Tri-Village Boys Basketball Wins the 1st ever Western Ohio Athletic Conference Championship by way of a 79-51 win over Preble Shawnee. (Dale Barger Photo)

Tri-Village Boys Basketball Wins WOAC Championship.

NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village Boys Basketball Team defeated Preble Shawnee 79-51 to clinch the 1st ever Western Ohio Athletic Conference Title and back-to-back league titles.

They did it by playing stingy defense for 3 quarters slowing down Preble Shawnee leading scorer Mason Shrout while placing nearly all 5 starters in double figures.  Layne Sarver led the way with 28 points, Josh Scantland had 16, Justin Finkbine & Dalton Delong each had 11 and Wilson Suggs 9 points in the win.

The Patriots jumped on Preble Shawnee early getting out to 13-3 lead with senior Josh Scantland knocking down 2 triples, Dalton Delong added a trey and Layne Sarver added 4 points drawing an Arrows timeout.  Shawnee answered with a few scores but still trailed at the end of the quarter 18-8.

In the 2nd frame Tri-Village adding another 17 points and held Shawnee to 10 for a 35-18 lead at the half.

Scantland had 12 points at the break, Sarver 9, Delong 7 and Suggs 5 while the Patriots held leading scorer Shrout to just 2 points.

Preble Shawnee wasn’t about to go away without a fight and closed the gap to 11, 36-25 on a fielder from Shrout and a triple and a bucket from Ethan Woodard prompting a Patriot timeout at the 5:53 mark in the 3rdquarter.

Two short jumpers later from Wilson Suggs and bucket from Dylan Finkbine and the lead was right back to 18 as the Patriots regained control of the game.

Tri-Village finished the quarter on a flurry of activity; a short one-handed floater from Delong, then a one-hand dunk attempt by Finkbine who was fouled at the rim, and a two-handed dunk by Layne Sarver that had “The Battleground” rocking and a 53-30 lead. 

It was an intense physical contest one that saw 49 fouls called sending both teams to the free throw line a lot especially in the final stanza.  Preble Shawnee Mason Shrout took advantage going 8-for-8 and ended the game with 20 points.

The Patriots were 19-for-32 from the line in the game far below their season average of 70% but their overall play was on point along with Sarver scoring 15 in the final frame to help the Patriots finish out the game with the 79-51 win to claim the WOAC Championship.

“It was good to see our guys go out and execute the game plan tonight, they played solid on defense and all guys contributed to this win,” Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester said after the game.

It’s become an expectation under coach Sagester who talks about Tri-Village basketball being the “Gold Standard” 

“We’ve challenged this team with a difficult schedule, and it’s prepared us for games like this as we’ve learned a lot about ourselves playing in those tough situations and environments and winning a league title is one of the expectations we set for this program,” Sagester stated.

In the last 11 seasons Josh Sagester has coached teams that have won 8 league titles, 5 District Titles, 2 Regional Titles, 2 Final Four Appearances and 1 State Championship!

But the Gold Standard doesn’t stop at a league title as the team prepares for the upcoming state tournament. 

The 17-3 Patriots received the #1 seed in the OHSAA Boys DIV Sectional at Troy High School and will play their first-round game on February 18th and Dayton Jefferson.

“We may not have a 19-1 or 20-0 record but I believe the #1 seed reflects our schedule and the level of competition we’ve played this year,” Sagester noted.

That competition was intentional to prepare them to make a strong tournament run looking to  win a sectional, district, regional title, and a final four run as well.  The final Gold Standard is of course the ultimate prize, winning a state championship.  

Layne Sarver scored 28 points to lead the Patriots to a WOAC title in 79-51 win over Preble Shawnee. (Dale Barger Photo)
6'5" Jr. Justin Finkbine going in for a one-handed dunk but was fouled on the play. (Dale Barger Photo)
6'5" Sr. Josh Scantland scored 16 points in win over Preble Shawnee to give help Patriots win the first-ever WOAC Boys Basketball Title. (Dale Barger Photo)
TV Jr. Guard Dalton Delong was good for 11 points including this floater in Patriots game vs Preble Shawnee. (Dale Barger Photo)
TV Jr. Guard Wilson Suggs knocked down two back to back mid-range jumpers to squelch a 3rd quarter run by Preble Shawnee. (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

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