NEW MADISON – Tri-Village couldn’t overcome a slow start against state-ranked Fort Recovery and fell 45-40 on senior night.
Fort Recovery got out the gate fast on Saturday with Grace Thien knocking down 7 of the Indians’ 12 first quarter points, putting the home team behind 12-4.
“We didn’t play well on the defensive end, lost assignments, went underneath their flare screen action instead of going over the top of it,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said. “We lost No. 10 (Thien) a few times, and she really is the only kid who consistently makes jump shots, and we left her uncontested, and they made us pay.”
Tri-Village stepped it up on defense in the second frame, holding Fort Recovery to just 6 points and scoring 8, but the Patriots trailed 18-12 at the half.
Trisa Porter hit a triple at the 3:32 mark in the third quarter that helped the Patriots draw to within 3, trailing 26-23.
Every time the Patriots closed to within a score they turned the ball over or couldn’t get a stop and Fort Recovery would go back up by 5 or more.
Tri-Village had success pounding the ball inside to Maddie Downing, who scored 7 points, and Lissa Siler added 5, but they still trailed the Indians 33-27 at the end of the third quarter.
Back-to-back steals early in the fourth quarter by Emma Printz, one for a layup and another to Downing for a bucket, got the home team crowd excited. Moments later Downing tied it at 35 on a stick-back, and the Patriots were making a game of it.
Printz helped the Patriots grab the lead 40-38 for the first time on a triple at 1:52 … but the lead didn’t last long as Thien tied it and then the Indians went ahead 42-40 with 58 seconds to play.
A few critical turnovers gave the Indians an opportunity to run clock and forced the Patriots to foul them where they would seal the victory at the line, 45-40.
“We’re making crucial mistakes in crunch time situations. That’s a little concerning. I don’t know how many times we turned it over in the end. Even in the third quarter we had silly turnovers. The other night against Bradford we had 18 turnovers against a team playing us in a half-court defense. We’re just not making good decisions with the basketball right now, and it’s hard to win against good teams playing like that,” Gray said.
There was no win for the seniors, but Brad Gray was appreciative of his three seniors: Lauren Flory, Kayla Burke and Autumn Moore.
“All three have been great kids for our program. For four years they’ve all bought in to doing what is best for the team and making personal sacrifices for that cause. Kids like that don’t get nearly the amount of credit and appreciation that they deserve, but I hope they all know that they are valued members of this program,’ Gray concluded.
Tri-Village concludes the regular season with a 17-5 record and will now focus on the postseason. They Patriots play Jefferson at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division IV sectional tournament in Brookville.
Score by quarters
FR … 12 … 06 … 15 … 12 – 45
TV … 04 … 08 … 15 … 13 – 40
Fort Recovery – Wendel 7, Thien 17, Stone 7, Kahlig 2, Patch 2, Muhlenkamp 10;
Totals 4-14-5/7 – 45
Tri-Village – Emma Printz 9, Trisa Porter 7, Lissa Siler 9, Maddie Downing 13, Lauren Flory 2; Totals 3-10-11/12 – 40