BUTTE – The Drummond Trojan boys basketball team faced a challenge game from the Ennis Mustangs Monday night, being forced to battle for the No. 2 seed from District 12C into the Western Division Tournament. They not only faced down the upstart Mustangs, but secured a spot against Arlee Thursday afternoon.
In two previous meetings, the Mustangs and Trojans had won their home contests against each other. In Ennis Trevor Swanson had gone off for 44 points on seven three-pointers. But back in Drummond, Trojan Head Coach Levi Parsons devised a defense that slowed Swanson and the Mustang offense to give the Blue and White the ‘W’.
But from the opening tipoff of the challenge game Monday night, it was clear that Parsons and his Trojans had the upper hand.
“We’d played them twice before and we knew what to look for in that first half and we executed everything pretty well,” said Parsons.
Drummond jumped out to an early lead and slowly extended it to 35-20 by halftime, despite a 2-2-1 full-court press by Ennis that gave the Trojans little trouble.
In the second period Drummond scored 19 points, led by the inside rebounding and hard play of senior Luke Holland. Holland had 11 points in the period, including going 8-for-11 from the line.
“My dad has always told me and Levi to get on the backside of a shot to get the backside rebound and that’s what I did. I just got into position really well,” explained Holland.
But Ennis did not go gently into Monday night. After halftime the Mustangs started to close the gap on the Trojans, scoring the first four points of the third quarter and closing the 15-point gap to seven at 4:29 when Swanson finally found his range from beyond the arc.
Ennis then tried penetrating the lane, only to find Drummond’s Wyatt Rigby waiting for them. The junior forced an offensive charge on consecutive possessions and giving the Trojans the ball. He took the abuse despite having hit his head in the second quarter and not returning until after the break.
Leading 41-32 with 10 seconds remaining in the third, Riley Allen let a three-pointer fly that found nothing by the bottom of the net to give Drummond a 44-32 lead. When the fourth got under way, the senior center hit another to extend the Trojans’ margin to 47-32. The Mustangs would close the gap later in the period, but time ran out before they could ever get a lead.
Holland led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Allen with 15 and Parke with 11.
In looking ahead to Arlee, Parsons observed that his team needs to be ready.
“They are very aggressive defensively and we’re going to have to move the ball really well,” said Parsons. “We can’t have people standing around. They can shoot the ball and push the floor really hard. We have to be ready for that.”
ENNIS – 8/12/12/23 – 55
DRUMMOND – 16/19/9/20 – 64
Ennis – ISwanson 7, Kloote 2, Ostler 5, TSwanson 11, Funstron 13, Coffman 17
Drummond – Pool 6, JParke 11, CParke 3, Holland 20, Huberg 2, Rigby 5, Allen 15