Patriots defeat Marion Local in Fort Loramie MLK Classic


By Drew Terhall

FORT LORAMIE — In the MLK Classic at Fort Loramie, the Tri-Village boys basketball team pulled away with a 52-40 win over Marion Local on Jan. 14.

Head coach Josh Sagester said they were fortunate enough to be invited by Fort Loramie to participate in this event filled with great basketball teams. The Patriots were able to go up against a tough team that were taller than them in the paint.

“We’re very lucky for the opportunity. What a game, thought our kids played really hard today and really well. Executed the defensive game plan really to a tee. Anytime you play twin towers, 6’10 and 6’8, it’s not easy. The kids battled all night,” Sagester said.

The difference in height wasn’t a big issue for Tri-Village. Senior Jayden Hollinger and freshman Dom Black both were able to be physical and not let 6’8 junior Austin Niekamp or 6’10 senior Jack Knapke. Sophomore Noah Finkbine, listed at 6’3, came in the second half and was also able to not let the size difference become a factor.

Sagester said all three did a great job in their post defense as everyone was able to play their roles well in this game.

After both teams got off to a slow start offensively, Tri-Village got out to a 22-17 lead at halftime. The defense for the Patriots created the turnovers needed to go out and score in transition. The outside shots for Marion Local kept them in the game as they made four threes in the first half.

Momentum was on the Patriots side to start the second half as they got out to a double-digit lead during the third quarter. The defense continued to frustrate the Flyers as the offense was able to get clean cuts to the rim and scored inside.

But as the third quarter was closing and at the start of the fourth quarter, Marion Local fought back. Sagester said he felt the team was a run away from sealing the game before Marion Local fought back.

“They didn’t go away without a fight. I thought at that point in time, if we could get a couple of stops and a couple scores that would make it 20 and it probably would be over and we would be on our way,” Sagester said.

The Patriots did that during the fourth quarter. Senior Braden Keating and sophomore Trey Sagester made back to back threes to extend their lead, 43-34, and stopped the Flyers’ momentum.

Sagester said while they got contributions from everyone in the game, Keating and Trey were able to step up and hit some big time shots all game long.

Tri-Village was able to drain the clock towards the end of the game and made their free throws to come away with the win.

Keating was named the MVP of the game as he led the team with 20 points with four made threes. Trey Sagester was the only other Patriot in double figures with 15 points.

For Marion Local, Niekamp and Knapke both had 13 points.

The Patriots are now 12-1 on the season with a 6-0 WOAC record. Sagester has said before after the Dixie game these non-conference games not only help prepare his team for a tournament run, but give them the best seed possible in the MaxPreps RPI.

“That’s my job as a coach to put our-self in a position to who we play to get better,” Sagester said.

Marion Local is currently the third seed in their section in Division IV.

The Patriots will host National Trail on Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and then hit the road to take on Smithville on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

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

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