DIAGONAL – The Essex Trojanettes saw their basketball season end, Thursday, Feb. 7, with a 53-30 loss at Diagonal in the first round of the Class 1A regional tournament.
The Maroonettes dared the Trojanettes to shoot from the outside much of the night, and Essex couldn’t ever get into a consistent offensive rhythm
The Essex defensive gameplan looked solid as they played a triangle and two against leading scorers Emily Newton and Erin Sobotka. Both scored 17 points to share game-high honors, but most of that came in bunches.
Essex trailed 10-2 after the first quarter and 19-8 after a Jessie Jones basket in the latter stages of the second quarter. Diagonal though scored the next nine going into halftime with Newton putting in seven. She scored 11 in a row at one point in the second quarter for the Maroonettes as they took control of the game.
“We knew their two best and had eyes out for them,” Essex coach Jay Soderberg said after the game. “We did a pretty good job, but we gave up some bad rebounds. We would get a stop, but then couldn’t get the rebound.”
Essex found a little more offense in the second half, but Diagonal did a great job cleaning up the glass on that side of the floor and the Trojanettes never threatened.
“We don’t look to attack like we should at times,” said Soderberg. “We would have the thought I’m wide open I better shoot it, and I tell them sometimes there is a reason you’re wide open. We tried to run a bunch of things to get it inside. I challenged Elise (Dailey) at halftime and she did a better job in the second half.”
Jones led the Essex offense with 12 points in her final game as a Trojanette.
“Jessie made a nice transition from being an undersized post to stepping out and playing guard this year,” said Soderberg. “We needed somebody and she was up to the task.”
Jori Mosley also played in her final game and scored six points.
“Jori would take one giant leap forward,” said Soderberg, “and then two steps back and then she would do something incredible.”
Helen Nicholas also scored six points for Essex.
The Trojanettes also lose Allison Johnson, who came out for basketball for the first time her senior year, and Sarah Madsen, an AFS student from Denmark. Madsen had never played basketball before this year and scored her second basket of the season in the final minute of the game.
The Trojanettes completed the season with a 5-14 record.
Essex will bring back Dailey, Nicholas and Sami York as well as Riley Jensen, Desi Glasgo and Camryn Chambers, who all missed time late in the season.
Diagonal improved to 13-5 with the win and advanced to the second round of the regional tournament and a home date with Murray.