senior Kayla Linkous couldn’t contain her emotions after
the Lady Patriots unloaded a 69-48
whipping to Ft. Loramie Saturday at
Tipp City in the regional finals. The Patriots will battle Berlin
Highland Thursday in the state semi-finals. CNO Photo by Doug Randolph
T-V State Bound: Berlin Highland next
By George Starks
Gray: “Lady Patriots have unfinished business”
TIPP CITY- Before the 2011-12 season got undewrway, Tri-Village coach
Brad Gray said his team had unfinished business. The business isn’t
After two years of being left at the alter. the Lady Patriots have
finally made it.
After two heart breaking losses at the hands of Ft. Loramie,
Tri-Village finally broke through the regional finals with a whopping
69-48 win over the Lady Redskins in a game that could be described as a
good old fashioned butt kicking.
“It’s an unbelievable day. In fact a breakthrough day and the feeling
is hard to describe right now,” said Gray. “To see these young ladies
achieve their goal makes this all worth while, they sacrificed and put
in a tremendous amount of time, energy and hard work, they deserved it
and went out and earned it.”
It was an incredible start to a credible finish.
Shooting 80% from the floor in the first half, Tri-Village jumped out
to a whopping 23-12 lead after the first frame and held a 20 point,
37-17 at the break.
The biggestion question was could the Patriots stay focused?
“We sayed focused and that’s something we’ve had a hard time doing all
season long,” said junior Teah Richards. “We went to the locker room
and coach reminded us that the game was not over and we still had a
second half left to play. We knew what happened to the boys on Friday
and I think we fed off that.
Feeding and staying focused is exactly what the Patriots did. At games
end, Tri-Village had shot 69 percent from the field and had hit 12 of
15 shots from the foul line. A blistering 80 percent.
“When you shoot that kind of a percentage, you’re going to win games,”
Gray stated. “
Led by senior Kayla Linkous with 22 points, Krystal Falknor
poured in 17 and Shaye Thomas 11 to lead the Patriots on offense.
“It was an incredible start, said coach Brad Gray. “Anyone who says
this team is a one player team obviously doesn’t know us very well as
the numbers pointed out.”
Leading by 20 at the break, Tri-Village came out and extended their
lead by as much as 24 points and was never pushed the rest of the
way. With nearly 2,000 on hand to witness the historic game, the
Patriots packed their usual crowd.
“This is incredible,” one Patriot fan was heard saying after the game.
One broadcaster had only one word to describe the performance.
Linkous was speecless
“I don’t know what to say,” said the senior. “We’ve waited so long for
Being left at the alter for a third time was not an option.
“They did not want to be denied for the third time by us,” Loramie
coach Carla Siegel said. “We knew we couldn’t stop Linkous because
she’s such a phenomenal player. We never imagined the other girls would
step up the way they did. That really put a dagger in our heart.”
“For the reporters here who don’t cover us on regular basis, I’ve been
saying all year long, we’re not a one-person team,” Gray pointed out.
“Kayla is a great player and deserves to be player of the year in the
state. If she doesn’t get that, it’s a crime. But you don’t get to
Columbus with one kid. We got here with a team, one that was focused
and still has unfinished business to conduct,” concluded Gray.
Tri-Village will play 18-8 Berlin Hiland on Thursday at 3:00 pm in
Columbus at the Schottenstein Center.
Bruner (left) and Teah Richards battle a Ft. Loramie player during
action in the Patriots
regional final game. CNO Photo by Doug Randolph
Lady Patriots, 2011-2012 Regional Champions. CNO Photo by
Danny Stockton, stocktonstudios.com