TROY – The Tri-Village Lady Patriots went on a 10-point run to close out the first quarter and never looked back on their way to a 54-35 win over 20-4 Cincinnati Country Day in a Division IV district girls basketball game on Saturday.
Country Day started the game on fire with Sabrina Delbello launching two deep triples and the Indians jumped on top of the Patriots 9-6 with four minutes to play in the opening period.
“We started out in a 3-2 zone and knew she (Sabrina Delbello) could shoot it and thought we could locate her a little bit better out of that, but that didn’t prove to be the case, so we went to our man-to-man primarily for the rest of the game,” Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said.
The Patriots had their own launcher with Emma Printz matching the two deep balls and Lissa Siler added one as well as the Patriots went on a 10-0 run to take a 16-9 first quarter lead.
Country Day scored on a fielder to start the second frame and then Maddie Downing went to work inside. Maddie scored 6 straight points in the paint and 10 in the first half as the Indians were unable to contain her. She would go on to score 22 for the game to lead all scorers.
“We were a little sloppy early in the game trying to play too fast against their full court pressure. We’re trying to drill it in their head faster isn’t better for us, sometimes you get caught up in the moment, but we settled down in the second quarter and that’s when we started to hurt them by getting some layups off their pressure,” Gray stated.
“Maddie Downing was really good for us during that stretch by making herself available on the backside when they were pressing and she finished well,” Gray praised.
The Patriots clamped down defensively and were able to widen their lead to 29-16 at the half.
TV added 15 points in the third quarter, but also gave up 13 as sophomore guard Kamryn Jordan went for 6 points and freshman guard Sara Zimmerman had 5 for the Indians.
Defensively, the Patriots were able to keep first team All-Southwest District player Sabrina Delbello in check limiting her to just three free throws after she started the game with a bang.
“Andi Bietry was on her to start when we got out of the zone, then Peyton Bietry came in and did an unbelievable job of containing her as well and that was big for us,” Gray beamed.
“Those are the little things that don’t go into the stat sheet but win games for you,” Gray added.
The Patriots gave up 6 points in the final stanza while getting 5 from Siler and 5 from Maddie Downing for a final score of 54-35 to win the district championship game.
It was a good night for the Patriots offensively with balanced scoring inside and out. Maddie Downing led the way with 22 points inside while Siler and Printz both had 3 treys each from the outside.
“We’re at our best when we can get a good inside outside game going and we got that tonight with Maddie and Meghan Downing inside and Emma Printz and Lissa Siler outside,” Gray expressed.
Tri-Village improves to 24-1 overall and will enjoy the win, but know it will be time to get back to work in short order.
For the third year in a row, the Lady Patriots were cutting down the nets with a district championship.
“I’m happy for our kids, this is well deserved, they put in a lot of time and effort to do things like this, people don’t see the work that’s been done in April, May, June, September, October, all before we really even start practices and our season.”
“These kids are committed to the program and it’s nice to see them rewarded for it,” Gray concluded.
While the Patriots are happy with a district title — their seventh in the last 13 years under coach Brad Gray — they aren’t ready for the season to end.
They have waited a year for the opportunity to get back to the regionals and know the juggernaut that awaits them.
Minster, who is ranked #2 in the state and is the defending D-IV girls state champs, marks a rematch between the two teams from last year’s regional semifinal game.
Can the Patriots ‘Tame the Wildcats’? Come out and witness for yourself, it will take place at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 7 at Vandalia Butler High School.
Score by quarters
Cincinnati Country Day^9^7^13^6^–^35
Cincinnati Country Day – Cox 0-1-0/0 – 2, Zimmerman 1-1-2/2 – 7, Donevan 0-2-0/0 – 4, Delbello 2-0-2/3 – 9, Settles 0-1-0/0 – 2, Jordan 0-3-3/4 – 9, McClear 0-1-0/0 – 2. Totals 2-11-5/10 – 35.
Tri-Village – Printz 3-0-0/1 – 9, Me Downing 0-1-5/6 – 8, A. Bietry 0-1-0/0 – 2, Siler 3-0-4/4 – 13, Ma Downing 0-10-2/2 – 22. Totals 7-11-11/13 – 54.