NEW MADISON – Tri-Village came out firing against St. Henry, and it looked like the Lady Patriots were going to blow the game open.
But the Redskins battled back and tied the game at the half … but a strong third quarter helped the Patriots get over the hump, and they went on to earn a 53-42 non-conference win.
Tri-Village jumped ahead early 11-0 behind nine points from Allie Downing before St. Henry settled down and toughened up on defense.
The Redskins made a run of their own to close the lead to 11-8 after one quarter.
Tri-Village struggled offensively in the second quarter … the Patriots hurried on offense and didn’t execute well either, and St. Henry took advantage.
The Redskins scored 10 second quarter points to tie the Patriots at the half at 18.
“Part of the reason things didn’t go well for us, especially in the second quarter, is because St. Henry is a physical basketball team. They play great defense, switched up the zone and man, and they took a lot of stuff away from us,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said.
“Even though the score was tied at the half, we felt comfortable with where we were because we didn’t play well or shoot it particular well either, and I just felt like we would come out in the second half and make shots,” Gray added.
Tri-Village did just that in the third quarter as the Patriots showed better patience and moved the ball better, resulting in treys from Downing, Shelbey Dowler and Rachel Miller, which would eventually help open up the interior.
When the Redskins tried to defend the perimeter the Patriots did a much better job of penetrating and dishing with Danika Mann finishing on the block for eight third quarter points.
It was the effort of Dowler (despite suffering an injury in the first half) that got the Patriots going as she turned two hustle plays into scores to help put the PATS up 39-29.
“She’s tough. She did it against Miami East. She did it again tonight in the second half. Her determination and physical toughness is a part of who she is,” Gray said.
Then the play that put an arrow through the heart of St. Henry was turned in by Downing at the buzzer of the third quarter.
Downing made as steal, took two dribbles to the far end of half court then launched a shot that banged off the glass and through the hoop to give the Patriots a 42-29 lead.
St. Henry never really recovered in the final stanza and found itself fouling in the last three minutes, sending the Patriots to the free throw line.
Miller would go four-for-four, Mann two-for-two and Downing five-for-seven as the Patriots held the Redskins off to win it by the score of 53-42.
Downing led all scorers with 24 points, Mann had 12, Miller 10 and Dowler seven for the Patriots.
“This was good win for us today. The officials were letting the game play physical, and I’m not sure we ever matched them (St. Henry), but we played through it and found a way to win. Their record may not show it … but that’s a very good basketball team, who is very well coached,” Gray concluded.
Tri-Village improved to 14-1 overall and will be back in action on Thursday when the Patriots travel to Twin Valley South.
Score by quarters:
Tri-Village .11 … 07 … 24 … 11 – 53
St. Henry …08… 10 … 11 … 13 – 42
Tri-Village (13-1, 8-0)
Rachel Miller 10, Allie Downing 24, Shelbey Dowler 7, Danika Mann 12 – Totals 6-17-13/15 – 53
Ellie Stammen 11, Cara Brockman 3, Kendra Rose 13, Mariana Niekamp 42, Alexis Ontrap 2, Allyssa Siefring 2, Jacey King 8, Nikki keller 1 – Totals 3-10-13/16 – 42
Tri-Village – 6 (Downing 3, Miller 2, Dowler 1)
St.Henry – 3 (Stammen 1, Rose 1, King 1)