BROOKVILLE – Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray was not satisfied with his team’s defensive performance against Covington last week.
Tri-Village was able to eke out a 2-point win, but the Patriots had to play a heroic fourth quarter, overcoming a deficit for that victory.
So he spoke to the team about playing better help side defense – not being pinned to a girl on defense. The adjustments he made paid dividends for the Patriots, and the hapless Brookville Blue Devils were the on the receiving end of a renewed Patriot defense.
The Blue Devils never were able to establish themselves offensively, and they could not withstand the Patriot onslaught on offense as they would eventually fall 81-29.
Sometimes after a big emotional game such as the big game against Covington, a team will have a letdown as it is emotionally spent. It is hard to keep that same level of mental intensity night after night. But the Patriots quickly went to the business of basketball and put the Blue Devils away.
The Patriots used their press effectively and mainly used a man-to-man defense in the half court. They got points from turnovers and quickly built a 12-4 lead at the 4:54 mark of the first quarter. Then they redoubled their defensive effort and closed the quarter on a 15-2 run to build a huge lead.
But their defensive intensity did not let up – the Blue Devils did not score again until there was about minute left in the half. And this was after the Patriots called off their press and simply played hard-nosed half-court defense. At the break it was 45-10.
In the second half, the Patriot bench began to work their way onto the court and made the most of their minutes. Ten Patriot players would score, and although the Blue Devils did make some baskets in the second half, the Patriots put up another 36 themselves.
Coach Gray was pleased with the team’s performance on defense.
“I did not want us to take this team lightly,” he said. “Against Covington I felt that we did not play particularly well on defense. I think that tonight the team wanted to come out and redeem themselves. I thought that our positioning against Covington was not right at times. We cannot hug people; we have to be able to jump out on people when the ball is away. With the exception of the third quarter, I thought we played our defense well. We had a good run to start the game, and we got what we expected. It is an experienced team, and I don’t think that they wanted to play bad two games in a row. “
The Patriots need to have an outstanding defense as they still have some tough games on the horizon, including their next game against league foe Miami East.
“They are always one of the top teams in our conference,” Gray said. “Their coach will have their team prepared and ready. We have to play at their place, so it is not going to be an easy game for us. Defensively we have to put pressure on their guards. They have one of the better post players in the conference, and we have to keep the ball out of her hands.”
Allie Downing led Tri-Village with 20 points, Danika Mann scored 16, Rachel Miller 9, Trisa Porter 9, Peyton Bietry 7, Emma Printz 7, Autaum Moore 6, Lissa Siler 3, Maddie Downing 2 and Edie Morris 2.