NEW MADISON – Tri-Village defended its Patriot Holiday Classic tournament by defeating Eaton 75-46 in a very physical and emotional game.
From the opening tip, Tri-Village came to play, spearheaded by senior point guard Tyler VanWinkle, who connected on two of his four trifectas on the night and eight points as the Patriots went up 20-8 on the Eagles in the opening frame.
Defensively Tri-Village did a good job of did a good job of not letting the Eagles get good looks on the perimeter. It started with Gavin Richards, who did a nice job of containing Trey Smith, who had the hot-hand the night before, holding him scoreless in the first quarter.
In the second quarter Smith shook loose for a couple of triples … but those would be the only points he scored on the night. It was enough to help Eaton cut the margin to nine, 26-17, with 3:25 to go.
Tri-Village finished the half strong with Johnny Wilson, Richard and VanWinkle scoring to give the PATS a 34-21 advantage at the break.
The third quarter was wild and woolly, played at a frenetic pace, one that favored the Patriots.
Tri-Village exploded for 25 points while holding the Eagles to just nine points.
“I thought we set the tempo early, our full-court man defense did what we wanted it to do, and by the third quarter they looked pretty fatigued, especially guys who had to make perimeter shots for them,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said.
Trace Couch dominated the paint, scoring on the block with his right hand, left hand hook, up and under and put-backs off the glass, scoring 12 of the 25 points in the period to give TV a comfortable 59-30 lead.
“We knew they (Eaton) were going to be big, long and athletic around the rim. That’s good for us to see, and considering Trace Couch circumstances, I thought he played awfully well tonight,” Sagester said on the play of his big man.
The final stanza was the most productive of the night for Eaton with 16 points … but it just resulted in a stalemate with TV, who matched that production, and the Patriots went on to earn the 2015 Patriots Holiday Classic title for the second year in a row by the score of 75-46.
“We have some guys doing a lot of dirty work right now for this team that doesn’t show up in the box score, and other guys are having success because of that. If you are going to have a great team you have to have guys who are willing to do that, play defense, set screens and get tough rebounds. Those intangibles are starting to come to forefront,” Sagester said.
Brett Boyter was one of those guys doing the dirty work on this night. He defended for a full game while pulling down nine rebounds.
“I told Brett his worth isn’t necessarily on made or missed shots … but his full man-to-man defense all night long and rebounding the basketball the way he did tonight,” Sagester said.
The Patriots were led by Couch on the night with 23 points, VanWinkle had 21, and Richards scored 18 to lead TV in scoring. All three would be named to the all-tournament team.
Joining them on the tournament team were Travis Pittman and Trey Smith from Eaton and Austin Swope of Greenon.
VanWinkle was named tournament MVP for the second year in a row with a two game total of 41 points and 19 assists.
“He’s a winner, a real special player who does what it takes to help us win games,” Sagester said.
“This was a good win for us tonight. It’s always good to be able to win your own tournament. There are a lot of people involved who make a tournament like this successful, too many to name here … but I want to thank everyone who helped to make this tournament special,” Sagester concluded.
The Tri-Village junior varsity boys basketball Team also won a title by defeating Eaton by the score of 51-46.
Score by quarters:
TV….20…14…25…16 – 75
EA….08…13…09…16 – 46
Knox Morris 4, Tyler VanWinkle 21, Jonny Wilson 6, Brett Boyter 1, Gavin Richards 18, Jared Buckley 2, Trace Couch 23 – Totals 4-24-15/21 – 75
Springmier 2, Howard 19, Bowser 4, Tolliver 1, Sneed, Lindsey 6, Pittman 4, Nicodemus 2, Smith 6 – Totals 4-14-6/14 – 46
TV – 4 (VanWinkle 4)
EA – 4 (Smith 2, Bowser 1, Lindsey 1)