NEW MADISON – It was a statement weekend for Tri-Village basketball with a win over Bethel Friday night and a 65-57 victory over visiting Coldwater Saturday night.
Coldwater came out firing, hitting four triples in the opening frame.
With the Patriots holding a 10-7 lead the Cavaliers hit four straight shots including three straight triples to go up 18-10 and the largest lead of the night for the Cavaliers.
But the Patriots didn’t panic and closed the quarter strong with a Trace Couch fielder inside and an alley-oop to Gavin Richards to close to 18-14.
Couch had seven points, Richards four and Brett Boyter three in the the first quarter.
Tri-Village won the second period 16-11 to take a halftime lead of 30-29.
Couch again had success again inside with nine points despite Coldwater sporting 6-foot 9-inch Andy Brunet patrolling the middle of the paint.
The Cavaliers added two more treys in the second quarter and eight first half points from Brunet.
Brunet and Couch offset each other, both scoring six points in the third frame. The Cavaliers added a triple … but the Patriots got a trey from Tyler VanWinkle and four points from Richards, who was able to get to the rim as the Patriots led 43-39.
In the finals stanza Tri-Village opened up an eight-point lead, matching the biggest lead of Coldwater early in the game, to go up 49-41 with five minutes to play while turning the game in its direction.
Early in the fourth quarter TV just plain out-hustled Coldwater, and it was a couple of guys off the bench that were in the thick of it.
Senior Brandon Peters out-scrapped the bigger Brunet on the defensive side by diving for the ball, getting it and then handing off to VanWinkle. Peters jumped off the floor and sprinted to the other end, and VanWinkle rewarded him with a sweet pass for two points.
Moments later Peters again came up with another loose ball and turned it into points on the offensive side as Tri-Village went up by 10 points, 53-43.
“To be as good as we want to be we have to have contributions across the board,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said.
“Brandon Peters is a program kid, and time and score dictated some of his minutes early on, and he didn’t and pout, and when his number was called … wow, did he have an impact on tonight’s game, and I couldn’t be happier for him,” Sagester said.
Jonny Wilson also got into the act with a couple hustle play of his own as the Patriots continued to make big plays to keep control of the game, going up 55-46.
“Jonny Wilson is a hard-nosed kid. He got us some rebounds for extra opportunities and made some free throws. I’m really proud of him,” Sagester said.
Coldwater made a couple of late triples … but Tri-Village controlled the ball and the clock, forcing the Cavs to foul … and VanWinkle was the beneficiary, going 9-for-10 and the Patriots 14-for-18 in the fourth quarter on their way to a 65-57 win.
“There is not a guy that I want the ball in their hands at the end of the game than Tyler VanWinkle … we’re up seven, eight points with three minutes to go, you know what’s coming, and we are going to take care of the ball and make free throws. That is what he did tonight,” Sagester added.
Couch led the way with 22 points, all in the first three quarters. Richards had 15 and VanWinkle had 14 for the Pats.
“We talked all week about having a statement weekend. We were able to get over the hump last night to find a way to win and then the win here tonight,” Sagester said.
“Quite frankly I thought our guys were pretty special with our defense, our toughness, making plays and finishing the game with free throws.
“They had some measurable on their side we couldn’t necessarily match up with on our end, so we had to be the tougher and nastier team on both ends of the floor, by being junk-yard dogs, and tonight we rose to the occasion,” Sagester concluded.
Tri-Village improved to 17-3 overall and will travel to Ansonia Tuesday night with its final league game with the Tigers. A win would assure the Patriots of at least a share of the Cross County Conference title.
The Patriots close out the regular season with a home game Saturday night, senior night and a matchup with Fort Loramie.
Score by quarters:
Tri-Village….14…16…13…22 – 65
Coldwater….18…11…10…18 – 57
Knox Morris 2, Tyler VanWinkle 14, Jonny Wilson 3, Brett Boyter 5, Gavin Richards 15, Brandon Peters 4, Trace Couch 22 – Totals 3-18-20/26 – 65
Hemmelgarn 3, Harlamert 6, Brunet 18, Thobe 7, Bolster 3, Mullencamp 12, Bruns 8
Totals 10-11-5/12 – 57
Tri-Village – 3 (Boyter 1, Richards 1, VanWinkle 1)
Coldwater – 10(Mullencamp 3, Bruns 2, Thobe 2, Harlmert 1, Hemmelgarn 1, Bolster 1)