BROOKVILLE – Top-seeded Tri-Village never trailed against Miami Valley on Tuesday as its first postseason action of the season.
The Lady Patriots handled the Rams with relative ease in a 62-26 Division IV sectional tournament win at Brookville, but it didn’t start out that way. Tri-Village jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but could never quite put the game away until the second half when they opened the third quarter with a surge of energy creating several turnovers and turning them into points that created a much more comfortable lead for Coach Brad Gray and his crew.
Tri-Village took an 11-point lead (23-12) into halftime after outscoring the Rams 6-2 in the final three minutes of the second quarter. They came out fired up in the third frame however as both Emma Printz and Maddie Downing created a couple of turnovers that resulted in points for the Patriots as they went from a 23-12 lad to 31-14 lead in just a few minutes.
“We did not have a good night tonight,” Gray said. “Fortunately we were able to pull through. This part of the season is about surviving and we did, but we have got to be a lot better. Offensively we are really struggling in the half court. It’s not that we are having a hard time getting into our sets so much as it seems like the timing once we get into our stuff.
“We’re not pushing the ball up and down the floor like we do when we have her,” he continued referring to junior point guard Andi Bietry who is out with an injury. “It seems like we are at a slower pace, but other kids have to step up. No one is going to feel sorry for us because we are missing a kid. No one is. We have to step up and find a way to fill that void right now.”
The fourth quarter in particular is where the Patriots really pulled away scoring 27 points in the frame compared to 10 for Miami Valley. Maddie Downing scored 8 of her 12 total points in the fourth quarter and Meghan Downing had 7 of her game-high 19 points in the period. Printz added 14 and Siler had 10 for Tri-Village.
“Our defense led to offense in the second half and that’s why we went to the 2-1-2,” Gray said. “We didn’t really want to go to that tonight. Our intentions were to play man-to-man all night long, but we felt like we had to go to that to try and create some tempo for ourselves and we were able to do that right away in the third quarter. Then we kind of lost it a little bit, but we picked it back up in the fourth quarter and created turnovers that led to baskets for us.”
With the win, Tri-Village advances to the sectional finals where they will face Cross County Conference rival Bradford,who defeated Springfield Catholic Central in the late game 52-40. The two teams will play each other at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at Brookville.
Score by quarters
Miami Valley – Kristi Campbell 2 0 4, Katie Campbell 4 1 12, Myelle Norton 1 0 2, Grace Zerba 4 0 8. Totals: 11 1 26.
Tri-Village – Madison Foreman 1 0 2, Delanee Gray 1 0 3, Emma Printz 5 2 14, Meghan Downing 8 3 19, Lissa Siler 3 3 10, Maddie Downing 4 4 12, Maddie Bennett 1 0 2. Totals: 23 12 62.
3-pointers – Miami Valley 3 (Ka. Campbell 3), Tri-Village 4 (Printz 2, Siler 1, Gray 1).
Records: Miami Valley (13-9), Tri-Village (22-1).
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.