ANSONIA – Tri-Village rolled into Ansonia Tuesday evening in search of its 11th Cross County Conference victory of the season and spoil the Tigers’ senior night activities.
The Patriots opened up their entire arsenal on the Tigers by using the inside offense of Trace Couch, timely long-range shooting and ball-hawking defense to defeat Ansonia 59-30.
Tri-Village started the game at full tempo. The Patriots quickly jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Ansonia’s Hunter Muir got the Tigers on the board with a field goal with 3:40 remaining in the period.
The Patriots would add nine more points to their lead before the quarter’s end. They consistently were able to get the ball into the 6-foot 6-inch Couch on the inside, and he was able to score 10 points during the period. After one, it was 21-2 Tri-Village.
“We tried to establish post presence early,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said. “Obviously, size was a key for us tonight. We like to try to take advantage of our opportunities and thought our guys did a real good job of finding him (Couch). Putting him in a position to be successful. He’s a horse, and he finished well for us tonight.”
The Tigers fared much better defensively in the second quarter. They sagged their coverage onto Couch and shut him out on the period, but in so doing allowed senior Tyler VanWinkle open to connect on three triples in the stanza. The Patriot’s guards were still making it difficult for Ansonia to consistently get into their offensive sets.
“(Couch) facilitated very well and got others involved, especially when they were collapsing on him,” Coach Sagester said. “He’s definitely a skilled big man.
“Our guards were gnats tonight. They made it difficult for them to get into things that they wanted to do. That’s kind of been our calling card all year. Defensively, we’ve been pretty good especially with our pressure out front. Thought tonight we were able to extend that at times.”
The Tigers could muster only five points of their own in the second quarter on a basket by Devyn Sink and a 3-pointer by senior Dane Wentworth, playing his final home game. At the half Tri-Village owned a 32-7 lead.
The outcome of the game was never in doubt in the second half. The Patriots controlled the third quarter by outscoring the Tigers 20-9, sparked by three Brett Boyter 3-pointers. The fourth period belonged to Ansonia as the Tigers outscored Tri-Village 14-7.
“With young kids it’s a little inconsistent,” Ansonia Coach Chad Cramer said. “Play that many young guys like we do and guys play really well one night and may struggle the next. Effort’s been good all the time. Play has been inconsistent. We’re getting there. Defensively we made some mistakes tonight, but they’re a really good team. We kept them in the 50s. That’s a start.
“It’s been one of our main focuses this year with our kids is character and how they portray themselves on the floor. Are we perfect all the time? No. I’m proud of the way our kids have handled themselves throughout the whole year. For the most part, every game we fight clear to the end, and that’s all you can ask. I’ve been happy with the way the kids have represented themselves, family and school all year, and they should be commended for that.”
Tri-Village advanced its record to 18-3 with the victory and concluded CCC play with an 11-1 mark. Ansonia fell to 4-17 on the season and is 3-8 in the conference.
Tri-Village won the junior varsity game 64-32.
Tri-Village – 59
Morris 6, VanWinkle 9, Boyter 11, Richards 9, Peters 4, Couch 17, Frech 3.
Ansonia – 30
Sink 4, Muir 6, Alexander 6, Wentworth 14.
3-pointers: TV: 8(Richards, Frech, VanWinkle 3, Boyter 3); Ans: 5(Alexander 2, Wentworth 3).
Free throws: TV: 7-8; Ans: 5-6.