Winnebago, Oregon trip up Trojans in BNC tournament

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Mendota struggled putting the ball in the basket and suffered a 66-24 loss at Winnebago in the first round of the Big Northern Conference Boys’ Basketball Tournament.

Winnebago nearly had as many points (23) in the first quarter that Mendota got in the entire game. The Indians led 23-6 after the opening period and held a 40-13 halftime margin.

Krew Bond had eight points to lead the Trojans, while Josue Arteaga and Isaac Guzman added four points apiece.

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The Trojans and Oregon hooked up in tight one that went down to the wire before Oregon prevailed, 48-44, on March 6 at the MHS gym.

When Oregon scored the first basket to open the second half, it matched its largest lead of the game at seven, 27-20. The Hawks were on top 35-30 with under three minutes to play when the Trojans went on a 5-0 run to tie the game. Bond had a basket and a free throw, while Rafa Romero scored on a nice fast break to make it 35-all with 1:34 left in the quarter. Owen Kutter scored to put Oregon back on top before Romero closed out the frame with a pair of free tosses to tie the count heading to the fourth.

Romero converted one of two free throws to open the final frame to give the Trojans their first lead since early in the second period. The lead changed hands four times over the next two minutes, with Mendota going on top for the final time, 42-41, on a basket by Arteaga at the 5:37 mark.

But the Trojan offense stalled after that and they went the next five minutes, 32 seconds without scoring. Oregon tallied six points during that stretch to make it 47-42 with 17 seconds left. Mendota finally broke its long scoring drought with five seconds to go on a Romero steal and hoop off an inbounds pass, but it wasn’t enough.

Bond and Arteaga had 17 and 11 points, respectively, for the Trojans.

The Trojans were on top 9-8 in the opening seconds of the second quarter when Oregon went on an 8-0 run to grab a 16-9 lead. Mendota sliced the deficit down to two before the Hawks got a three-pointer from Joey Gelander at the buzzer to carry a 25-20 margin into halftime.

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The Trojans concluded the tournament and the season at North Boone on Tuesday night.