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MASON CITY – The NIACC men’s basketball team learned a lot about itself in the exhibition season. So when the Trojans finally took to the floor in their opening regular-season matchup against Fort Scott Community College on the opening night of the Konigsmark Klassic, they were prepared.

After a tight first half, the Trojans went on a 24-9 run midway through the second half for a 65-60 win.

“This was really important for their confidence,” NIACC coach Mark Mohl said. “The kids have been working very hard.”

The contest was a match of two very similar styles.

The solid pressing defenses forced numerous turnovers for both teams, but both teams backed up that pressure with solid defense around the basket.

The difference on the evening was that NIACC was able to shoot nearly 48 percent from the field while limiting the Greyhounds to 41 percent.

Jaycob Payne, a 6-foot-7 sophomore who was playing in his first game as a Trojan finished with 15 points and seven rebounds to lead NIACC.

Harrison Mills added 11 points while former Mason City prep Mac Skogen had eight points, including two big three-point baskets in the second half.

NIACC will take the court again Saturday in the final game of the Konigsmark Klassic, where it will face Bay College at 5 p.m.

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