NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village girls basketball team is coming off a fantastic season a year ago where they went undefeated in the conference for a league title and finished 23-3 on the season. The Patriots would fall in the regionals to Fort Loramie who went on to win the DIV State Championship.
Tri-Village won’t be ducking any teams this year as they have amped up their schedule to prep for hopefully another long tournament run at the end of the year and the goal of returning to the State something they did back in 2012.
It’s not often a DIV team will have a division 1 collegiate prospects and the Patriots have not just one … but 2 prospects, juniors Rylee Sagester and Morgan Hunt.
Morgan Hunt is a 5’10” forward who averaged 18.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.7 Assist and was a DIV 1st Team All Ohio selection, the Southwest District and Conference Player of the Year last season.
Hunt hasn’t decided yet on her future options to play at the next level.
Rylee Sagester is a 5’7” guard has averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.6 Assist and was a DIV 3rd Team All Ohio selection, 1st Team Southwest District and All Conference Player last year. Rylee is the school record holder for made 3’s in a single season and for a career. She has verbally committed to attend Marshall on a basketball scholarship.
Meghan Downing is a 6’2” senior and averaged 11.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.3 Assist and 3 blocks, was a 3rd Team Southwest District and 1st Team All-Conference selection.
Torie Richards is a 5’7” junior guard and averaged 7.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 3.6 Assist and was 2nd Team All-Conference last season.
Delanee Gray is a 5’3” senior guard and averaged 5.9 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 2.0 Assist and was Special Mention All-Conference.
Molly Scantland is 5’7” senior forward and was used as a utility player filling in at various positions and usually the first player off the bench and will look to fill that role again this year.
Also on the squad are 3 more seniors 5’10” Maddie Bennett a good inside defender, rebounder and scorer, 5’6” forward Caitlin Robison and 5’1” point guard Chloe Godown.
Rounding out the roster is 5’10” sophomore Bella Black who can play out front or inside if needed.
Brad Gray had this to say about his team and his expectations.
“We return all of our starters and our first 3 subs from last year, so we have a good amount of experience returning.
Rylee Sagester and Morgan Hunt are both very dynamic offensive players. Rylee runs our offense and has a special ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. Morgan scores in a lot of different ways so we try to move her around a lot.
Last year’s team did a good job of playing in transition and shot the 3 over 36% as a team (led by Sagester with 76 made, Delanee Gray with 48 made, and Torie Richards with 31 made) so we hope that will continue.
Defensively, we have made it difficult for teams to score in the paint on us, due in large
part to 6-2 Meghan Downing being the best post defender I have ever coached. Also, Richards is capable of really challenging the other team’s best guards out front and makes them must work hard for anything they get. We must get better with our execution against teams who can defend hard in the half court setting. That has been an issue for us the past few years,” Gray said
Gray believes the league has plenty of quality programs and teams that can beat anyone on a given night as sees the following teams a challenger for a title this year.
Arcanum-returns an incredibly strong nucleus of players with Unger, Fearon, and Gray as well as basically their whole supporting cast from last year. We have to return to their gym once again this year and that is a tough place to play
Preble Shawnee- although we don’t know a lot about them yet, I do know that they have a strong group of young players who have a lot of varsity experience over the past couple of years.
Bradford- this is another team that returns a lot of experience from last year. Austy Miller is a great athlete who can score in a lot of different ways. Rylee Canan is a good shooter and has a lot of varsity experience.
Franklin Monroe- they played a lot of young kids last year so I would expect them to benefit from the experience that they gained last year
National Trail- they always seem to find a way to win games that they might not be expected to win. It seems as though they always have tough, gutsy kids
Coach Gray believe his team should be in the hunt for a title given the amount of experience and talent they have returning.
The Patriots opened the season again Cincinnati Country Day a team who knocked them out of the regional semi-finals two seasons ago. Tri-Village would fall behind by 15 points in the first half and made a comeback late, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped a 56-54 decision.
The Patriots then took on Mississinawa Valley in their first league game winning 61-28 and then knocked off Trotwood Madison on Saturday 79-40 and now are 2-1 on the year.