By Drew Terhall
NEW MADISON — The Tri-Village High School girls basketball team is now 17-0 on the season after beating a top five team in the state of Indiana in Class 2A in Blackford High School. The Lady Patriots defeated the Lady Bruins, 60-42. This game replaced the Fort Recovery game that was cancelled a few weeks ago.
Head coach Brad Gray said he hopes having a tough regular season schedule will get this team ready to make a deep tournament run.
“We’ve won games in the regular season for a lot of years now. There’s still some victories in March that kind of avoided us and gotten away from us and we’ve let slip away,” Gray said. “We’ve got to be better in March. Hopefully, the schedule we put together this year is going to help us get to where we want to get.”
The game started out with the teams trading buckets. The offenses started out on fire for both teams.
Senior Morgan Hunt had 12 points in the first quarter. Hunt was able to control the paint and score at will from there. She also had a three point shot fall in.
“She’s (Hunt) getting that mentality back of I want the ball in the post and when I get there I’m going to go get the end result we need. Early in the game, she was certainly the one that was carrying us,” Gray said.
The Lady Patriots led 22-14 after the first quarter. They were able to extend their lead during the second quarter as the defense started to settle in. Gray said he thought it took time for his team to settle into the game defensively, but was happy with their offensive performance.
While Tri-Village was able to extend their lead, they did get into foul trouble. Players like senior Torie Richards, junior Bella Black and freshman Kynnedi Hager all had foul issues during the first half.
The fouls did not lead to many free trips to the free throw line for the Lady Bruins. Blackford only had eight free throw attempts. It created an illusion that the Lady Patriots weren’t really in foul trouble, but there was an issue in that department.
“I thought it was a pretty physical game both ways. The referees let us play a little bit, let both teams play,” Gray said. “If they only went to the line eight times, that’s pretty good cause I felt like we were in foul trouble.”
With players racking up the fouls early, Gray did change up his rotation a little bit. The team was able to respond well to the small change in rotation.
At halftime, Tri-Village was up 38-21. It looked like the Lady Patriots could start to run away with this game in the second half.
But, Blackford came out after halftime and held Tri-Village to eight points in the third quarter. The Lady Patriots also had defensive success in the third quarter as they held the Lady Bruins to nine points in the quarter.
In the second half, senior Rylee Sagester started to lead the charge on offense. Gray said after Hunt started to get going early, Blackford started to key on her and let Sagester roam around the perimeter. From there, Sagester took over the offense. She had 13 points in the second half.
Tri-Village continued to play with a high level of intensity to limit any chances of Blackford gaining momentum in the game. The teams played close to even with each other to end the game.
Sagester led the team in scoring with 25 points. Hunt finished the game with 22 points. As a team, the Lady Patriots shot 47.7% from the field and went 7 for 14 from beyond the arc.
After Tri-Village takes on WOAC opponent Bradford, they will host Minster on Jan. 21 for another non-conference matchup.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]