Tri-Village jr. guard Rylee Sagester connects on her 200th career triple and eclipsed 1,000 points in her career. (Dale Barger Photo)

Sagester Scores 1000 points In Win Over Newton

NEW MADISON – Tri-Village junior guard Rylee Sagester eclipsed 1000 points in a game with Newton Thursday night in a game the Patriots won 66-38.

She did it on her 200th career made three-pointer in the first half that briefly stopped play to recognize her 1000 points.  She gave the ball to her mom Traci along with a hug and to her dad Josh. 

After the  game I asked her how it felt to score 1000 points and what it meant knowing she scored it on her 200th career three-pointer?

“I would say it’s my coaches and my teammates who put me in the best spot to be successful along with their support and my families, that has really helped spur this moment.  It makes me feel good to have them here to share this milestone,” Rylee commented.

Rylee’s dad and Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester echoed her comments saying her success is due to having a good support system, teammates and coaches.

“Well, I think her success is due to a couple things, I think the first is a lot of time being put in and sacrifices in the gym. Second thing, obviously, her coach (Brad Gray) has done a great job of giving her a lot of freedom and the ability to use her range.  She has good teammates around her, which helps open the floor up for her to shoot,” Josh said.

Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray was happy for his junior guard and pointed out her success was earned through hard work. 

“She’s been a gym rat from the day she was born. You know, coaches’ kids don’t really have an option. They’re going to be in the gym whether they want to or not. And she’s taken advantage of the opportunities she’s had. She’s a self-made player. I mean, she and Josh would both tell you, she probably wasn’t blessed with a whole lot of natural ability, she’s a product of  hard work. She’s been in here working her tail off and Josh has worked his tail off to get her to where she’s at and it’s good to see people be rewarded for what they put in. We hope she’ll continue to work hard for herself and we’re going to keep benefiting for another year and a half before she heads off to Marshall where hopefully she has a great career,” Gray said.

All that support is awesome, but I quickly reminded Rylee at the end of the day she is still the one who pulls the trigger and makes the shots, and she’s made a lot of them, especially three-pointers.

“I guess I’m just doing what I do best,” she said

It’s an accurate statement and the numbers support that as she’s made 202 – 3’s currently placing her 31st in the OHSAA girls’ basketball record book.  

She is on a pace to challenge the OHSAA career mark of 375 triples with nearly two full seasons of high school basketball to play, barring any significant injuries.  

Rylee is currently 6th all-time in the state for a single season with 104 made 3’s in her freshman year.

Basketball wasn’t always a love affair for Rylee, I asked her at what point in time did she realize she was a pretty good shooter and wanted to play.

“I would say sixth grade. In elementary school I wasn’t a big basketball fan and didn’t have the “Eye of the Tiger” I do now. Going into middle school is when I finally decided this is probably something I want to pursue,” Rylee stated.

“When I competed at the Elks National Free Throw shooting contest (she finished 2ndNationally in her age group) going into my 7th grade year it gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to shoot the ball,” she added.

Rylee is a third-generation baller in the Sagester family.  

Her grandfather Mick Sagester was a standout basketball player in the mid 70’s and was known to be a very tenacious player with a nice jump shot.  

Back in his day they didn’t have a 3-point line which left grandpa a bit short of the 1,000-point club with 933.  

Rylee passed her grandpa’s 933 in her 3rd game this season and now has her father’s mark in sight.

Josh is the Tri-Village Boys basketball coach and was a standout 3 sport athlete at Brookville in the 90’s.  He had 1670 career points and for now  remains the top dog in the family … but that could soon be in jeopardy. 

I asked Rylee is she thought about being the top scorer in the family.

“My mom and I both think I can do it; she is my biggest cheerleader and is on my side because we both want to beat him,” she chuckled.

“She definitely has a chance and if she does get it; she and her mom definitely won’t let me live that down,” Josh laughed. 

Rylee credits much of her success to her dad and family for the time, money and support they have given her to be able to do what she does.

“Yeah, that’s true, it’s really a lifestyle, we eat sleep and drink the game and put a lot of time, money and energy into it, and you never know if it’s all going to pay off,” Josh said.

“Certainly, right now, it looks like it is, and we’ve been fortunate to play with some good spring and summer teams with good coaches.” 

“Scott Johnson, Travis Trice and the West Virginia Thunder program has done a lot for her, she’s been fortunate to be around a lot of good basketball minds.”

“Of course, she has spent a lot of time with her dad, sometimes she listened and sometimes not, but it’s been a very good relationship,” Josh said.

I asked Rylee, besides shooting, what else does she love about the game.

“I would say celebrating big moments with my teammates, when we make a good pass or a good shot. It’s always fun to run back, or if coach calls a timeout when we make big plays and give each other high fives and seeing the bench get excited that’s what makes it special,” she said.

“Also, to have close family able to come and see them in the stands, their support is just unbelievable,” Rylee added.

But if you ask Rylee what she cares about the most, she’ll tell you it’s winning games 

‘You play the game to win, and we want that more than anything,” she stated.

“Rylee’s been fortunate to be a part of a great program here at Tri-Village and be a part of some good teams, and we want to see it continue,” her father Josh added.

The Tri-Village girls basketball team has been knocking the at the door of the State Final 4 bowing out in the Regionals the last couple of years.  Last season Ft. Loramie took them out and went on to win the State Title.

Rylee would be the first person to tell you she would trade points for wins as the Patriots look to challenge again with aspirations of getting to the State Finals which is the ultimate goal.

And once there, what if the title game came down to the last shot, one that was all net?

That reality played out for the boys back in 2015 … and it can happen again … that’s why you put in the time.

Rylee's family and support system sharing a moment with her after the game. (Dale Barger Photo)
Rylee celebrates with teammates with the student cheering section showing approval in the background after scoring 1,000 points. (Dale Barger Photo)
Coach Josh Sagester, son Trey, daughter Shelby, Rylee and Traci Sagester pose for family picture after the game. (Dale Barger Photo)
3 generations of ballers; Josh, Rylee and Mick Sagester. (Dale Barger Photo)

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at dbarger@darkecountynow.com.

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