BROOKVILLE – Tri-Village used its size, strength and solid defense to pull away from Newton in the second half on its way to a 61-40 win over the Indians in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division IV sectional title game at Brookville High School.
“The past two years we have gotten beat in the sectional finals, and it seems like an eternity since we last played in a district game,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said.
Rachel Miller and Allie Downing both connected on triples, and the Patriots owned a 13-9 advantage after one quarter of play.
The game settled into a half-court game in the second quarter, and Tri-Village’s defense shined, holding Newton to just six points.
The Patriots took advantage of their strength inside with Danika Mann finding success, scoring nine of her team-high 18 points for the Patriots to open up a 27-15 lead at the break.
“Physically we don’t match up well with Tri-Village, and when Mann got in the game she hurt us inside,” Newton coach Neil Hans said.
Newton came out in the third quarter with full-court pressure, trying to speed up the game, but the Patriots embraced it, attacked it and scored on it led by freshman Emma Printz, who went for eight points in the third quarter along with five from Downing.
“Emma Printz got the start today, and she had a dynamite game. What a game for a freshman in the sectional final stepping up the way she did. That was big time,” Gray said.
The Lady Indians didn’t fold and had their highest scoring quarter with 15 points mainly due to the play of sophomore guard Tatum McBride.
With TV focused on slowing down Maddie Mollette, McBride picked up the scoring with 11 of her game-high 20 points to try and keep close, trailing TV 46-30 heading into the final stanza.
“I was pleased with how we defended today. I thought our girls played the defensive game plan to a ‘T.’ We really wanted to set on Mollette’s right hand and bring a lot of help from the left side, and our girls did a really good job with that,” Gray said.
The Patriots rolled in the final period, winning it 15-10 and the game 61-40.
After two years of disappointment of coming up short in the sectional finals the Patriots finally broke through and part of that may be due to the fact they played the game relaxed and for fun.
“Wednesday was a rough day for our team, and basketball didn’t mean a whole lot to us after one of our own, Brooklyn Godown, was in a car accident,” Gray said.
“Our kids played relaxed. I don’t know how much fun they have been having playing the game … but I think they realized it’s a privilege just to be able to play, and it’s about having fun, and that’s what they did, not just Brooke but the whole team, and we were really grateful she could play today,” Gray added.
Tri-Village got contributions across the board with nine players scoring in the game.
“I’m really happy for our three seniors who got to dress as freshman in the district and the regionals but never got to play. They bided their time and now they get a chance to experience this first-hand,” Gray concluded.
Mann led TV with 18 points, Printz had 13, and Downing chipped in 12 for the win.
Tri-Village will play at 3 p.m. Saturday at Tippecanoe High School where they will play Jackson Center.
Score by quarters:
Tri-Village …13 … 14 … 19 …15 – 61
Newton .….. 09 …06 … 15 …10 – 40
Rachel Miller 3, Autaum Moore 4, Emma Printz 13, Edie Morris 2, Allie Downing 12, Brooke Godown 5, Shelbey Dowler 2, Meghan Brandon 2, Danika Mann 18
Totals 5-18-10/14 – 61
McBride 20, Mollette 6, Flanery 6, Stine 6, Oburn 2
Totals 2-13-8/12 – 40
TV – 5 (Downing 2, Printz 2, Miller 1)
NE – 2 (McBride 2)