Trojans Down Cardinals 77-73

Improve to 1-0 In Conference

Trojan’s get late bucket from Molina, Win conference opener over Skagit Valley

The EvCC men’s basketball team survived a tough game from the fiery Skagit Valley Cardinals in a 77-73 victory on Jan. 11 at the Walt Price Fitness Center.
The Trojan’s conference opener was spotlighted with intensity including a technical foul called on Skagit Valley’s Josiah Miller for yelling at the Trojan bench after a forced turnover that set the tone for a back and forth final 10 minutes of the game culminating in a late tip-in by Tucker Molina to finally break away from the Cardinals.
“The last play was just effort and guys wanting to win… Our guys did a better job of hustling to get rebounds” Trojan’s head basketball coach Mike Trautman said about his squad’s perseverance on Molina’s tip-in, a play originally designed for Freshman Guard Jordan Medcalf, who scored 10 points.

The Trojan’s built an early 17-12 lead but the Cardinals answered quickly with a 17-7 run capped off by a 15-foot jumper by Freshman guard Damani Green and pushing their lead to 29-24 with six minutes to go in the half. Offensively, It was a struggle all night for the Trojan’s from beyond the arc, going 1 for 9 from three-point range in the first half and 1 for 17 for the game, well below their season average of 37%.

“I think we were a little rusty, we haven’t played a game in twelve days..going 1-17 from the three-point line is never us.” Coach Trautman said of his team’s uncharacteristic shooting woes.
The game continued to intensify in the second half. After Miller’s technical foul for taunting the Trojan bench, Cardinals guard Hodges Flemming made an open 15-foot jumper with 6:30 left in the game to extend the Cardinal’s lead to 62-58. Flemming also struggled shooting on the night going 7 for 25 including 1 for 14 from three point range. Flemming pointed his arm, mimicking a bow and arrow at the stands where the EvCC men’s baseball team was located garnering loud interactions from the bunch.

The Trojan’s would continue to fight back though with a Medcalf layup and foul with a minute to go to tie the game at 73 sending the rowdy crowd at Walt Price Fitness Center and the Trojan bench into a frenzy. Following Molina’s tip-in with 18 seconds left to take a 75-73 lead, The Trojans got a quick stop and Sophomore Forward Leon Sayers, who finished with a team high 19 points including 10 for 10 from the free throw line would ice the game with 2 free throws giving the Trojan’s their first win of 2023.

“It feels good to get our first conference win but it’s what we needed to do,” Molina said.