TROY – Tri-Village advanced to the third round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division IV sectional tournament with a 68-39 win over Xenia Christian Tuesday night to earn the right to play for a sectional title.
Tri-Village jumped on top of Xenia Christian at the start on a triple by Gavin Richards and a drive to the rim to go up 5-0.
The Ambassadors finally got on the board at the 5:41, but then the scoring went silent for the next three minutes … mainly due to poor play by both teams with numerous turnovers.
But the Patriots finally settled down with the ball as they rattled off 15 points to take a 20-6 first quarter lead.
Again it was Richards leading the way on the offensive end of the floor, scoring 11 first quarter points.
“This is the second game in a row we started off sloppy,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said. “Not sure if it’s just carelessness or nerves … but we obviously didn’t take care of the basketball, and I think it’s because we were trying to make a spectacular pass and not being strong with the basketball.”
Despite 12 first half turnovers (most unforced), the Patriots shot the ball very well as they jumped to a 37-15 halftime lead.
Richards continued to have success getting to the rim for six more points, and Tyler VanWinkle added five points in the second frame.
“I felt like we shot it well early, the second night in a row we have made some perimeter shots on this floor, and anytime you’re knocking down jumpers it’s a good thing for your team,” Sagester said.
Richards would finish the game with 22 points in the contest.
“Gavin is a very athletic kid and can score the ball from the perimeter and the paint, and tonight he scored in multiple ways showing his ability,” Sagester said.
While the Patriots were out and running in the first half they didn’t do a very good job of scoring the ball on the block.
“Trace Couch got off to a slow start, and we talked to him at the half about being ready to play every night because we are counting on him,” Sagester said. “That’s a little bit different role than he was used to probably playing, and your main guys have to be ready every night because were going through them.”
The Patriots worked the inside game in the second half as Couch established his presence in the paint.
He would score 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as the Patriots rolled in this one 68-39 to advance to take on Yellow Springs, who was a 61-43 winner over Springfield Catholic Central.
“Yellow Springs is a very experienced and athletic team, and we will have to do a much better job of taking care of the basketball than we did the first two games and continue to knock down shots,” Sagester said with regard to the Patriots’ next opponent in the tournament.
Yellow Springs, winner of the Metro Buckeye Conference with an 11-0 conference record and 18-6 overall, has five seniors so the Patriots will need to be ready to go at 7 p.m. Friday in Troy.
Score by quarters:
TV … 20 … 17 … 16 … 15 – 68
XC … 06 … 09 … 11 … 13 – 39
Knox Morris 5, Tyler VanWinkle 10, Jonny Wilson 2, Gavin Richards 22, Dillon McCullough 2, Jared Buckley 1, Trace Couch 26
Totals 4-23-10/14 – 68
Xenia Christian (3-20)
Burke 10, Washard 9, Frueh 8, Hammerstrom 2, Kensinger 4, Moore 4, Martin 2
Totals 4-12-3/5 – 39
TV – 4 (VanWinkle 2, Richards 2)
XC – 4 (Burke 2, Washard 1, Moore 1)