BOOKVILLE – Tri-Village traveled to Coach Josh Sagester’s high school alma mater on Saturday to take on the Blue Devils.
It was a tight ball game in the first half with Tri-Village pulling ahead at the end of the half 24-19. A strong third quarter performance gave the Patriots the breathing room they needed, and they would go on to earn a 58-42 non-conference win.
The first quarter saw eight lead changes as it see-sawed back and forth. Gavin Richards scored six and Trace Couch four points as Tri-Village went ahead 10-9 to end the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Patriots struggled to make outside shots, and just a minute into the frame their big man Couch had to sit the bench due to foul trouble.
Knox Morris provided a big play with a steal off the press and converted it for a bucket then Brandon Peters, who was filling in for Couch, turned in an old-fashioned 3-point play to put the PATS up 19-12 with three minutes to play.
Richards was challenged by Sagester to get to the rim due to the Patriots’ shooting woes, and the junior guard obliged, adding seven more points in the second quarter as the Patriots took a 24-19 halftime lead.
“I thought Brandon Peters came in for Trace Couch, who was in foul trouble, and he gave us good minutes in the second quarter,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said.
“We didn’t’ make many shots in the first half, and I told our guys at the half we’re going to make shots, just keep working hard defensively,” Sagester said.
“We talk about keeping relentless pressure on other teams, don’t go crazy, just be solid, and hopefully by the third and fourth quarters it will have an effect, and it usually is effective, especially on teams that rely on perimeter shots when their legs start to get tired,” Sagester added.
Shots did start to fall in the third period as Tyler VanWinkle hit a triple and so did Richards. That helped the PATS to be able to pound the ball into the paint to Couch, and he added six points in the period.
The Patriots’ defense was starting to affect the Blue Devils as well. They only made two shots in the third quarter … but they got to the free throw line, making four-of-four to help keep them within striking distance as they trailed 40-28.
VanWinkle then took over in the final stanza as the senior point guard pushed the tempo and either finished at the basket or dropped the dime for the score as Tri-Village pushed the lead to 54-35 with two minutes to play.
Brookville scored on a couple long range shots, including one at the buzzer, to make the final score 58-42.
“Once we made a few shots in the third quarter we were able to push our lead, and then Tyler VanWinkle took over,” Sagester said.
“He really stepped it up in the second half, especially offensively. That’s a leader and a winner. He missed some shots he should have made in the first half, but he came out in the second half and gave us yeoman’s effort,” Sagester said.
“Once again I thought we were pretty much on point defensively, and we’ve put together a couple of good back-to-back efforts.”
“Brett Boyter and Gavin Richards did a tremendous job of shutting down Cody Cox and Dalton Stewart. Cox had been averaging 15, and Stewart had 24 against Franklin, and tonight neither reached double figures,” Sagester said.
Richards led the way with 20 points, Couch 17 and VanWinkle 14 in the win.
Tri-Village improved to 13-1 on the year and will host National Trail Friday.
In junior varsity action Tri-Village pulled out a close one 36-34 with Jared Buckley scoring 12 points and Christian Ricker 10 in the win. The Patriots now stand at 12-2 on the year.
“We’ve keep finding ourselves in close games, but we find ways to win,” Tri-Village JV coach Logan Brubaker said. “We’ve been playing with a lot more emotion in the last couple of games, and I’m pleased with the effort they are giving.”
Score by quarters:
Tri-Village….10…14…16…18 – 58
Brookville…..09…10…09…14 – 42
Knox Morris 2, Tyler VanWinkle 14, Brandon Peters 3, Brett Boyter 2, Gavin Richards 20, Trace Couch 17 – Totals 2-19-14/18 – 58
Cody Cox 9, Dalton Stewart 7, Christian Berry 8, Cameren Alber 10, Tyler Scherer 9 – Totals 6-7-10/10 – 42
Tri-Village – 2 (VanWinkle 1, Richards 1)
Brookville – 6 (Cox 3, Berry 2, Stewart 1)