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Mendota’s James Carroll (purple jersey) looks up toward the basket while Hall’s Miguel Villarreal (No. 23) and Zach Urbanski (right) defend in Tuesday’s non-conference game in Spring Valley. NewsTribune photo/Genna Ord
From the start of Tuesday’s game between Mendota and Hall, it was obvious the Trojans had a size advantage over the Red Devils and that MHS was going to exploit it as often as it could.
The Red Devils knew it was coming but unfortunately could do little to stop MHS as the Trojans rolled to a 63-38 victory over the Red Devils in Tuesday’s non-conference game in Spring Valley.
“We jumped on them early tonight,” Mendota coach Jan Thompson said. “We definitely had a size advantage and we wanted to use that and press the ball, and I thought we did that very well. Mike (Filippini)’s team played very hard and everyone knows how good Brett Fanning is, but overall I was pleased because I thought everything we had worked on to get ready for this game was executed pretty well.”
Mendota won the opening tip and immediately went inside to senior posts Austin O’Sadnick and Trae Blumhorst, who together helped to give the Trojans an early 8-2 lead.
Moments later, Blumhorst collected a steal and drove to the basket for a layup to increase the MHS lead.
Hall cut the deficit to 12-6, but Mendota senior Jon Gehm responded by draining a 3-point shot as the Trojans took an 18-6 lead after the first quarter.
“Mendota is a big and strong 3A basketball team,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said. “We didn’t respond well, especially in the first half. We tried to slow it down and a few other things to slow down their offense from getting the ball to the big guys in the middle, but we didn’t do a very good job in the first half.”
The second quarter got much worse for the home team as the Trojans forced turnover after turnover and converted them into several easy fast-break layups. Blumhorst, James Carroll and Evan Carroll all had steals that led to buckets that helped to increase the MHS cushion to 30-10.
Then, on back-to-back trips down the floor, Blumhorst putbacks helped give the Trojans a comfortable 38-16 halftime lead.
The Red Devils were much sharper in the second half, but Hall could not sustain a rally to mount a comeback as the Trojans continued to force turnovers and take advantage of their opportunities.
Mark Prescott hit a 3-pointer and Blumhorst put back a missed shot to increase the MHS lead to 50-20.
Fanning was limited all night by the Trojans defense and finished with just four points in the loss.
“Mendota did a great job all night long on Brett — and the others for that matter,” Filippini said. “I know Brett didn’t even have that many attempts and that’s a credit to how well they played all night.”
Blumhorst led all scorers with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Evan Carroll added 13 points.
Austin Schmitt led the Red Devils with seven points.