BRADFORD – Tri-Village jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on Bradford before the Railroaders responded, eventually grabbing a 6-5 lead when sophomore Josh Phillips scored on a short fielder.
TV then applied full court defensive pressure that got Bradford out of rhythm and along the way built a 17-8 first quarter lead.
Trace Couch scored six points and Tyler VanWinkle five in the quarter.
The Patriots continued to roll in the second frame with Gavin Richards getting the hot hand, ringing up nine points.
Andy Branson knocked down five for the Roaders, but they would trail 38-18 at the half.
The third frame turned into a Las Vegas one-man show as Trace Couch crashed the offensive glass and turned it into cash, lighting up the scoreboard for 18 of his game-leading 30 points.
“Yeah, he is starting to figure it out,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said on the play of his big man. “He is bigger and stronger than what he has been giving himself credit for. He’s athletic and quick off his feet, and tonight he was pretty agile down in the post and tracked the basketball and finished with both hands and had a really good game tonight for us.”
Parker Smith had five points for Bradford in the third but the lead grew for TV up 63-25.
In the final stanza Walker Branson scored five points to lead Bradford, but Brett Boyter connected on a couple of treys in the final stanza for the PATS to give them an 82-37 Cross County Conference win over Bradford.
“Bradford played hard tonight,” Sagester said. “They have a new coach, and you can tell he has them trying to do the right things. They executed a few things against us, but we settled in after the start, and I think our defense started to dictate the game.”
“We know it’s a process on getting better,” first-year Bradford coach Mackenzie Perry said.
“We have high expectations for ourselves. The six kids out there are the the six kids that were in my first camp and there everyday working on getting better,” Perry said.
“We are taking it step by step, how to make a move, how to make a cut, what it means to screen, how to play defense and why we are doing what we are doing.
“We are working on instilling confidence in these young men and putting them in a position to make basketball plays,” Perry added.
“The key is to have a positive attitude … we don’t need to worry about what we’ve done in the past but what we can do now and in the future to get better.
“We knew going in that’s a top-ranked team, and we wanted to go in not being scared. I told them I’m not going in scared. They have holes in their defense, but you have to bring effort, energy and execute. The energy and effort were there tonight. We just didn’t execute the way I expected … but it will come,” Perry concluded.
Tri-Village had four players in double figure scoring led by Couch with 30, Gavin 20, VanWinkle 14 and Boyter with 11 points.
Tri-Village will be back in action on Monday hosting its own Patriot Holiday Classic tournament.
Bradford got 10 points from Andy Branson. Bradford will be on a long break for Christmas and New Years and is back in action on Jan. 2 when the Railroaders host Middletown Christian.
Score by quarters:
TV….17…21…25…19 – 82
BR….08…10…07…12 – 37
Tri-Village (5-1, 4-0)
Knox Morris 2, Tyler VanWinkle 14, Jonny Wilson 2, Brett Boyter 11, Gavin Richards 20, Brandon Peters 2, Jared Buckley 1, Trace Couch 30 – Totals 5-30-715 – 8
Bradford (2-5, 1-2)
P. Smith 8, A. Branson 10, A. Swabb 7, M. Justice 2, W. Branson 5, J. Phillips 5, – Totals 6-8-3/4 – 37
TV – 10 (VanWinkle 4, Richards 3, Boyter 2, Wilson 1)
BR – 6 (Smith 2, A. Branson 2, Swabb 1, W. Branson 1)