Trojans host Union Grove in first round of playoffs tonight

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

The first part of the 2018-19 season journey is complete for the East Troy girls basketball team.

And now the second season begins.

East Troy closed its regular season with a two-game split last week to finish at 15-7 overall and 12-6 in the Rock Valley Conference, good for a second-place tie with Evansville behind 13-4 McFarland.

The Trojans, who beat Beloit Turner 57-56 on a buzzer beater by Grace Lomen to open the week and fell 71-58 at Brodhead to end it, drew the fourth seed in the upcoming WIAA Division 2 regional and host fifth-seeded Union Grove at 7 p.m. tonight.

A win there would send East Troy to a regional final Saturday against either top-seeded Waterford, eighth-seeded Fort Atkinson or ninth-seeded Delavan-Darien.

“We’re excited to play, and we’re excited for the kids,” East Troy co-head coach Maurya Lomen said. “They worked hard and worked hard for the home-court advantage in the first game. Nobody really expected us to do half this good, so for these kids to have this sort of momentum going into the tournament is really impressive. They’re all still working hard.”

Playing at Brodhead on Feb. 15, the Trojans trailed by just one point at halftime, but the Cardinals enjoyed a 12-point advantage in the last 18 minutes to pull away.

Fouls on both sides again were an issue, Lomen said, as the teams combined to shoot 70 free throws – which also slowed the pace of the game to a near standstill.

“That’s just not the type of basketball we play,” Lomen said. “We like to get up and down the floor. Everybody was in foul trouble. We shot 30 (free throws), so it wasn’t like they were inconsistent. They were consistently calling fouls and stopping the game of play.

“I wouldn’t say we played the best, either. Early on, we were frustrated because of that, and the kids, being young, they just didn’t really battle through that.”

Erin Rice led the way with 22 points, followed by Mackenzie Lindow with 14 and Morgan Golabowski with seven.

Lindow, who missed several games because of a knee injury, appears to be back at full strength, Lomen said. Lindow hit her first three 3-pointers and also finished with nine rebounds.

“She had a real good game,” Lomen said. “She battled hard.”

East Troy opened its week with a thrilling one-point win over Turner, as Grace Lomen banked in the game-winning 3-pointer from just past half court as time expired to erase a two-point deficit.

The game also featured a ceremony to honor Rice, who surpassed the 1,000-point plateau Feb. 5 at Milwaukee Lutheran.

Rice is just the sixth person in program history to reach 1,000 points.

“When you look at the athletes who have done it and achieved it, it’s quite a compliment to her,” Lomen said. “She’s a three-sport athlete. That is what’s even more amazing to me. It’s not like all she does is focus on basketball. She’s an all-state tennis player, she’s a phenomenal softball player, and here she is getting 1,000 points in basketball. She’s a special young girl.”

Lomen finished with a game-high 18 points, followed by Rice with 15 and Lindow with seven.

 
 

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