Recent Roxana High grad Trace Gentry proved himself to be a dangerous individual on the basketball court.
The sharpshooter's accolades on the hard court landed him a spot on the Lincoln Land Community College men's basketball team in Springfield for 2016-17. Gentry left the Shells' program as a member of the 1,000-point club and a reputation as a long-range specialist.
For the season, Gentry led Roxana with 18.4 points per game. He also contributed a team-best 42.6 percent 3-point shooting percentage (107 of 251), as well as team-highs in rebounds (5.5 per game) and steals (1.65 per game).
On top of being a stellar basketball player, Gentry also served as the tight end on the Roxana football team, which has enjoyed playoff berths the last two seasons, and played third base for the baseball program this spring.
“It’s fun and I really like it,” Gentry said of being a multi-sport athlete during the basketball season. “I think it gives me the chance to become more athletic.”
A three-year starter for the Shells in basketball, head coach Mark Briggs raved about his evolution as a shooter following Gentry's phenomenal start to the 2015-16 season. He scored 95 points in five games during the Metro East Lutheran Turkey Tip-Off Tournament and garnered all-tournament honors.
“He’s one of the better shooters that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Briggs said. “He was a spot shooter when we started coaching him, but he can get to the rim now. He also works exceptionally hard on the game. He’s in the gym every time he can get in here. He’s a gym rat. In the summertime, he shoots every day. He’ll get about 400 or 500 shots in. He had to work really hard to become the shooter he is right now.”
Gentry owns the school record for treys in a game with nine. He set the benchmark in a Nov. 27 win over Odin at MELHS.
He helped lead the Shells to the Class 2A Dupo Regional championship, where they lost 48-45 in overtime to the rival Marquette Catholic Explorers. Roxana compiled a 20-11 record in '15-16.