NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village Lady Patriots used a strong defensive game to help them post a 45-33 win over Shelby County League foe Russia on Thursday.
It would be the perfect ending for two seniors – Emma Printz and Peyton Bietry – recognized on Senior night.
Printz is the daughter of Travis and Jaimi Printz. She is a 4-year varsity basketball player and has earned numerous awards along the way. She was the Barn Ball Classic MVP and Cross County Conference special mention her freshman year. All-CCC second team her sophomore and junior year, Bill Burkett Patriot All-Tournament Team senior year and the Dabbelt Report Top 100 players for two years. She also participated in other activities, “Project More” 1 year, College Plus Credit 2 years and Prom Court 1 year. Printz signed her letter of intent earlier in the day to attend Bethel College to study exercise science and to play basketball.
Peyton Bietry is the daughter of Shane and Karen Bietry. She played basketball 4 years, softball 4 years, cheer 1 year. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Cross County Conference Academic team 2 years. Bietry plans to attend Indiana University East for 2 years then transfer to Indiana University in Bloomington to major in Computer Science.
The Lady Patriots got off to a good start with freshmen Meghan Downing scoring the first 5 points of the game followed by a fielder from Lissa Siler to go up 7-0 before Russia answered with a bucket from Laurissa Poling. That would be the only points scored by Russia in the frame. Printz was also good for 5 points in the first quarter to help Tri-Village build a 12-2 lead.
Printz nailed her second triple to start the second quarter and when Maddie Downing’s left-handed hook went in at the 6-minute mark the Patriots led 17-4. Madison Foreman hit a corner shot with just under a minute giving the Patriots their largest lead of the game 23-9 that they would take into the locker room at the half.
“Our defense was really good in the first half, really solid, especially in the first quarter and offensively we were really good as well. We got the shots we wanted, but a few of them didn’t drop for us. Overall we executed well,” Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said.
Things changed in the third quarter as the Patriots struggled to put the ball in the hole scoring just 6 points while giving up 9 to Russia to cut into the lead, 29-18.
The Raiders continued to surge in the fourth quarter and got to within 3 points, 35-32, before Maddie Downing answered with an old-fashioned 3-pointer to go back up 38-32 with 2:10 to play.
The Raiders had to submit to fouling and on this night the Patriots were solid going 15-for-16 at the line for the game, including 10-of-11 late in the game to earn the 45-33 win.
“The third quarter was miserable for us, especially offensively. Russia is a good team, very well coached and they knew a lot of what we were trying to do and did a good job defensively bringing double teams at us trying to get us out of our sets. Luckily, we weathered the storm in the second half and made our free throws to seal the deal,” Gray stated.
At no point did Coach Gray mention they were playing without their starting point guard Andi Bietry, who was injured in the Fort Recovery game last Saturday, that has to make a difference for the team.
“Obviously with her being out it affects us, it’s a process learning to play without Andi because she has the ball in her hands an awful lot and now, we have to get other kids used to having the ball in their hands in spots they aren’t used to having it,” Gray commented.
“Madison Foreman was out all week due to getting her wisdom teeth pulled Monday and didn’t practice all week and today was her first day back it took her a while to get going tonight, but she had a real nice game and hit a big shot and made some free throws for us and had a nice game coming back,” Gray praised.
After the game coach Gray reflected on his two seniors.
“Emma has had a nice career. She’s a 4-year player, 3-year varsity starter and first kid off the bench her freshman year. She has played a ton of basketball for us and comes to work every day, ready to go. She is very passionate and wants to win as bad as anybody and plays really hard every minute she is out on the floor,” Gray stated.
“Peyton has done a nice job of filling her role and buying into what her job is on this basketball team. I’m sure there are games she wished she got in more … she is also one who came in everyday ready to work whether she was pleased with her minutes the night before or not, has a great attitude and been a great program kid for Tri-Village basketball,” Gray concluded.
Maddie Downing led the way for Tri-Village with 10 rebounds and 15 points. Printz in her last game at the Battleground had 12 points.
Tri-Village coming into the game was ranked third in the final Division IV state poll, just behind second place Minster and first place Fort Loramie.
The win improved the Lady Patriots record to 21-1 and they will open sectional tournament play at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19 against Miami Valley at Brookville.
Score by quarters
Russia – Cordonnier 5, Poling 10, Monnin 2, Borchers 6, Scott 8, Hoehne 2. Totals 2-11-5/10 – 33.
Tri-Village – Foreman 4, Printz 12, Me. Downing 7, P. Bietry 2, Siler 5, Ma Downing 15. Totals 2-12-15/16 – 45.
Records: Russia (13-9), Tri-Village (21-1).