Tri-County boys hold off North Mahaska late

Brayden Monroe poured in 22 points, knocking down five threes in the process, in the win 51-48 win against North Mahaska on February 1.

It's been a tough season for the Tri-County boys' basketball team, but as of late they have turned things around. Coming into a home matchup against North Mahaska on February 1, the Trojans had won two straight games. Though they almost let a lead slip out of their hands, Tri-County was able to hold off North Mahaska 51-48.

Tri-County put together a big first quarter, scoring 17 points, the most they would score in as many minutes throughout the game. In addition, the defense continued to find success, which had been a large part in the previous two wins. The Trojans held onto a 17-10 first quarter lead but hit a snag in the following quarter of play.

The offense cooled off, putting up only seven points in the second quarter, but the defense remained stingy, allowing seven points by North Mahaska. Brayden Monroe hit a big three pointer late in the half to keep the Trojans ahead. Tri-County headed into the locker room up 24-17, knowing they couldn't let up in the second half.

North Mahaska made things close throughout the remainder of the game, but Tri-County wouldn’t give up the lead. The difference got as low as two points near the end of the third quarter, but Cameron Krumm was able to knock down a huge long ball to beat the buzzer.

The fourth quarter had the most combined scoring from the two squads, and North Mahaska edged out Tri-County 17-15 in the quarter. The game was tied with just over 90 seconds to go, and then with 15 seconds remaining North Mahaska called a timeout to draw up a play after Tri-County retook the lead.

"I told them I wanted them to play good defense and not foul," Trojan coach Curtis Fisher said. "No threes. At worst I wanted it to go to overtime."

North Mahaska failed to score in the final handful of seconds and Tri-County hung on for a 51-48 win.

Krumm was held quiet for much of the night and just barely got into double figures with 10 points. With the absence of scoring from their big man, Monroe stepped up his game to lead the Trojans throughout. Five three-pointers from Monroe propelled them forward, and he finished the game with a team-high 22 points. Tegon Fogle had 13 points and Cory Hughes chipped in with six points to round out the scoring.

"North Mahaska battled us for most of the game," Fisher said. "We're not an extremely deep team, Brayden and Tegon are only sophomores. We hit some big shots when we needed to."

Tri-County looked to keep the winning streak alive when they played Twin Cedars on February 2, and then HLV on February 5 before district play began.