Lady Patriots rush past Lady Jets for road win


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — The Tri-Village High School girls basketball team jumped out to a big lead and kept rolling. The Lady Patriots defeated the Franklin Monroe High School girls basketball team, 67-19, on the road on Jan. 12.

Tri-Village head coach Brad Gray said his team came out stumbling during the first quarter, but started to speed up the pace as the game went. That helped the team get out to a big lead early.

“I did like that we got out and ran the floor. I thought we could have been better with that in the first quarter. But I thought after that, we ran the floor a little bit better,” Gray said.

The Lady Jets were without senior Jaliyah Nichols and junior Lillie Shellabarger, two key players to the team. Franklin Monroe head coach Zane Shellabarger said his team competed with everything they had.

“I thought my girls played hard. I don’t have anything to be ashamed of and they don’t either,” Shellabarger said.

Tri-Village did struggle to finish shots during the first quarter. They relied on getting second chance opportunites to get points on the board early.

The height and length of the Lady Patriots gave the Lady Jets problems the whole game. Shellabarger said it’s tough to go up against athletes like the one’s Tri-Village has. He also said they don’t have the bigs to help out with rebounding.

The press also gave Franklin Monroe problems. They had some success early on, but would go through stretches of not being able to have a flowing possession. The Lady Jets were sped up and frantic most of the time on offense.

The Lady Patriots had a 46-14 lead at halftime. Senior Morgan Hunt had 16 points at halftime. Senior Torie Richards had 11 points at halftime. Both benefited from not only creating their own shots, but getting easy buckets off turnovers.

Tri-Village looked more comfortable with the fast pace of the game. Whenever a shot went up from Franklin Monroe, Tri-Village got the ball and sprinted down the court.

Even with the game getting more and more out of reach, the Lady Jets didn’t back down. They kept hustling back on defense and played the Lady Patriots physical.

Shellabarger said his goal as a coach is to have a program like Tri-Village. He said believes when Tri-Village steps on the floor, they’re up 15 points because of the words across the front of their jerseys.

Shellabarger was happy with his team’s competitiveness, but doesn’t want his team to get complacent with it.

“I told the girls, ‘You can be proud of your effort, but don’t be satisfied and don’t be okay with losing by 40 or 50’,” Shellabarger said.

The Lady Jets couldn’t get anything going on offense in the second half. They scored five points in the second half. The Lady Patriots played more consistent basketball in the second half to put the game out of reach.

Hunt finished the game with 22 points and Richards finished with 19. Senior Rylee Sagester had 12 points in the game, all scored in the second half.

For Franklin Monroe, freshman Caydance Nichols had five points. Senior Madison Henninger, junior Olivia Sease and freshman Adalynn Hines each had four points. The Lady Jets are now 2-13 with a 1-6 conference record.

The Lady Patriots showed why they are considered the best girls team in Division IV Ohio basketball. According to Martin RPI, they are ranked number one in Division IV. Shellabarger said he believes Tri-Village is the number one team in Division IV.

The Lady Patriots are now 15-0 with an 8-0 conference record. They have two tournament type games coming up. On Jan. 16, they travel to the Classic in the Country to take on the number two team in Division IV in Toledo Christian. They will then host a 16-win team in Blackford High School.

Gray said his team is going to need to improve from this game with the level of competition they will be playing soon.

“We got to be better, obviously, finishing around the rim. You can’t do that against some of the opponents we have coming up. Fortunately tonight, we were able to kind of get by with it a little bit,” Gray said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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