NEW MADISON – It was a rough weekend for the Tri-Village boys basketball team with an overtime loss to Bethel Friday night and a 59-43 senior night loss to Coldwater on Saturday.
The weekend is a small microcosm of the 2017-18 season for the Patriots, one that has been full of adversity.
There was no storybook ending for the five seniors: Jared Buckley, Noah Burns, Trey Frech, Christian Ricker and Cameron Sterrett, who performed in their last home game at the Battleground.
They gave everything they had to battle Coldwater to a 15-15 tie in the first quarter as Frech knocked down three triples, including one at the buzzer.
But they struggled the rest of the night as Jared Buckley was held scoreless in the first half, and the Patriots trailed 31-23 at the half.
It was a physical game, and Coldwater had a deep bench, playing all 14 guys, and the Patriots had nothing left in the tank and found themselves down 50-32 after the third quarter.
TV was already down a point guard when Gage Hileman went down in the game late against Bethel, but the Patriots played hard to the finish. It just wasn’t their night, dropping a 59-43 decision to the Cavaliers.
The Patriots were led by Buckley with 12 points, all in the second half, and Frech had 9, all in the first quarter.
“The boys wanted to respond after what we did last night. We’re down a point guard and so we had to reshuffle things in an hour. There were a few shots that went in and out and a lot of contact we thought we should get. We played hard … but it’s basketball and wasn’t our night. We just have to move on,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Mackenzie Perry said.
Coach Perry was complimentary recognizing his seniors and had a few comments about them.
“Cameron Sterrett has been our coach on the bench. He’s always asking questions and has been fully engaged. He is the type of kid who is ready at any moment.
“Noah Burns is always guarding the other teams point guard, always has a smile on his face and is always bringing it.
“It has been great to see Christian Ricker finally blossom. He had a game with 9 points and 16 rebounds and to see his confidence grow and bloom has been great.
“Trey Frech and Jared Buckley have been with us through thick and thin and have wanted to carry the mantel for Tri-Village basketball. Those two have been a part of some bigger things with Tri-Village basketball in the past … we would be lost without them. They have been great leaders for this team.”
The Patriots are currently 8-12 on the year with two regular season road games remaining at Ansonia and Winchester, Indiana.
Although senior night wasn’t a storybook ending, the season isn’t over and there is still time to change the ending script.
To understand the script up to this point you need to go back and review some earlier chapters and soon you will see why it hasn’t been a fairy tale season so far … one filled with lots of adversity.
March of 2017 Tri-Village had just won a sectional title, a district title and then lost a heartbreaker in the regionals. Shortly thereafter, the Patriots found out their long-time coach Josh Sagester was stepping away.
The Patriots announced they had a new coach, but after only a few days he left, and the team had no coach or direction for the summer program.
Perry was named the new head coach, but the PATS were already behind and had no chance to get to know one another during the offseason.
It’s no secret the success Tri-Village basketball has had over the years and after graduating a bulk of the team’s scoring last year, the league knew this year’s team was down.
Teams weren’t feeling sorry for them and everyone was ready to give them their best knowing they had an opportunity to knock them from their lofty perch.
Now they have to get to know a new coach and learn a new system, all in a short window before the season begins.
Were there rough patches, yes, and at times it felt like everyone was against them … but the boys have pulled together and started to show they can compete.
If the Bethel game is any indication of how competitive they can be, then the story doesn’t have to end with the senior night loss to Coldwater.
Opponents don’t care about the adversity they have faced or feel sorry for them … and the boys aren’t feeling sorry either because they are playing for something bigger then themselves and want to leave their own stamp in the program.
With two regular season games left and a postseason tournament to play, the Patriots have nothing to lose. Now they are the underdogs and they hold the pen to the script with the opportunity to write their own fairy-tale ending.
A sectional title would be a perfect ending.
Score by quarters
CO … 15 … 16 … 19 … 09 – 59
TV … 15 … 08 … 09 … 11 – 43
Coldwater – Bruns 17, Welsch 3, Meyer 2, Frilling 8, Broering 2 J. Wenning 8, Balster 9, B. Wenning 2, Blasingame 2, Albers 4; Totals 5-19-6/10 – 59
Tri-Village – Noah Burns 6, Austin Bruner 2, Derek Eyer 7, Trey Frech 9, Jared Buckley 12, Christian Ricker 5, Cameron Sterrett 2; Totals 3-13-8/11 – 4