Hager’s 23 points leads Tri-Village to win over Sidney


By Drew Terhall


NEW MADISON — In a close game throughout, the Lady Patriots basketball team defended the Battleground and won 41-36 over Sidney on Dec. 30.

Tri-Village head coach Brad Gray said after struggling on offense in the first half, the team calmed down and started to make the game simple for them.

“First half, certainly wasn’t pretty from an offensive stand point. I thought defensively we were really good in the first half and continued that for the most part in the second half,” Gray said. “But offensively, it was a struggle in the first half. I thought in the second half, our kids did a great job simplifying the game.”

Tri-Village led 15-13 at halftime. Both teams were playing great defense and forcing a lot of passing around the perimeter. Each team also had good looks at the rim at times, but couldn’t convert.

The Lady Patriots did all they could to slow down Sidney’s leading scorer, junior Jordan Scully. After holding her scoreless in the first quarter, Scully scored five straight to start the second quarter. In the third quarter, she scored all nine points for Sidney.

Sophomore Sydnee DeLong and freshman Kenna Wilcox did a great job not letting Scully take over the game. They didn’t let her beat them.

Gray said Scully is a great player and they knew she would be a handful. She is one of the better players they will face this season.

“She’s as good as we’re going to play against this year in terms of regular season. I thought she’s a kid that’s going to be a tough matchup,” Gray said. “But Sydnee has been good defensively all year. Then at the end, when she was cramping up we moved Kenna Wilcox, our freshman, on to Scully. Kenna did a great job for that last minute and a half.”

In the second half, sophomore Kynnedi Hager took over the game. She had 17 points in the second half and went 7 for 8 from the free throw line.

Gray said they knew they had the mismatch down low with Hager and the players were able to take advantage of that in the second half. They also had a player open in the corner if Hager needed to kick it out of a double team.

Even when the team was struggling and it seemed like they couldn’t get their shots to fall, the Lady Patriots kept trucking along and found a way to win.

Gray said they have discussed being not only physically, but mentally strong. He also said in their loss to Chaminade Julienne this season, they crumbled a bit mentally and gave the game away. In this one, they held strong for the win.

“Today, we didn’t make those mental mistakes. We made some physically mistakes today with a few turnovers and some poor shot selection here and there. But, I thought our mental toughness and next play mentality and taking it one possession at a time and things like that was really good,” Gray said.

It took a basket by Hager with 1:50 left in the game to give the Lady Patriots the lead for the final time. It was still a fight to the end as both teams continued to make some mistakes during the end of the game.

Even late in the game, Hager was cool and collected at the free throw line. Gray said Hager and senior Bella Black are two of their better free throw shooters. With them being post players, it’s an advantage to give them the ball down low and not worry too much about them missing from the line.

Scully finished with 14 points for Sideny. Hager had 23 points to lead Tri-Village and Black had 11.

Tri-Village is now 9-1 on the season with a 4-0 WOAC record. They will have a big conference game coming up as they go to Arcanum on Jan. 4 with tip off set for 7:15 p.m.

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

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