By Bruce Adams
Conestoga head coach Mike Troy’s 300th win Thursday evening didn’t come easy.
The Pioneers fell behind a tough Strath Haven squad (9-3, 6-2) 10-0 just 4 1/2 minutes into the game, trailed 36-27 with just six minutes left, and had to rely on a last-second three-pointer by sophomore guard Milton Robinson to send the game into overtime.
Once into overtime, the Pioneers (11-1, 8-0) prevailed, winning 52-47, to give Troy his 300th career win in 20 years of coaching – 11 at Conestoga, nine at Devon Prep.
“When you start coaching, 300 wins is unthinkable,” said Troy, who turned 50 on Dec. 29. “The credit goes to all of [my] players over the years – they’ve worked so hard. Winning 300 games means that you’ve had great young men to coach, terrific assistants, good support from the school, and a terrific wife that has the patience to be a coach’s wife.”
After Conestoga fell behind 10-0 with 3:30 left in the first quarter, the Pioneers patiently chipped away at the Panthers’ lead and trailed by only 19-16 at halftime.
Troy said, “Our guys were pretty amped up at the start of the game, and we weren’t taking great shots in the first quarter. But we settled down offensively in the second quarter. We [coaches] always preach to the players, ‘Get the ball to the open man, find the open man, and take your time.’”
Conestoga senior forward Charlie Martin, who scored 12 points, said, ‘This was a game of runs, and you can’t get down on yourself when [the other team] goes on a run. We’ve been down [similar to tonight] before, and the older guys on the team, the seniors, really stepped up tonight when we fell behind.”