NEW MADISON – On a night during which Tri-Village honored the 1954 Westmont state final four boys basketball team, the Patriots continued their community’s winning tradition with a 66-47 victory against Northridge.
Westmont was comprised of the Hollansburg and Palestine communities prior to the consolation with New Madison to form Tri-Village. The Westmont Wildcats reached the final four of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Class B state tournament in 1954, and some of those Westmont players and family representatives greeted the current Tri-Village players prior to Saturday’s game.
As Saturday’s game began Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester thought his players were a little sluggish, but they overcame their early woes to pull away for a big win.
“I thought we played a much better second half than we did in the first half,” Sagester said. “I thought defensively we were a little sluggish early, but I thought we picked up our energy the second half, which led to some easier baskets. I thought we shot it really well on the offensive end. I thought for the most part we controlled the backboards as well and rebounded pretty well as a team.”
Tri-Village led by as many as five points in the first quarter but allowed Northridge to finish the period on a 5-0 run, which included a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, to tie the game at 15-all.
In the second quarter the Patriots clamped down on defense and limited the Polar Bears to just eight points as they pulled ahead 30-23.
“Defensively I thought the second and third quarter there was much more urgency by committee,” Sagester said.
The third quarter was even better for Tri-Village as the Patriots held the Polar Bears to just four points. The stingy defense helped Tri-Village open up an 18-point lead, 45-27.
Tri-Village’s offensive efficiency continued in the fourth quarter with the Patriots adding 21 more points as they finished the night with a 66-47 victory.
“I thought we shared the ball really well tonight, too,” Sagester said. “I thought we found the open man. Sometimes we might have over-passed once or twice.”
Trace Couch led Tri-Village with a game-high 18 points. Gavin Richards with 17 points, Jonny Wilson with 14 points and Dillon McCullough with 10 points also reached double-digit scoring.
“There’s not too many teams at our level that can have four kids that are capable of scoring double figures,” Sagester said. “And really Trey Frech had the concussion and he’s out tonight, and he’s able to make some shots too for us.”
Also for the Patriots, Noah Burns scored three points, Jared Buckley scored two, and Christian Ricker scored two.
Javoni Hill led Northridge with 12 points on Saturday. Also for the Polar Bears, Twon Hines scored six, Seth Deaton scored five, Tristen Henn scored five, Robbie Turner scored five, Namon Crowder scored four, Ky’ree Barrett scored three, Tyler Moon scored three, Jared Lewis scored two, and DaWalt Thomas scored two.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.