May 23, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Troy goes overtime and defeats Covina 56-53 to capture third in tournament

12/30/19: The Troy Warriors pose with their third-place trophy after edging host Covina, 56-53, in overtime Monday in the 66th Annual Covina Christmas Tournament. (Photo courtesy Jim McCormack for OC Sports Zone)

The Troy Warriors pose with their third-place trophy after edging host Covina, 56-53, in overtime Monday in the 66th Annual Covina Christmas Tournament. (Photos courtesy Jim McCormack for OC Sports Zone)

Moments after his team’s 56-53 overtime victory over host Covina in the third-place game of the 66th Covina Christmas Tournament Monday, Troy coach Scott Blake was asked to describe his team’s week (five days) in Covina.

“Well,” he said with a soft smile, “we got to play at lot of basketball.”

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

Indeed they did. After a walk-over win against Duarte (68-31) in the first round, the Warriors had to go three dramatic overtimes to edge Walnut (83-78) in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual tournament champion La Mirada in the semifinals (50-43). They then recorded Monday’s gutsy win. In summation, the Warriors played four games and four overtimes in five days, ultimately going 3-1 in Covina.

Monday’s win was typical of the Warriors’ final three games in the tournament, a nail-biter to the end. And Monday night, as they had in the Walnut game, the Warriors were in deep trouble before making remarkable comebacks.

Against Covina, the Warriors were done three with seconds to play when Rhels Chang hit a clutch three to send the game into extra minutes. His shot also neutralized an incredible performance by Covina guard Rudy Suarez, who scored every one of his team’s 14 fourth-quarter points.

The keys to the overtime for Troy were Carter Wong, who scored five of his 12 points, and a swarming, alert Troy defense that limited Suarez in two free throws in the game’s final four minutes. 

Chang, who scored 11 points, and Xlyon Ward, who added 12 and was critical as a defender and rebounder, represented Troy on the all-tournament team.

Kyle Phan led Troy (9-7) with 15 points, followed by Ward and Wong with 12 each and Chang with 11.

 Troy wraps up its non-league schedule Friday (Jan. 3), hosting San Clemente in a 7 p.m. The Warriors open Freeway League play Jan.7, hosting crosstown rival Fullerton.

—Courtesy Jim McCormack for OC Sports Zone