Trojan Basketball trounces Canton, 68-41
Troy has been known for their great offense the past few seasons as they came within a shot of winning the NTL title in 2020 before capturing it a season ago. Don’t get it twisted, these Trojans can still score. But they can play some great defense now, too, as they stifled a potent Canton team to just twelve first-half points as Troy jumped out to a twenty-two point halftime lead and trounced Canton 68-41 in front of a packed Canton Elementary Gymnasium Friday Night.
“We work on defense all the time, working on our help side guys communicating with each other. We knew that we’re gonna come in here and this could be a tough game,” Troy Coach Steve Renzi said. “The only way you win championships like district championships,NTL championships, things like that, or any championship in any sport is defense. I’ve been coaching these guys since the third grade. They know what I want and that’s them talking.”
Talk they did. The defensive chatter was incessant for the Trojans. Everytime a Canton player received an entry pass they would be swarmed by Trojan defenders, only for there to not be an easy pass to an open man to punish the Trojans due to precise rotations that can only come from communicating.
Chief among the Trojans defensively Friday night was senior Ethan Vannoy. The senior guard was not the original assignment Renzi had in mind for Canton all-state forward Isaiah Niemczyk, but Vannoy wanted to guard him and did an outstanding job. He held Niemczyk to just eight points, four of those coming before the game was truly out of hand, and frustrated the much bigger Niemczyk all night with his solid positioning and quick hands.
“I wanted to stay in front of him, get in his head, and not let him take the shots he usually takes,” Vannoy said.
When you think of the Troy Trojan offense, however, you think of Ty Barrett. He is, after all, the best natural scorer the NTL has seen in a generation. However, it was Barrett’s teammates who carried the scoring load early on as Troy jumped out to a twenty-two point halftime lead and trounced Canton 68-41 in front of a packed Canton Elementary Gymnasium Friday Night.
“The young guys as freshmen and sophomores that are coming in are getting more confident they’re becoming varsity basketball players,” Renzi said.
Yes, the Troy big three seniors Ethan Vannoy, Mason Imbt and Barrett did give them 43, but nearly half of their first half points came from guys outside of those three. Senior Zeb Oldroyd knocked down some big shots, and young players like sophomores Collin Loveland and Trevor Teribury scored as well and are starting to gain confidence.
Barrett knows how much that helps him when teams have to focus on other players on offense and can’t double and triple-team Barrett without paying.
“We go nine deep,” he said. “We can keep rotating guys in two at a time and pressure the ball and on offense teams want to keep me to twenty points and I’m fine with that if we’re up thirty at half.”
Barrett did start slow Friday night, as he struggled to find his rhythm early on before exiting for the remainder of the half after picking up his second foul with just under five minutes remaining in the half. The game itself did not have much rhythm early on, but seven quick Vannoy points helped Canton get out to a 15-8 lead before Barrett scored with the last few seconds winding down to give Troy a 17-8 lead at the break.
The second quarter would be more Trojan dominance as early layups by Imbt and Oldroyd extended the lead to 21-10 before Vannoy hit his second of three triples on the night to put them up 24-10, before Barrett picked up that second foul on an offensive foul as he sliced to the basket.
It looked like a good chance for Canton, who came in on a seven game win streak, to cut into the lead, but Troy actually extended their 24-10 lead at that point through halftime as they closed the half on a huge 10-2 run in the last five minutes as Oldroyd had a quick five, the second basket coming on a shot that showed off a true shooters’ roll off the rim and backboard. By the time Collin Loveland banked in a four-footer as the buzzer sounded, Troy led 34-12 and were well on their way to a huge crossover win.
The third quarter, as so many quarters throughout his career, was the Ty Barrett show. The senior shooting guard actually missed his first shot of the quarter, a wide-open three from the left corner, the type of look he never gets. That seemed to set him off, though, as the next time down he hit an incredible shot from the nearly the same spot over two defenders, and he was off and running. Two more contested threes would quickly follow, followed by a layup and another three for good measure as he finished the quarter with fourteen points. A mason Imbt layup put the game into the thirty-point mercy rule late in the quarter as Troy led after three, 58-26, before cruising home with substitutes playing nearly the entire fourth quarter for both teams to win 68-41.
For Renzi that third quarter barrage, the type of quarter Barrett has had so many times over the past four years and certainly something people will remember about him, is the result of Barrett’s hard work.
“That kid has put in more hours than anybody I’ve ever seen shooting. Hours and hours and hours and hours,” he said.
Barrett, who was greeted with overrated chants from the Canton students in the first half, relishes the moment and the crowd.
“After I missed the wide open three I was like ‘this gotta change’,” he said. but when I get going like that I’m pretty much unstoppable.”
It was a Dickensian tale of two cities as nothing went right for Canton.
“We’ve gotta put the ball in the basket,” a frustrated Coach Brock Kitchen said after the game. “We will have our best practice of the season Monday. I will have their full attention.”
For Troy, it’s a crucial crossover win against a Canton team that has a real chance to capture the small school division, and it keeps them one game ahead of Wellsboro as they look towards a tough stretch that will see them play Athens, Wellsboro and North Penn-Mansfield in the league a combined five times and they also get Williamsport next Saturday.
“It starts next week,” Renzi said about the tough road ahead.
For Troy, Barrett led all scorers with 21, Vannoy added 15, Loveland had 9, Imbt had 7, Oldroyd had 5, Treibury had 3, Jack Burbage had 3, Lance Heasley had 2, Anthony Foust had 2, and Jackson Taylor had 1.
For Canton, Isaiah Niemczyk had 8, Caiden Williams had 6, Cooper Kitchen had 5, Weston Bellows had 4, Gavin Morse had 4, Kyle Kapichok had 4, Austin Allen had 4, Aiden Palmer had 3, and Asthon Rockwell had 3.
Videography: Ethan Chabala, Nate Fransen
Video Editing: Ethan Chabala
Writing: Garrett Carr
Produced by Vogt Media
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