By Josh Brown
TROY — Miami East’s offense hasn’t had the best of luck against Troy teams the past few seasons.
Monday night, the Viking defense more than made up for it.
Miami East held Troy to single digits in scoring in the first half and forced 31 turnovers in the game, and the Vikings (3-0) turned many of those into points on the other end in a 57-27 victory over the Trojans Monday at the Trojan Activities Center.
Troy’s defense played well early on, also, but the Vikings still held a 15-5 lead after one quarter and a 25-7 edge at the break thanks in large part to their transition game and their ability to get second chances.
“For the first four or five miutes, we executed the gameplan we came in with,” Troy girls basketball coach Nathan Kopp said. “They got a lot of offensive rebounds, though. We had them with 10 in the first quarter alone. When you work hard on the defensive end for a stop, get it … and they just grab the offensive board and put it back … it’s deflating.”
“For the most part, I was happy with the girls’ intensity on defense,” Miami East coach Preston Elifritz said. “We got more points out of our defense tonight than our offense, really.
“We haven’t done all that well offensively against Nathan Kopp-coached Troy teams. His teams are always really good at controlling the tempo. But our defensive pressure, our half-court trap, frustrated them a bit, and eventually we wore on them. This was a good win.”
The Current twins, Trina and Ashley, dominated the Trojans inside. Trina Current finished with a game-high 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Ashley Current added six points and 13 rebounds. Their combined 25 rebounds was only three less than the Trojans’ total of 28 for the game.
But offensively, the Trojans only managed two first-half field goals against the Viking defense.
“When people go up against our front line — they’re long,” Elifritz said. “When you go up against a 6-foot-5 girls with long arms and her hands up, that takes away a lot of vision. We were able to force some turnovers and run out on them a couple of times early. Then I told the girls to just keep transitioning — we can be tired tomorrow.”
“When you’re playing so many young kids, you’re going to take your lumps,” Kopp said. “They’re starting five seniors, we’re a junior and then a bunch of sophomores and freshmen. But I see positives for the kids. There’s just going to be games like this. The girls have to have a short memory and move on.”
The win was the Vikings’ third straight since the series began four years ago. Troy won 40-37 during the 2010-11 season, then Miami East won 43-30 in 2011-12 and beat the Trojans last season 34-16.