the bistro off broadway
Tri-Village senior Gavin Richards looks to score against a stingy Miami East defense Tuesday on the road.
Richards netted 11 but the Patriots fell to the Vikings, 36-29 County Conference play.
CNO Photos by George Starks
Patriots fall in defensive battle on the road
By George Starks

CASSTOWN- When Tri-Village headed to Casstown to hook up with Miami East, something had to give.

The Patriots and Vikings were both undefeated in the Cross County Conference and the conference title was at stake.

In addition, Miami East came in ranked No. 3 in Division III while the Patriots came in as the No. 4 team in Division IV in the state of Ohio.

With defense being the name of the game for both schools, it was the Vikings that walked away with a 36-29 victory, handing the Patriots their first conference loss in two years.

When it came right down to it, the Patriots defense was good enough to win but the offense never left the bus.

An abundance of missed shots and only 40 percent shoot from the foul line made the difference in winning and falling short in the end by seven points.

“That’s it…PERIOD,” said TV coach Josh Sagester. “We had plenty of opportunities and the right guys taking shots, and unfortunately if those guys aren’t good enough to make them we are going to struggle, and tonight they weren’t. I thought we did a nice job of executing the game plan. Our goal was to give ourselves a chance at the end, and we had plenty of opportunities and weren’t able to capitalize,”

Tri-Village opened up a 5-0 lead early with senior Tyler VanWinkle hitting a trey and a layup.

With the defense in control, the Vikes were stymied for the first four plus minutes, Michael Wherling finally got Miami East on the board hitting a foul shot with 3:16 left in the frame.

Tri-Village responded with a deuce from senior Brett Boyter, taking a 7-1 lead.

Miami East would score the next four points and the quarter would close with the Patriots holding a 7-5 lead.

The Patriots would be held to a measly three points in the second quarter but trailed by a miniscule 12-10 count at the break.

 With the defense setting the tone on both ends, Sagester had no complaints.

The size differential on the boards made a huge difference for the Vikings.

Miami East pulled down 25 rebounds to the Patriots 20 with offensive rebounds well in favor of the home team.

East had nine boards on the offensive glass with four stick backs accounting for eight of the Vikings 36 points. 

“I thought we defended well. Especially first-shot defense,” Sagester said. “They picked up a couple of second chance points. I thought for their size, we held our own on the boards. When you hold a team to 36 points and you score only 29…we had plenty of opportunities to make some plays.”

Coming off a big loss at Winchester on Saturday, the Patriots the Pats once again struggled, especially in the transition game.

“This was a carbon copy of Saturday,” said Sagester. “We jumped out 5-0 and 7-1 and we couldn’t put the nail in the coffin.”

Trailing 18-15 at the end of the third, the Patriots would close the gap to 24-21 in the fourth but would never re-gain the lead.

Tri-Village was led on the floor with 13 from VanWinkle and 11 from Gavin Richards but that was basically it as junior Trace Couch and Boyter accounted for the other five points.

Tri-Village will see action Friday at home with Covington.

This will be the Patriots homecoming game.

More photos are on Facebook Empowering Darke County Youth

Senior Brandon Peters looks for a way out after being trapped on the baseline.

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