Trojan Men Drop A Close One to Peninsula


Daniel Acosta

Derek Brown Jr. slamming down a huge dunk on a fastbreak against Peninsula College on Sunday, February 14th 2016 at the Walt Price Student Fitness Center.

With a win tonight, the Trojans would have been tied for second in the division and in a good place for the playoffs. However, the Peninsula College Pirates were able to eek one out in a rollercoaster ride of a game.

From tip-off, the Trojans were playing with low energy as the Pirates went on an unbelievable 17-2 run to force adjustments in EvCC’s line up. This brought in defensive players Patrick Deuble and Forest Grant. These two brought fire to the Trojans, screaming for defensive adjustments and closing out on shooters with purpose.

Grant came into the line-up as a defensive leader. He had to say this on his role, “bring the energy to the floor. My wrist is hurt so I can’t do much offensively, I wanted to do everything outside of scoring.”

Derek Brown Jr. began to take over the offense bringing the Trojans on a 13-2 run over the next six minutes which brought the score back to a manageable 19-17 with the Pirates up. With about 3 minutes remaining in the first half, Brown Jr. hit a huge three to give the Trojans their first lead of the game. Ball movement, smart shooting and physical defense capped off the first half in order for the Trojans to enter half time with a small lead of 32-30.

At the half, Brown Jr. almost had a double-double with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and a pair of assists. Hersi also contributed on offense by dropping 3 threes from beyond the arc and Grant emphasized a versatile game with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a team leading 2 steals. As a team the Trojans shot very well with 42.9% from the floor, 50.0% from three point and 100% from the charity stripe.

“Stay calm. If you get overhyped, you can make more mistakes than you normally would. Patience is key,” said Derek Brown Jr. on playing from behind and getting on top.

Going into the second half, the Trojans came out with that same fire in their play as they kept solid defense. For most of the half the Trojans would lead the Pirates answering back and forth, with neither team stretching a lead of any significance.

The game became heated later around the five-minute mark as the Pirates hit a three to tie up the game with the Trojans. Then Hersi came down to hit two from beyond the arc and silence the Pirates supporters. With the way the Trojans were playing defense it looked as if the Trojans would be able to hold off Peninsula late.

With 45 seconds left, the game was tied at 65-65 and it looked as if the result could tip either way. In the end the Trojans would fall to the Pirates in the last few seconds with a couple of clutch free throws from Malik Mayeux. The Pirates would finish on top of the Trojans 69-65.

Brown Jr. led the team with a double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds. Grant contributed all over the place with a stat line of 4 points, 7 rebounds, team-high 5 assists and 2 steals.

When asked what this loss meant for the playoffs Coach Larry Walker said, “nothing, four games left and we got to win them.”

You can watch the Trojans play at Skagit Valley Community College at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17.