.
Good defense by both squads made for a number of turnovers and some tough sledding out on the perimeter. Blocked shots plagued both squads. Both teams fought hard, but in the end the Trojans were able to slip the noose by making timely shots.
“We played hard and just didn’t get the job done in the third quarter,” said Princeton coach Jesse Brandt.
And that was the case. In the third period Mendota opened up an 11-point lead that they never let go of.
The Tigers were simply unable to get the ball in the basket. At the end of the third it was 44-33 in favor of the Trojans.
The Tigers managed to dig in and put up a good fight in the fourth, but the damage was done.
The most visible mismatch was at the post where the Trojans have a big kid in O’Sadnick. His presence down low allowed Carroll to drive into the paint and drop in some athletic layups. He also garnered 14 points of his own.
On having a big presence down low, Mendota coach Jan Thompson said, “You can’t teach 6-foot-7. He simply makes people alter their shots when he’s in the post. While here at Mendota, I’ve experienced teams that didn’t have a lot of size, as well as teams that are considered very tall. It definitely makes life a lot easier to have size inside. Austin really creates an inside/outside game. It frees people up on the perimeter just by him being in the post.”
“We don’t have a true center, but our forwards play and work very hard on both ends. I was happy how we defended their post players,” Brandt said.
Cole Evenson led the Tigers with 16 points and Josh Kieffer added 11. Austin Stewart got hot early scoring 9 points in the first two periods, but was held scoreless in the second half.
The Tigers will visit Rochelle on Tuesday and Byron on Friday before they return home Dec. 11 to face Seneca.