Darke County girls basketball teams play in Tri-Village’s shootout


By Ted Landis, Jr. - For The Daily Advocate



NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village girls basketball shootout was held Friday and Saturday during which the high school hoopsters shot the lights out in two gymnasiums at New Madison’s basketball edifice.

There were numerous basketball teams involved. Some teams came on Friday and played such as Abbey Moore’s Franklin Monroe Jet squad while Arcanum cavorted on the court Saturday. Tri-Village fielded a varsity and junior varsity squad for both days of hardwood action.

There were six rules installed, which made the games flourish in about 50 minutes or less, which delighted the hundreds of fans and players alike. The first rule was that there were two 18-minute halves, followed by the all-important second rule, which was a running clock. The third rule was that the teams were able to shoot free throws the entire game and bonus shots would be awarded the last minute of each half.

The fourth listing was there were two timeouts per game and the clock did not run during the timeout. The fifth rule followed was only four minutes of halftime for coaches to cajole their players. The last matter of business was that there was overtime and the winner was decided by the first squad to score a basket or two free throws. There was no charge for either day for fans in this hoop heaven atmosphere.

Franklin Monroe had several games to open things up on Friday and one of the most interesting matchups was with the Kenton Ridge Cougars out of Springfield. Franklin Monroe took advantage of a 3-pointer with 21.9 seconds left in the first half to take a 16-10 advantage. After the halftime break, the Jets came out flying high and scored 6 out of the next 7 points for a 22-11 advantage.

The next 13 points were back and forth as the Jets flew in 7 markers while the Cougars clawed in 6 much to their fans delight. The Jets did not rest on their laurels with a 12-point advantage but instead imposed their will and rattled off the last 5 points for a 34-17 win, doubling the winning margin.

“With four games here, we are just trying to get better unity and chemistry with our players. We consider ourselves to be one of the best teams here and plan on improving each time out,” FM coach Abbey Moore said.

The Lady Jets were 21-4 last year and lost out to a surprise Covington team in Brookville in sectional tournament play.

Helping out Coach Moore were junior high coach Taylor Robbins, junior varsity coach Whitney Rhodus, and varsity assistant Brandy Fourman. Franklin Monroe’s team for the shootout was senior Kennedy Morris; juniors Chloe Peters, Audrey Cable and Corinna Conley; sophomores Katie Ressler and Stella Shellabarger; and freshman Skyler Bauman.

The next game up was a marquee matchup in which you could have had a sellout in minutes with the home-standing Tri-Village Patriots led by Brad Gray against the always tough and talented Fort Loramie, which typically displays tenacious defense and dominating inside play. This squad seems to be another clone as Loramie jumped out to a 12-8 advantage and 15-13 lead before Tri-Village battled back in the Battleground. The Patriots scored 5 of the last 7 points in the first half on the strength of 3-pointers flying through the hoop. The Patriots clung to a precarious 1-point lead at 18-17 when the half concluded.

Fort Loramie came out strong to start the second half and scored 9 of the first 13 points to take a 26-22 lead. The Patriots then did things the Patriot way and flew past the Redskins, who were scorched by Gray’s gritty squad who hammered home 9 straight points. Highlighting that stretch was a long-range triple by sharpshooter Lissa Siler with the score knotted at 26. Fort Loramie showed its guile by going the extra mile and knocking down a triple of its own for a 29 -29 tie. Free throws proved to be the difference as Siler canned two free throws to silence the Redskins for a 31-29 victory.

Tri-Village ended up 3-1 for the day with its varsity squad, losing only by 3 to Jay County, who scored the winning bucket in the last 10 seconds.

Tri-Village’s varsity consists of seniors Emma Printz and Peyton Bietry along with juniors Maddie Downing, Lissa Siler, Trissa Porter, Andi Bietry and Madison Foreman. Junior varsity mates are junior Courtney Runkel, sophomore Carsi Sprowl and freshmen Delanee Gray, Chloe Godown, Maddie Bennett, Molly Scantland, Ashlyn Wilson, Meredith Butsch and Meghan Downing.

“We played some good games overall for the two days with a 7-1 record against some very stiff competition as Fort Loramie is always good and Jay County is tough in Indiana. Last year we were 23-4 and lost in the regional semifinals to Minster,” Coach Gray said.

Arcanum was the last Darke County team to light up the court, losing out to Russia by 7 markers.

The Trojans tried to clip the Eagles’ wings of Troy Christian. The Trojans trotted out 11 kids and were trying to not hit the skids as they were down by a scant margin of 17-14 coming into the second half.

Arcanum arced a triple to make it 17-17 right off the bat in the second half. However, the Eagles went flying high like they were in the Dayton Air show by scoring 11 out of the next 15 points for a 28-21 advantage. The never-say-die Trojans of newly installed coach Michael Dean scorched the nets for 7 out of the next 9 to close to 30-28 on the strength of Gracie Garno’s shooting exploits.

The Trojans lost two other heart-breakers Saturday, falling by 6, 42-36, to Chaminade-Julienne. Afterwards they played the closing game, losing out to Anna, 32-29.

Last year the Trojans were a .500 team. and lost in the opening round to the always tough Anna Rockets.

Players for this year’s shootout were seniors Sasha Derringer, Lexi Unger and Madyson Richards. Juniors cavorting on the court were Kayla Daniels, Camille Pohl, Gracie Garno and Elliana Sloan. Freshman participants abounded in Ellie Fout, Hailey Unger, Madelyn Fearon and Taylor Gray.

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By Ted Landis, Jr.

For The Daily Advocate