NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village boys basketball team pitched a shutout in the third quarter to blow the game wide open and then would finish strong to earn a 67-38 non-conference win over the visiting Houston Wildcats on Saturday.
In the opening frame the two teams exchanged leads until the Patriots trailed 12-7, then with two minutes to go they kicked it in gear. It started with an old-fashioned three by Derek Eyer, who had 7 points in the quarter, followed by a steal and lay-up from Gage Hileman, then a trey by Mason Lay in the corner and finally topped off by a Layne Sarver drive to the rack giving the Patriots a 17-12 lead to end the quarter.
Houston struggled to stop the dribble drive and switched to a zone in the second quarter. The Patriots showed good patience working the basketball and got good shots to score 16 points in the period.
The Patriots scored outside and inside against the zone with Darrell Lee getting 4 points in the paint, Mason Sullenbarger had a nice post move for a bucket and Austin Bruner nailed a big three from the wing. Sarver led the way with 7 points in the quarter and 12 for the first half as the Patriots held a 33-27 lead at the break.
One concern in the first half for Tri-Village was on the defensive end, but that was about to change in the third quarter, in particular the play of senior Austin Bruner. He didn’t score in the period, but his efforts led to many points. Bruner had 4 steals, grabbed a couple loose balls and had some big rebounds all sparking a good run by Tri-Village.
Hileman, who was relatively quiet in the first half, nailed back-to-back corner triples, add in easy baskets at the rim by Eyer and Sarver, and all of sudden the Patriots were up big.
When the quarter ended there was a great big goose egg in the scorebook for Houston as the Patriots led 50-27. The defensive effort by Bruner and the Patriots drew the praises of Tri-Village coach Mackenzie Perry.
“Austin has been a little defensive water bug for us this year, he sets the tone defensively for us. When he’s on his game it just seems to boost us up, plus it gives us scoring opportunities. We talk about letting your defense lead to offense and we did a great job of that in the second half,” Perry said.
The Patriots showed consistency on offense scoring 17 points in 3 quarters and 16 in the other and all eight boys on the roster scored in the game.
Senior Mason Coby drew one of the loudest ovations when he drove to the rim and scored against what seemed like the entire Houston team, everyone was enjoying the night as the Patriots went on to a 67-38 non-conference win.
“We had a little talk during shoot around about how we need to play for each other, not just for us, and the boys really responded. It’s got to be we, not me, and tonight we shared the ball well. In fact one time we made a pass where our guy wasn’t even ready and didn’t catch the ball. I like to see us sharing it, and that’s why everyone got in the scorebook tonight,” Perry stated.
Tri-Village was led by Sarver with 18 points, Eyer had 14 and Hileman 13 as the Patriots improve to 5-5 on the year.
Currently the Patriots are 2-2 in the conference and the race is still wide open with no undefeated teams. Tri-Village will host league foe Bradford on Tuesday night.
“It’s a funny league this year … all hope isn’t lost yet, we still have an opportunity, so our goal is to get better each game, because I really want our seniors and this team to finish well,” Perry concluded.
Score by quarters
Houston – Weist 11, Freistuhler 8, Arnold 8, Douglas 6, Winner 3, Haddock 2. Totals 3-12-5/10 – 38.
Tri-Village – Hileman 13, Eyer 14, Sarver 18, Lee 4, Lay 7, Sullenbarger 6, Bruner 3, Coby 2. Totals 7-20-6/9 – 67.
3-point scoring: Houston 3 (Winner 2, Douglas 1), Tri-Village 7 (Hileman 3, Sarver 2, Bruner 1, Lay 1).