NEW MADISON — Coming off a trip to the state final four, Tri-Village worked to find its identity for the upcoming season on Saturday as the Patriots hosted their 11th annual Patriot Shootout.
The Tri-Village boys basketball team hosted 10 teams in the shootout including Belmont, Dixie, Franklin, Hamilton Ross, Milton-Union, Northeastern, Purcell Marian, Richmond and Twin Valley South.
“I thought we had very good competition here on campus, a lot of good teams, a lot of variety of some teams from the Dayton area, from the Cincinnati area,” Tri-Village varsity boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said. “Another great day here at Tri-Village.”
The host Patriots had a strong day, going 3-0 with wins against Milton-Union, Purcell Marian and Franklin.
While Tri-Village had one of its most successful seasons in school history this past season, advancing to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournament for the second time in program history, the Patriots have to replace a pair of graduated seniors in Tyler Cook and Tommy Bell.
Having lost those two, including an all-state player in Cook, Tri-Village will look different during the 2014-15 season, Sagester said, but will remain true to its identity.
“We’re going to play with the hand we’ve been dealt,” Sagester said. “We’re still going to do a lot of the things that have got us to this point in our program. So we’re not going to change a whole lot, but there will be a few new wrinkles here and there.”
Having lost two key contributors, there are opportunities for new Patriot players to step up and earn varsity minutes. Saturday’s shootout provided a good opportunity for those players to show what they can do and take a step toward earning those minutes.
“We’re still a work in progress, still trying to find our identify,” Sagester said. “Obviously some guys have a little bit larger roles, and that’s what’s the summer’s for, just feeling things out. Overall we’re playing hard, putting in a lot of time and having success.”