NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village Boys Basketball team finished 11-12 overall last season and 7-5 in the Cross Country Conference while graduating one senior Zach Dowler and the departure of 1st year coach Bobby Jones who is now Greenville boys’ basketball coach.
The Patriots welcome back a familiar face, coach Josh Sagester after a 3 year absence from the program to spend more time with his family.
Sagester has a 13 year resume at the helm of the Patriots from 2004 – 2017 that includes the 30-0, 2015 State Champions, State Runner-up in 2014, 4 District Titles and 5 Cross County Conference Titles. He also accumulated 241 wins, an average of 18.5 a year, just shy of the boy’s all-time win record of 248 set by Lee Falknor in his 19 years of coaching at Tri-Village.
Tri-Village is coming off an historic football campaign winning the Cross County Conference with key players from that team participating in basketball.
It will be a young team with no seniors, this year’s squadincludes 5 juniors and 6 sophomores. Projected starters are two juniors Layne Sarver, Josh Scantland and three sophomores Wilson Suggs, Dalton Delong and Justin Finkbine.
Layne Sarver a 6’6” junior forward is an elite athlete with game experience, he will be the best player on the floor most nights.
Josh Scantland a 6’6” forward is a strong, physical athletic player and a good leader.
Wilson Suggs a 6’1” guard is crafty off the dribble with a good mid-range pull up.
Dalton Delong a 6’1” guard has high IQ and a strong finisher around the rim.
Justin Finkbine a 6’5” forward is an elite athlete and great out of area rebounder.
Also expected to add depth and see playing time are three juniors Ty Linkous, Jason Hale, and Luke Drew.
Ty Linkous a 6’6” forward has sound post moves and provides a big presence in the middle.
Jason Hale a 5’8” guard is an exceptional on ball defender.
Luke Drew a 6’1” guard is a good catch and shoot kid.
Rounding out the varsity roster are three sophomores6’3”Seth Cook, 6’5” Camden Cook and 6’2” Logan Call.
Coach Josh Sagester sees a lot of positives and believes he has the coaching staff and experience to help guide the young Patriots to success. Additional coaching staff members are JV coach Rick McKinney, assistants Colton Linkous, Mick Sagester and Mike Delong.
“The strengths of our team will be our athleticism, defensive integrity coupled with our length/ size and chemistry. Like every year under our coaching staff’s direction, we will do our best to tap into each player’s strengths and put them in situations to succeed on both ends of the floor,” Sagester said.
The goal for the program has notchanged from his last go-around and who can argue with that success.
“Our goals for the Program at Tri-Village, we will aim to “Defend our Tradition”. Simply put, our program strives to win a Patriot Holiday Title, a League Championship, a District Championship and a State Title,” Sagester commented.
In what will be the final season for the Cross County Conference the Patriots would love to close it out by adding one more title to their league leading 11 championships over the last 42 years.
Sagester believes for now the league title runs through National Trail.
“They were undefeated league champions last year and return the league player of the year. They are the champs until someone dethrones them,” Sagester concluded.
But Sagester believes night in and night out his team can compete with anyone and feels they will be very competitive with their length and athleticism. He also sees Bethel, Arcanum, Newton and Miami East as challengers as well.