Tri-Village wins close road game at Franklin Monroe


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — The Hangar was rocking as the hosts Franklin Monroe boys basketball team play Tri-Village in a grudge match on Jan. 26. The Patriots walked away with a 41-33 win to remain undefeated in WOAC play.

Tri-Village head coach Josh Sagester said it’s not easy to go on the road, but it helps to bring along a solid defense that allows his players to step up offensively when they needed to.

“We made some baskets in the second half. Guys stepped up and finished around the rim a little bit,” Sagester said.

Franklin Monroe got the crowd going as they ended the first quarter up 14-8. Junior Eric Brenner scored six straight points to give the Jets a lead.

Franklin Monroe head coach Troy Myers said the team’s preparation leading up to this game helped them a lot to start off. He also said the defense played great, great enough to make a deep tournament run.

“I think our preparation put us in a good position. Our guys executed scout really well. I think they understood the plan defensively,” Myers said. “They’re a dangerous team. You try to key on one, then there’s a couple others that can really hurt you. The score reflects that. I thought we did a good job defensively.”

The Patriots came into the game averaging around 70 points a game. The Jets led at halftime, 19-12.

The Jets were doing enough to stay ahead offensively and continued to frustrate Tri-Village. The Patriots couldn’t get shots to fall or couldn’t get quality looks. They also started to get into early foul trouble.

Sagester said the team can regain their composure quickly in games. This time around, they couldn’t get back on their feet after Brenner gave them an early lead.

“We lost our composure. It’s good for us to be able to respond a little bit. It took us awhile to respond, we didn’t respond immediately. It’s been pretty easy for us, tonight it wasn’t,” Sagester said.

The Patriots came out looking better to start the second half. Sophomore Trey Sagester tied the game, 24-24, with about 3:20 left in the third quarter.

Both teams were fighting and looking to be the first one to get their offense going. Franklin Monroe held a slight advantage going into the fourth quarter. Sophomore Lucas Brenner drained a three in the final seconds of the third to give the Jets a 29-28 lead.

Myers said all of his guards grew up in this game and handled the full court press well. Something they didn’t do in a early season loss to Preble Shawnee.

“It’s just got to be a learning lesson for us. Five weeks when we played Preble Shawnee, their pressure destroyed us. That’s been our growth area for us. In order to be a good team, you’re going to have to alleviate some of that pressure. I thought our guards grew up a ton tonight,” Myers said.

It was a 30-30 game with 4:02 left. No team was looking like they could grab a large enough lead to end this one early.

Sagester said his kids gave a gutsy effort as they stepped up when they needed to.

Trey Sagester scored a go ahead bucket with about three minutes left in the game. After a stop, senior Braden Keating scored and gave the Patriots a four-point lead late .

While the pressure didn’t cause many Franklin Monroe turnovers, it did wear them out to where Tri-Village could gain a step on them.

“We may not get you in the first quarter, may not get you in the second quarter. But by the time it’s done, we’re hoping we can wear you down to where your legs aren’t there to make perimeter shots. I thought our full-court competitive standard was there pretty much all night,” Sagester said.

The Jets didn’t go away quietly as senior Gage Wackler drained a three to only be down 36-33 with just over a minute left. Tri-Village made the free throw they needed to for the win.

Myers said they shot themselves in the foot in the last three minutes of the game. They have been in a lot of close games this season against some good teams. This game showed the Jets can compete against a lot of quality teams.

“We feel like we have a team that can compete at the top of this conference. Against Preble, we didn’t show that. Tonight, we reflected that better. For these guys to understand that we played some really good teams really close, hopefully in the next weeks of our season we figure out a way to win some of these close games and be prepared for a tournament run,” Myers said.

Myers also said they need to get the offense up to the level of the defense. Once they can do that, they feel like they can be a dangerous team.

Eric Brenner finished the game with 13 points while junior EB Fall finished with nine points.

For Tri-Village, Sagester said the players are still growing and getting better in their roles. Trey Sagester led the team in scoring with 14 points, he only had three points in the first half. Keating finished with 11 points and sophomore Noah Finkbine had nine points.

The Patriots are 14-1 with a 7-0 WOAC record. They will host Troy Christian on Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

The Jets are 10-5 with a 5-2 WOAC record. They will be at Bradford on Jan. 27 starting at 7:30 p.m.

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

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