Lauren Taylor | Echo
After a winning streak of five games, the Trojans fell short in a loss to No. 5 Marian last weekend.
"The five-game streak was a credit to the players for their work ethic everyday," said head coach Jody Martinez.
Their record improved to 17-8 and 10-3 in conference.
With the long break from school, Martinez stated the team has improved immensely and been more focused than ever before.
"We have definitely come together more as a team and have been able to find a way to close out games, whereas earlier in the season, we struggled with finishing games strong," said sophomore Jamie Netzley.
The Trojans' most recent win took place last week versus the Spring Arbor Cougars. Junior Kendall Bradbury led the team with 22 points and six rebounds. Senior Josie Cobb also contributed four steals and seven assists.
This game was the fifth in Taylor's winning streak, shooting 52.1 percent and winning the game 62-49.
"Our biggest success thus far has been how well we have played in conference," Netzley said. "We have had a couple of tough losses, but most games we have been able to establish our rhythm and show others in the conference that we aren't the same team that we were last year and that they shouldn't look past us."
Despite the strength shown throughout these games, the Trojans fell short in their following game to No. 5 Marian, losing 72-54.
The team started out strong, shooting 100 percent from the free throw line and out rebounding the Knights 36-30. Both Bradbury and senior Cassidy Wyse finished the game just shy of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds and 19 points nine rebounds, respectively.
However, the Trojans fell in the end, going scoreless for the last six minutes of the game, ending their winning streak.
"We learned from our mistakes with Marian and not dwelling on the loss," Cobb said. "We are excited to compete again and ready to get after it."
Martinez said the team is using the loss as a learning opportunity, showing the team where they are lacking strength and allowing them to improve in those areas before the next game.
Wednesday night, the team met Saint Francis and were hungry for a win. The Trojans kept the lead for the majority of the game, but ended the last quarter down by seven points.
Despite this setback, they came back stronger than ever in the fourth quarter, outscoring USF 29-17. The team took another win under their belt, with a final score of 66-61.
Kendall Bradbury led the team with a stunning double-figure performance of 22 points and 15 rebounds.
"I love this team and how much they have improved since we started in September," Martinez said. "With one month left of basketball, I just want this team to love each other and love each day we are together."
Throughout the next month, the Trojans are striving to improve their consistency and to play with confidence.
Cobb added they want to be the best they can be every day for the rest of the season. The Trojans do not want to have any regrets once the season ends, and they want to leave everything on the court.
The Trojans will play again tomorrow in Odle, facing Mount Vernon Nazarene at 1 p.m.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"