Patriots are District champions after second half surge leads them to the win


By Drew Terhall

DAYTON — It was a close one at halftime between Tri-Village and Greeneview High School. But the Patriots went on a run during the second half and claimed a District title with a 60-50 win over the Rams at the University of Dayton Arena on Mar. 3.

Head coach Josh Sagester said he told his team it was going to be a long battle and they would have to remain confident through the highs and lows. The players’ belief in the program in their first year in Division III led them to this win.

“Our kids believe in our program. I’m not sure how many people thought we would be sitting here in Division III basketball. I think everybody was kind of curious to see exactly how we would respond,” Sagester said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our kids and how we’ve responded.”

Greeneview had a 22-21 lead going into halftime. Both teams were struggling to break through the opposing defense. There wasn’t a lot of consistent scoring from either team.

The Patriots were still in the game despite not originally sticking to the game plan. Sagester said they wanted to work inside out on offense. He did acknowledged the arena was a tough place to shoot the ball as they went 1 for 16 from three-point range.

Sagester said he told his senior forward Justin Finkbine to be ready because the ball was going to him early and often in the second half. After originally struggling to make a few shots early, Finkbine made quick work of the Rams’ post defense and started a 6-0 run by himself.

The team executed the game plan after the first half.

“Our kids did a great job of listening and getting it in there. He’s (Finkbine) a warrior, a battler and he put it in for us,” Sagester said.

It was a total team effort from the Patriots. Sagester said each player, especially the seniors, fulfilled their roles to help lead them to this win.

Senior Dalton DeLong played stifling defense against the top scorers on Greeneview. Seniors Wilson Suggs and Camden Cook made big plays when the team needed them.

The team played their best defense at the half-court. When the Rams weren’t running out in transition, the Patriots made it difficult for them to move the ball and get an open shot.

“The defensive effort in the half-court was pretty good. We gave up some second shots, we didn’t get back in transition and that’s where they scored a bulk of their points. In the half-court game, we did a really nice job,” Sagester said.

The Patriots’ free throw shooting was also a difference in this game. They were 19 for 21 from the charity stripe. Greeneview was 7 for 16 in their free throw shooting.

Finkbine led all scorers with 22 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Suggs had 16 points and was 8 for 9 from the free throw line.

Tri-Village will play Harvest Prep on Mar. 8 at Trent Arena in the Regional semifinals. Tipoff will be at 5:30 p.m. The winner of that game will take on the winner of Miami East and Preble Shawnee.

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

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