ESSEX – The last home game for the Essex Trojanette seniors turned out to be a memorable one as they ended a six-game losing streak with a 34-29 win over Diagonal, Tuesday, Feb. 5.
In a game that featured just 13 suited players, the Trojanettes scored 13 fourth quarter points and held Diagonal without a point for more than half of the final period.
The Maroonettes scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to cut Essex’s lead to 21-19, but the Trojanettes scored the next eight with Elise Dailey, Helen Nicholas and Jori Mosley all contributing offensively to put Essex up 29-19 with 1:44 to go.
The Maroonettes cut the lead in half in a span on 10 seconds, however, with Erin Sobotka scoring inside and then hitting a triple after a steal to make the score 29-24 with still 1:10 to play.
The Trojanettes responded with a three-point trip down the floor, which came on three different trips to the foul line. Dailey was fouled with 1:03 to go and hit one of two, but Essex pulled down the offensive rebound. Nicholas was then fouled six seconds later and she also made one. The Trojanettes rebounded again and Dailey hit one of two before Diagonal took possession.
Sobotka hit a pair of free throws, but Mosley hit two on the other end keeping the lead high enough where a Bailey Taylor triple in the final seconds didn’t matter.
“It’s really exciting for them,” Essex coach Jay Soderberg said after the win. “It’s been about a month since we had a win. We almost gave it away at the end, but we made some free throws. It was nice to get a win, on senior night especially.”
Mosley led the Trojanettes with 11 points in the final home game of her career and Soderberg said winning the home finale means everything.
“These last couple weeks I have told them that these are the last few times you get to do this,” said Soderberg, “and how do you want this to finish? I think they have enjoyed it. We have our struggles at times, but not once this year has it been “I don’t want to be here tonight.” We have had moments of “I don’t know what’s going on out there,” but at times they pull it out and it’s pretty exciting.”
Dailey added 10 points and Nicholas scored nine as the Trojanettes wrapped up the regular season with a 5-13 record.
Diagonal concludes the regular season at 12-5.
The two teams meet again Thursday in Diagonal to start the regional tournament.
“The big thing is the confidence that we can do it,” said Soderberg. “We’ll see a different team in two days, but we’ll throw a few different wrinkles at them as well. We got to see them and they got to see us. We just got to execute and do the little things well.”
Tip time Thursday in Diagonal is scheduled for 7:00.