TROY – Tri-County North came out firing from long range but despite making 11 triples the Panthers couldn’t keep pace with Tri-Village, who jumped out to a 56-25 lead at the half and then coasted to an 86-53 second round win in Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional tournament play.
Tri-County North came out guns a blazing Tuesday night, connecting on its first three shots from behind the arch to go up early 9-6.
The Panthers then missed their next two long-range shots, and it didn’t take long for Tri-Village to take advantage.
Trace Couch had a monster first quarter, scoring 14 of 29 Patriot points, with Dillon McCullough adding 5, Jared Buckley and Gavin Richards 4 each and Jonny Wilson 2 to spring ahead 29-14.
North was simply unable to slow down Tri-Village as the Patriots continued to pour it on in the second frame as Richards heated up outside with two triples and 9 points, Couch had 8, Christian Ricker off the bench added 6 and McCullough 4.
Tri-County North shot 50 percent in the first half, 9-for-18, and made five triples, but the pace at which the Panthers played helped the Patriots play fast as they exploded to a 56-25 lead at the break.
“This was one of our better offensive outputs,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said. “It starts with defensive rebounding and our athletes running the floor. We did a great job of getting Trace Couch up the floor and Gavin Richards out on the wing. Our guys stretched the floor, which led to some easy baskets.”
In the third quarter Tri-County North slowed the tempo a bit and played nearly even with Tri-Village, trailing 72-40.
The lead the Patriots established in the first half would be insurmountable for the Panthers despite making 11 triples on the night, six of those by senior Bailey Lairson, who ended the game with 22 points.
Tri-Village went on to record an 86-53 win to advance to the sectional finals to be played at 7 p.m. Friday at Troy High School. The Patriots will take on Troy Christian, who defeated Legacy Christian 57-49 in Tuesday’s nightcap.
Tri-Village was led by Couch with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Many of the Couch buckets were the result of McCullough, who had 11 dimes on the night and a double-double with 11 points. Richards scored 19 and Ricker off the bench added 10 points in the win.
“It was a lot of fun tonight,” Sagester said. “We had guys making plays, making the extra pass, and we didn’t have to run a lot of sets to find guys opportunities. We scored a lot of baskets, and when you do that guys are having fun.”
Score by quarters:
TV…29…27…16…15 – 86
TCN 14…11…15…13 – 53
McCullough 11, Wilson 6, Richards 19, Frech 3, Buckley 4, Ricker 10, Couch 30, Eyer 3
Totals 6-30-8/11 – 86
Edgin 5, Stinson 4, Shepherd 6, Lairson 22, Fry 2, Heindl 7, Lockwood 5, Jackson 2
Totals 11-7-6/10 – 53
TV – 6 (Richards 3, McCullough 1, Frech 1, Eyer 1)
TCN 11¬¬ (Lairson 6, Shepherd 2, Edgin 1, Heindl 1, Lockwood 1)