FOUNTAIN CITY, Ind. – Tri-Village traveled just across the border to play neighboring Northeastern and made a couple of runs at the Class 2A Indiana school but came up short, falling to the Knights 57-42.
Northeastern jumped on the Patriots early led by Freeman Brou as the 6-foot 8-inch forward drained a couple 3-pointers along with a tip-in to go up 8-2.
The Patriots answered with a triple from Trey Frech to make it 8-5 … but the Knights scored 6 unanswered points before Derek Eyer’s trey found the bottom of the net as the PATS trailed 14-8 with two minutes to play.
Christian Ricker finished the scoring in the first quarter on a short bank shot with TV trailing 16-12.
The Patriots struggled against the length and trapping zone employed by Northeastern in the second quarter and managed just 6 points while the Knights added 11 to go up at the half 27-18.
Tri-Village came out of the half and did a much better job in the third quarter in moving the basketball and trying to exploit the aggressive defense from Northeastern, scoring 13 points.
“I know their length bothered our shooters and us as a whole, but we’re still in the learning process when it comes to going inside and out,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Makenzie Perry said. “I thought we did a much better job offensively getting to the short corner and moving the basketball in the second half, and once we settled in and worked to get the shot we wanted things started to flow.”
With the Patriots trailing by 9, they made a run with a Noah Burns 3-pointer, and then he stole the ball for a quick layup. Moments later, Gage Hileman added a 3-pointer and TV trailed 31-30 at 4:56 in the third quarter.
The Knights answered with a 9-0 run and ended the third quarter with a 41-31 lead.
In the final stanza, the Patriots made another run at the Knights, closing the gap to 41-35, and looking for more, when Jared Buckley went high in the air to the basket only to be called for a charge, taking away a scoring opportunity, shaking up the big man and sending him to the bench.
Northeastern extended its lead to 47-39. Every time the Patriots made a play the Knights ended up at the free throw line, making enough of them to keep TV at bay and holding on for a 52-47 win.
In total Northeastern was 16-for-29 from the line while the Patriots only got to the line five times.
“Northeastern did a great job driving the ball to the basket and was just more aggressive then us, and we ended up fouling sending them to the line,” Perry said.
“The good thing is we were one bucket away here or a bucket there that could have turned the game in our favor where we can take control dictating the game on our terms, but that’s basketball,” Perry said.
Unofficially the Patriots made 7-for-29 from the 3-point line.
“We’ve been working everyday getting shots up, and I’m waiting for the day when it’s all clicking and shots falling,” Perry said.
Frech was the lone Patriot to reach double figures, scoring with 11 points.
“I’m disappointed in the loss, but we did some positive things tonight. We can use that as a springboard going forward, and I think we are going to be tough to beat,” Perry concluded.
Score by quarters
TV …. 12 … 06 … 13 … 16 – 47
NE …. 16 … 11 … 14 … 13 – 52
Tri-Village – Gage Hileman 5, Noah Burns 9, Derek Eyer 6, Trey Frech 11, Jared Buckley 7, Christian Ricker 7, Cameron Sterret 2 – Totals – 7-12-2/5 – 47
Northeastern – Lumpkin 7, Mikesell 1, Hillard 7, Vanlandingham 1, Reynolds 4, Brou 22, Stolle 9, Hancock 2 – Totals – 3-14-16/29 – 57
TV – 7(Frech 3, Eyer 2, Burns 1, Hileman 1)
NE – 3 (Brou 2, Hancock 1)