Lady Trojans open season with 1 win in Princeton Tournament
PRINCETON – The Mendota Lady Trojans opened the 2023-24 basketball season in the Princeton Thanksgiving Tournament. MHS posted a 1-3 record in the tournament.
The Lady Trojans started off with a 34-24 setback to Midland on Nov. 13.
Mendota was slow out the gate, scoring just three first-quarter points compared to nine for Midland. The Timberwolves held a 20-3 lead in the second period before the Lady Trojans scored the final eight points of the half to make it 20-11. Midland was ahead by the same nine-point margin going to the fourth frame.
“Our defense and energy at both ends were very encouraging,” said Mendota coach John Hansen. “We need to finish and execute a little better.”
Ava Eddy led Mendota scorers with nine points. Grace Wasmer supplied five points and six rebounds, while Laylie Denault also pulled down six boards. Eddy, Crystal Garcia and Ella Martin each picked off four steals.
Points were hard to come by for Mendota in a 46-13 loss to Putnam County on Nov. 14.
The Lady Trojans trailed 13-4 after the opening stanza and then managed only two points over the next two quarters to fall behind 34-6 entering the fourth period.
“We could not have executed worse on offense,” stated Hansen. “We didn’t move, attack and shoot nearly well enough to win.”
Wasmer led with five points and seven rebounds, while Garcia had four points and four steals.
Mendota converted just six shots in 34 attempts and did not go to the free throw line.
Mendota got its first win of the season with a 23-16 verdict over Streator on Nov. 16.
The game was tight throughout with the Lady Trojans owning an 11-9 halftime lead and an 18-14 margin after three. Mendota was able to pull away slightly in the fourth frame.
“Uglyish win, but we played a lot better than the score indicated,” said Hansen. “We forced a ton of turnovers and moved the ball much better.”
Denault paced Mendota scorers with six points and Eddy chipped in with five markers. Garcia and Martin swiped five steals apiece.
Henry held off the Lady Trojans for a 36-30 triumph on Nov. 17.
Mendota held a 4-0 lead after the first frame, but Henry heated up with 16 second-quarter points whilethe Lady Trojans managed only two. Mendota trailed by as many as 17 points mid-way through the third period before mounting a comeback to get it back to a single-digit deficit.
“We battled back and did a lot of great things in the fourth to cut it to four twice,” noted Hansen. “It’s annoying that we got in that hole, but crazy proud we fought back.”
Wasmer and Denault topped the scoring chart with eight points apiece. Wasmer led with six rebounds, while Denault and Garcia each had five steals.