RUSSIA – Tri-Village and Russia squared off Monday night in girls varsity basketball with both teams sporting 13-3 records.
The Patriots turned in one of their best defensive performances of the year, only giving up 22 points while scoring 40 to pick up a quality win over the Raiders.
“We knew coming in it was going to be a methodical game. If you look at Russia’s scores they are holding teams to low-scoring outputs,” Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said. “They aren’t sprinting the ball up and down the floor, so we knew defensively we had to play solid.”
Tri-Village led 9-5 after the one quarter of play by getting 4 points from Maddie Downing, 3 from Emma Printz and 2 from Trisa Porter.
Tri-Village showed maturity and patience on the offensive end against a very good defensive team. The Patriots went up 14-7 on a short corner jumper from Peyton Bietry for the largest lead in the first half.
Russia battled back with Shea Borchers knocking down a triple and a layup to cut the margin to 16-12, and a free throw by Cameo Wilson nudged the Raiders closer at 16-13 with 1:30 to go in the period.
The Patriots got a big bucket from Madison Foreman to send them in at the break with an 18-14 lead.
“I thought we did a good job of getting the lead early and then maintaining it into the half,” Gray said.
Tri-Village ran its sets very well in the third frame, knocking down three triples along the way – two from Lissa Siler and one from Porter – while scoring 12 team points. The Patriots held the Raiders to just 5, building up a 30-19 lead.
“The way we came out in the third quarter was great, not that we were great offensively, just the way we executed our offense and took advantage of key opportunities,” Gray said.
In the final stanza with the score 32-21 … Gray and the Patriots went with a three-guard front, working the ball for more than a minute before getting a good on open look, and Siler nailed it for her third 3-pointer on the night.
“Lissa hit a big time shot … I’m not sure how much time we ran off on the possession, but she gets wide open and shoots a confident shot,” Gray said. “She has been in a little bit of a funk over the last few games and is starting to find her rhythm again. We know she can make shots, and that’s what we expect out of her.”
A few minutes later Downing grabbed an offensive rebound, stuck it back in and got fouled for a 3-point play, giving TV a 37-21 lead with four minutes to go in the game.
“One of the weaker parts of our game has been our ability to rebound the ball, and I thought tonight against Russia, who is bigger than us, we did a great job of keeping them off the glass. They didn’t get a whole lot of second shots,” Gray said.
In fact, Tri-Village only allowed 3 second-chance points all night.
Defensively, the Patriots frustrated Russia by playing solid man-to-man while also mixing it in a zone from time to time.
“Sometimes we like to gamble defensively … by just being solid, not playing overly aggressive and keeping things out in front paid dividends for us tonight,” Gray said.
Coming into the game Gray was concerned 6-foot junior Laurissa Poling was going to be a matchup problem.
“Maddie Downing played well against her, and Andi Bietry was great doubling down, tying her (Poling) up for jump balls and forcing a few turnovers. They just didn’t allow her to get comfortable in the paint,” Gray added.
Poling scored just 1 point all night, well below her 10-point average on the year.
When the Patriots went zone it paid dividends every time.
“We threw a different look at them with a zone in the second half, all four times we did we got a turnover, so it turned out to be a pretty good weapon for us,” Gray said.
The Patriots would go on to win by the score of 40-22.
Tri-Village was led by Siler with 11 points, Porter 10 and Downing with 9. The Patriots improved to 14-3 on the year. They will travel to Twin Valley South Thursday night.
“Our kids were ready tonight. We had a bad taste in our mouth from last Thursday night. Yeah, we won, but we didn’t walk out feeling like we won the ball game. We had three good practices since then, and I think you saw the results of that tonight. I’m just pleased with the overall effort of our kids tonight,” Gray concluded.
Score by quarters
TV … 09 … 09 … 12 … 10 – 40
RU … 05 … 09 … 05 … 03 – 22
Tri-Village – Madison Foreman 2, Emma Printz 4, Peyton Bietry 2, Trisa Porter 10, Andi Bietry 2, Lissa Siler 11, Maddie Downing 9; Totals 6-7-8/16 – 40
Russia – Jenna Cordonnier 5, Laurissa Poling 1, Shea Borchers 5, Cameo Wilson 5, Whitney Pleiman 2, Jessica York 4; Totals 2-5-8/13 – 22