SENECA – Mendota split four games and finished in fourth place in the eight-team Seneca Thanksgiving Tournament Nov. 20-25.
The Trojans started out the season with a 72-43 loss to Newark on Nov. 20.
Mendota was down 8-7 after the first stanza, but Newark pumped in 24 second-quarter points compared to 12 for the Trojans to take a 32-19 halftime lead.
Ben Bokus was Mendota’s lone double-digit scorer with 14 points. Blake Stamberger led the squad with 12 rebounds and four assists.
The Trojans shot 40 percent from the floor, 40 percent from the free throw line and had 36 rebounds, while Newark connected on 39 percent of its field goal attempts, 40 percent of its free tosses and had 35 boards. Mendota committed a whopping 33 turnovers compared to 13 for the Norsemen.
Mendota held off Reed-Custer for a 74-68 triumph in a second-round contest on Nov. 21.
After trailing 34-33 at intermission, the Trojans came out of the locker room on fire in the third quarter and put 25 points on the board and held Reed-Custer to just nine. The Comets made a run at the Trojans in the fourth frame, but it came up short.
Three players hit double figures for Mendota, led by Ethan Ruiz with 21 points. Stamberger was next with 13 points, while Bokus chipped in with 12. Bokus topped the club with 17 rebounds and Preston O’Sadnick added eight caroms, while Bryson Prusator dished out six assists.
Mendota hit at a 42-percent clip from the field and 58 percent from the stripe, while Reed-Custer shot 35 percent from the floor and 56 percent from the stripe. The Trojans owned a huge 53-32 advantage on the glass and committed 19 turnovers, seven more than the Comets.
The Trojans led from start to finish in a 64-44 victory over Hall on Nov. 24.
The game was tight after the first eight minutes (14-9), but Mendota took off in the second quarter with 20 points compared to nine for the Red Devils.
Bokus and O’Sadnick led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points apiece. Stamberger added 13 points and a team-high 17 rebounds, while Ruiz provided 10 markers. Ruiz led with five assists and O’Sadnick hauled down eight boards.
Mendota hit a sizzling 58 percent of its field goal attempts, shot 48 percent from the line and had 37 rebounds, while Hall made just 23 percent of its shots from the field, 50 percent of its free throws and had 36 caroms. The Trojans turned the ball over 15 times and Hall had seven miscues.
Mendota could not hold a halftime lead and fell to Seneca, 55-52, in the third-place game on Nov. 25.
The Trojans took a 30-21 advantage to the locker room, but were outscored 19-9 in the third frame to lose their lead.
Prusator topped the point production with 15 points and Ruiz added 14, while Prusator and Stamberger had five rebounds apiece. Ruiz also handed out five assists.
The Trojans shot 54 percent from the field, but continued to struggle at the line (37 percent). Seneca made 38 percent of its field goal attempts and 71 percent of its free throws. Mendota committed 13 turnovers, three more than the Irish.