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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Blu-Jays can't get past Trojans despite come-from-behind effort

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

Junior Blu-Jay Tony Gillespie drives into the paint for a layup against Osawatomie on Friday. Gillespie was high scorer for Pleasanton. (Billy Rowdybush/Special to the Journal)

The final game of the Pleasanton midseason tournament pitted the Pleasanton Blu-Jay mens team against the Osawatomie Trojans. The Blu-Jays hoped to make up for the 1-point loss to Osawatomie in the Linn County Tournament last month, but it wasn’t in the cards.

The Blu-Jays struggled in the tournament, despite bringing a winning streak into the event. Despite a 1-point win against Jayhawk-Linn a week earlier followed by wins over St. Paul and Yates Center, Pleasanton couldn’t keep the momentum going.

They suffered a close loss to the Northeast Kansas Nighthawks in the first round and a lopsided loss to Louisburg in the second. Despite that, the Blu-Jays went into the final game of the week with winning on their mind.

The Blu-Jays fell behind early with Osawatomie up 9-5 in the first quarter. The Trojans gave themselves more breathing room by the half, running the score to 27-14.

Pleasanton sophomore Sy Snow finds an opening for a jump shot inside the arc. (Billy Rowdybush/Special to the Journal)

Osawatomie’s defense kept the Blu-Jay offense in check. Pleasanton junior Tony Gillespie, who had a team-high 26 points in the game, scored only 8 points in the first half. Freshman Mario O’Neal contributed a couple of field goals and senior Caleb Hegwald shot for 2 points.

The Blu-Jay offense came to life in the second half though. Gillespie managed to drive into the paint and hit jump shots to score 18 points in the second half. Four of those points were free throws, and the rest came from inside the arc.

Senior Dale Gillespie hit two treys and connected on two free throws to help close the gap.

The Blu-Jay defense also helped in the second half, holding the Trojans to just 6 points in the third quarter. Going into the fourth quarter, Osawatomie was only up by 3 points, 27-24.

But Pleasanton couldn’t close the gap in the final 8 minutes of play, outscoring Pleasanton 20-17 in that period. The Trojans won the game, 47-42.

Pleasanton will host Altoona on Friday, with the Courtwarming ceremony set to take place at halftime.

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