BROOKVILLE – The Tri-Village Patriots are no strangers to the postseason and their poise and discipline showed in their sectional title game against fellow Cross County Conference school Newton.
Both schools brought their fans to Tuesday’s sectional championship game at Brookville; the stands on both sides were packed, and they were vocal. But it was the Patriot sideline that had the most to cheer about at game’s end with Tri-Village notching yet another tournament win, 56-41.
The game was heated in the early going, and the Indians were resilient opponents in the first half. They led for a bit in the first quarter. The Patriots got themselves into foul trouble early and had seven fouls to Newton’s two midway in the second quarter. So the Patriots had to back off on their aggressive half-court defense.
But offensively Trisa Porter was on fire for the Patriots. She hit shots at will and shortly before halftime she hit an NBA 3-pointer to put the Patriots on top 29-22. She scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half. And when Newton adjusted and put more pressure on Porter in the second half, she passed the ball to teammates and accumulated assists.
“Trisa Porter had an unbelievable first half,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said. “I don’t know if she missed a shot. In the second half she was not able to get off as many shots because they were keying on her more. But instead she was able to show off her passing ability – her ability to pass the ball is something else.”
The Patriots have depth so when Porter was given extra attention in the second half, they needed someone to step up and score points. Emma Printz scored all 10 of her points in the second half and Lisa Siler responded as well with 9.
Coach Gray had mentioned earlier in the season how important it was for a team to come out of the locker room focused, and the Patriots did what the coach wanted – scoring on their first three possessions, two of which were 3-point shots by Printz.
Newton was trying hard to come back in the fourth quarter, but a seasoned Tri-Village team milked the clock each possession and waited for Newton to make a mistake and then would score. By the end of the quarter the Patriots were emptying their bench as the veteran team cruised to a win.
“I thought it was a great game for our kids,” Coach Gray said. “We were well rounded today – we made shots inside; we made shots outside. We knew we would have to make shots from 15 feet or better to loosen up their zone. You’re not going to get many chances 3, 4 feet from their rim.”
Next up for Tri-Village is Russia.
“We did play them earlier in the year at their place,” Gray said. “They are a good team. They have over 20 wins. We were able to beat them, but we know that this is going to be a battle. It will be a completely different team this time around. We have a few days to get ready to go on Saturday.”
And if Tuesdays’ crowd was any indication – Patriot nation will need to get their tickets early to get a seat.