By Drew Terhall
NEW MADISON — After a relatively rough first half, the Patriots started to roll in the second half. They defeated National Trail at home, 85-39, on Feb. 6.
This game was a make up game that was originally scheduled for a Friday. Head coach Josh Sagester said he saw good leadership from some of his players and saw a different intensity from his team in the second half.
“I thought we played a pretty darn good second half. It’s a Tuesday night, it’s one of those things. Our kids got to be ready to play when they step on the floor,” Sagester said. “We had a good chat at halftime and they were able to respond well.”
It seemed like Tri-Village had things under control in the first half, but the scoreboard didn’t reflect it in the first quarter. The Patriots only led 16-10 after the first quarter when they had the ball most of the quarter.
Then in the second quarter, the Blazers came out firing. They had five made threes in the first half and grabbed a lead early in the second quarter.
The offense moved the ball around well and got good looks at the rim. They just couldn’t get them to fall. Sagester said the missed shots could have thrown off the team and got them out of sorts.
“We did not play with a lot of urgency, escpecially in that first half. Credit to National Trail. I thought they played hard. They played inspired,” Sagester said. “We missed a few shots. That affected us a little bit on the defensive end with our intensity.”
The Patriots found their footing late in the quarter and led 34-23 at halftime. They started to group together some stops and get some easy buckets.
Almost a brand new team showed up for the second half. The Patriots started to get turnovers from their press and got easy layups. Sagester said the team played with more defensive intensity in the second half.
Tri-Village opened the third quarter on a 20-2 run. After scoring 34 points in the first half, they scored 34 points in the third quarter alone.
Sagester said they have shot makers on the floor, they just needed to see a few go in consistently to get rolling.
There was no stopping the Patriots once they went on that run. They outscored National Trail 17-5 in the final quarter to seal the win.
Sophomore Trey Sagester led the team with 26 points with five made threes and 15 points scored in the third quarter. Senior Braden Keating had 16 points and senior Reed Wehr had 11 points.
Tri-Village will have one more game that will count towards their tournament seed as the tournament draw takes place on Feb. 11. The Patriots are currently the one seed in the Maxpreps RPI rankings in Division III in their sectional.
“If we’re able to take care of our own business, then we’ll be in the drivers seat as the one seed and get to make the decision. It’s always nice come tournament time when you get to make your own decisions and people aren’t making those for you,” Sagester said. “We’ve been beneficiaries of that several times here in this program. I’m looking forward to it, there’s some really good teams in our sectional. Take it one at a time.”
But, the team is still focused on getting better each day. Sagester said they’ve entered the rough stretch of early February where things are starting to get a bit monotonous. The team has kept their focus during practice during these days and are locked in for their next challenge ahead.
Tri-Village is now 17-1 with a 9-0 WOAC record. They will be at Twin Valley South on Feb. 9 for a 7:30 p.m. tip off. It will be their last road game of the season. They will then host Ponitz on Feb. 10 for a 7:30 p.m. tip off.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]