PLANO – The Mendota Trojans won one of their first three games in the Plano Christmas Classic. They played Sandwich in the 13th-place game on Dec. 30. There were 16 teams in the tournament.
The Trojans opened the tournament with a 91-26 loss to second-seeded Burlington Central on Dec. 26.
Burlington Central sprinted out to a 31-8 first-quarter lead and never looked back. The count was 52-19 at the half, and then Mendota managed only seven points in the second half.
Emiliano Arteaga had seven points to lead the Trojans, while Chris Sandoval and Cole Stremlau had four points apiece. Jae’Shaun Hughes led with three rebounds.
Mendota connected on just 30 percent of its field goal attempts, while Burlington Central scorched the nets at a 68 percent clip. The Trojans were outrebounded, 32-15. Mendota turned the ball over 26 times compared to 11 for the Rockets.
Mendota was dumped by Streator, 65-21, in a second-round game on Dec. 27.
The Trojans fell behind 34-16 at intermission and then they scored only five points in the second half, including being shutout in the third period.
Emiliano Arteaga had seven points and Abraham Guzman provided four tallies for the Trojans. Gabe Guzman and Trent Stamberger collected four rebounds apiece.
Mendota shot a frigid 27 percent from the field, handled 20 rebounds and committed 28 turnovers. Streator made good on 51 percent of its field goal attempts, had 33 rebounds and committed 12 miscues.
The Trojans posted a much-needed 58-41 victory over Hinckley-Big Rock on Dec. 28.
Instead of looking up at a big first-quarter deficit, Mendota enjoyed a 15-4 lead after the opening stanza. The Trojans carried that same 11-point cushion to the locker room, and then they put the game on ice when they outscored H-BR, 18-6, in the third quarter.
Three Trojans hit double figures in scoring, led by Emiliano Arteaga and Abraham Guzman with 13 points apiece. Alexis Quintana pumped in 12 points and tied with Emiliano Arteaga for the team lead in rebounds with eight. Quintana added five steals and Krew Bond dished out six assists.
Mendota (2-13) improved its shooting, hitting on 46 percent of its field goal attempts. The Trojans outrebounded H-BR, 38-16, and they had 15 turnovers.