Layne Sarver & The Tri-Village Patriots advanced to the District Finals with a 66-34 win over WOAC League rival Franklin Monroe. Sarver scored 22 points to lead all scorers in the game. (Dale Barger Photo)

Tri-Village Boys Basketball Advances To District Finals

TROY – The Tri-Village Boys basketball team punched their ticket to the District Final game with a 66-34 win over WOAC league rival Franklin Monroe.

The Patriots were the number 1 seed heading into the Troy DIV Sectional and breezed by their 1st two opponents beating Jefferson 91-17 then East Dayton Christian 93-35.

Franklin Monroe had a bye in the 1st round and then played Southeastern in the 2nd round earning a 42-39 win to meet up with Tri-Village in what they now call the District Semi-final game.  

The Jets wanted to run a patient offense and keep the tempo slower in the game but at times the Patriot’s swarming defense was able to create some turnovers for easy scores.

TV jumped out to a 15-0 lead before the Jets got on the board on a power lay-up from senior forward Ethan Garber.  Garber led FM in the game with 8 points.

But junior guard Wilson Suggs had the hot hand beyond the arch and scored 14 1st half points.  Tri-Village led 17-2 after the 1st quarter and 34-9 at the half.  

“It’s always a good rivalry with FM we know their kids are going to play hard and inspired.  So, we must be prepared to do some things, offensively and defensively. So, we put a little pressure on them and their main guy, who is the point guard, and we were able get out to a 17-2 first quarter lead,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said.

“Wilson Suggs comes out and lights it up making his first few shots, he finishes with 16 points tonight and is playing with a lot of confidence. He’s had a great year, 1st team all-league, 1st first team District 9 and I’m happy for him, he puts in a lot of time and is a basketball first kid,” Sagester praised.

Franklin Monroe connected on 3 triples, two by Karson Wright and one by Jayce Byers in the 3rd quarter for 13 team points.

The Patriots responded with 18 points; 8 from Layne Sarver including 3 dunks in the frame, Sarver ended the game with 22 points to lead all scorers.

“You get 22 from Lane tonight, a couple dunks as well, just his ability to run the floor with his length and you put him at the top of the pressure it just makes him overall a talented player, we kind of want him to get out and go because the team who usually gets the easiest baskets wins and it looks pretty good,” Sagester commented.

Tri-Village added 18 points in the 3rd quarter and continued to put a lot of pressure on Franklin Monroe for a 52-24 lead.

“We are going to put a lot of pressure on you, that’s kind of what we do, we’ve got good depth, we kind of call it the first wave and the second wave. And to be honest with you, we’re kind of taking the Dunbar approach we’re going to be very aggressive up front to create transition points. We don’t want to play into the teeth of the defense all night long.   Coach Troy Myers does a good job of mixing his defenses, he plays man, some zone, some triangle and at the high school level, sometimes it’s hard to recognize, so we wanted to play at a faster tempo and get more possessions,” Sagester stated.

Tri-Village added another 14 points in the final frame to the Jets 10 winning the game 66-34 to advance to the District Final game at UD Arena.  The Patriots improve to 22-3 and they will play on Tuesday March 2nd  taking on 17-8 Fayetteville-Perry game time TBD.

“We are excited about getting back to UD to play in the District Final.  We didn’t get to do that last year due to Covid.  Usually, you have about a week to prepare but his year we don’t.  We know Fayetteville has a good team, were able to see them play on Wednesday against Cincinnati College Prep, they got decent size and they are going to mix up their defenses a little bit. They’ve been pretty good and when you get to district you’re not really hiding from anybody, you’re going to get everybody’s best and they’re pretty good,” Sagester concluded.

Franklin Monroe ends their season with 4 seniors playing in their last game: Ky Cool, Jayce Byers, Ethan Garber and Gabe Sargent.  The Jets finished with a 13-11 overall record and 7-4 in the WOAC.

It’s always nice to see two teams from the same conference battle it out in tournament action with a chance to represent the conference at District and beyond.  No one wants to see a fellow conference team go home.  But when one does it’s time to throw and show support for your fellow conference team.  

Box Score

Franklin Monroe – Ky Cool 7, Karson Wright 8, Jayce Byers 4, Landon Keller 4, Gabe Sargent 2, Ethan Garber 8, Cason Yount 2; Totals 3-8-8/17 – 34

Tri-Village – Dalton Delong 2, Wilson Suggs 16, Josh Scantland 5, Jason Hale 3, Layne Sarver 22, Seth Cook 2, Logan Call 4, Tanner Printz 2, Justin Finkbine 10; Totals 6-21-6/7 – 66

Tri-Village applied a lot of pressure in the game and the Jets relied on 4-year player Ky Cool to handle the ball against it. Kool's season career came to end in District Semi-Final Game. (Dale Barger Photo)
Tri-Village senior Nathan Hale drops a triple, he has been instrumental in his role on the "2nd Wave" of players the players the Patriots use to apply pressure on defense. (Dale Barger Photo)
FM senior Gabe Sargent fought through injuries this year and played hard as he has his whole career in final game in District Semi-Final. (Dale Barger Photo)
Franklin Monroe Cheerleaders on the floor for the last time this season. (Dale Barger Photo)
Justin Finkbine scored a quiet 10 points on the night. Finkbine's presence is normally felt on the defensive end. (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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