RochesterFebruary 12, 2014
Troy girls seek revenge as Adams looks to close out OAA White title
By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer
Technically, the state playoffs in girls basketball begin Feb. 24.
Realistically, well, there will be a postseason feel in the air at Troy High Feb. 13 when the two top teams in the Oakland Activities Association White Division clash with just about everything on the line.
“This is a big game,” Troy girls basketball coach Simon Bato said of a 7 p.m. Feb. 13 home contest with Rochester Adams. “We’ve done a great job all year taking things one game at a time, but the players and us coaches know what this one is all about. It’s one we want pretty badly.”
Both teams will, in fact.
Troy is looking to avenge a 45-43 overtime loss earlier this winter against Adams that was made even harder to swallow when a buzzer-beating shot that would have given the Colts a 46-45 victory was waved off and ruled to have come after time expired.
Adams, on the other hand, was still perfect at press time, 15-0 overall and 11-0 in White Division play.
With a victory against Troy, the Highlanders would clinch the division crown.
“It’s pretty big,” Adams coach Fran Scislowicz said of the game. “For us, up by two games on Troy with three to go, I mean, we’d still have a chance to win the division after this, but we want to clinch it and have it for ourselves.”
The first meeting had a little bit of everything to it.
The teams played to a 7-7 draw after the first quarter, only to see Adams take a 20-18 advantage into halftime and 29-24 lead into the final eight minutes.
But Troy stormed back, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter to force the extra period.
“That’s one of the best teams in the county, but we’re certainly going to have a revenge factor on our side coming in,” Bato said of his squad, which was 12-3 overall and 8-2 in White Division play. “That last game was right there for us, and it was at their place. This one, we’re going to come in with the mindset and the confidence that we can beat them.”
Asked what may have hindered his team in the loss, Bato was quick to point out poor free-throw shooting.
“We had 23 free throws and made 10 of them,” he explained. “That, and our turnovers, really hurt. … This time, we want to try and play at our tempo and, obviously, shoot better.”
Scislowicz said his team’s defense was the main reason for success in the first meeting, and if his team is going to wrap up the White crown, it has to be more of the same in what is certain to be a hostile environment.
“It’s their home court, and they are going to elevate their game,” Scislowicz said. “For us, it’s always about being consistent. It’s what we’ve done all year. We’ll press on the defensive side of the ball, work things inside on offense, and really rely on what our defense can do.”
Troy is 7-0 this season on its home court.