The new year started like the old one ended, with two more notches in the loss column for the Mendota varsity boys’ basketball team.
The Trojans returned to the hardwood on Jan. 4 at Winnebago and the Indians posted a 59-41 victory in Big Northern Conference action.
Mendota hung tough with Winnebago in the first half, trailing 17-14 after the opening stanza and by nine (32-23) at the break. But the Indians opened things up with a 14-5 third-quarter advantage to send the Trojans to their third league loss in as many games.
Emiliano Arteaga pumped in four three-pointers on his way to a game-high 17 points for Mendota. Eddie Perez added 10 tallies for the Trojans.
Rochelle blitzed Mendota in the first quarter on its way to a 74-43 triumph on Jan. 5 at the MHS gym.
The Hubs scored the first 14 points of the game before the Trojans finally dented the scoreboard midway through the first frame. Rochelle owned a 20-2 lead at the conclusion of the quarter.
Mendota’s offense picked up in the second period as it tallied 16 points, but Rochelle added 22 more in the stanza to take a 42-18 halftime margin.
Arteaga’s 10 points paced the Trojans, while Chris Sandoval supplied seven markers. Arteaga also led with six rebounds and three assists.
Mendota (3-16) made just 28 percent of its field goal tries and 61 percent of its free throws. Rochelle shot 47 percent from the floor and 67 percent from the stripe. The Hubs owned a robust 36-21 advantage on the boards. The Trojans turned the ball over 22 times, three more than Rochelle.