by ALEX SZWARC
Special to Troy-Somerset Gazette
The temperature outside was in the single digits on Thursday. At Troy High School, the Eisenhower Eagles put up double digits in the first three minutes of the game on their way to a 63-28 victory over Troy in a non-conference matchup.
The Eagles, now 4-1 on the year, had no problem warming up, and after the first quarter were ahead by 17 points. From there, the lead kept on growing until the final buzzer.
Coming off a 22-point loss to Romeo last Friday, the Eagles were able to respond with a convincing victory.
“We challenged the girls.” Eisenhower head coach Mike Satawa said. “We said we had to have a quick start. The girls came out focused and ready to play.”
From the opening tip, the Eagles went on a 13-0 run before the Colts made a basket. After watching for only a few minutes, you got the feeling that it could be a long night for the opposition.
Throughout the game, the Eagles played with great speed and grit.
Troy head coach Simon Bato was impressed by what he saw from the Eagles. “Their speed and tempo is what they do well. DeBeau is one of the quickest players we’ve played so far. It’s difficult to simulate speed in practice. They came out and hit us in the mouth early on and we spent the remainder of the game trying to recover from that first quarter.”
When on offense, they were in control by not turning it over and moving the ball around for plays to develop. For that reason, nine players finished with points. Junior forward Paige Montreuil led all scorers with 24 points and nine rebounds, just missing out on getting a double-double.
For Troy, they drop to 2-4, but Bato is keeping the mood positive with his squad.
“We’re a young and inexperienced team, but we keep it positive,” Bato said. “It’s never easy losing the way we did. We’re all optimistic about the future and have three weeks to improve before league play.” The Colts next game doesn’t come until January 6th.
The Colts were at the free-throw line 14 times, making nine.
Senior Megan Lenihan led the Colts with seven points, and made all four of her free throws. Emily Olson, Janifer Johnson and Athena Samson each had six points apiece.
“All of our goals are still in front of us,” Bato said. “We have not played a league [game] yet. I told the girls we need to go day-by-day and get better every single day.”
With a 23-point lead at the half, it was important for Eisenhower to maintain momentum in order to cruise to a win.
“At halftime, we talked about not learning bad habits and maintaining the same intensity level for 32 minutes,” Satawa said. “I think we responded and had a good second half.”
Sophomore guard Lauren DeBeau contributed with 12 points and set up a few quality scoring chances for her teammates with some slick ball movement. She shot 75 percent from the free throw line and made a 3-pointer. Junior guard/forward Malynn Kosnik was the third Eagle to finish in double digits with 10 points and six steals.
Having a lead the entire game gave Satawa the chance to keep a steady rotation and give everyone playing time.
“We were able to play 11 girls real early in the game which is very helpful,” Satawa said. To get all the girls in early, that’s what it’s all about. It allows us to try different things, we had just tried a 1-3-1 defense this week in practice so we wanted to get some chances with that and it was good for us to get an opportunity to work on it.”
Despite playing from behind, Bato had this to say. “We need to just keep on fighting. Our kids kept doing that until the end and never gave up.”
Troy is off for Christmas break and will resume action on Jan. 6 when they travel to Birmingham Seaholm. Eisenhower will host Armada on Tuesday.