Tri-Village Girls Basketball Wins WOAC Championship! (Dale Barger Photo)

Tri-Village Girls Basketball Team Undefeated WOAC League Champions!

GRATIS – Tri-Village ran into a tough-minded Preble Shawnee team and the only thing between them and an outright WOAC Title.  The Arrows made the Patriots work to earn the win and it’s just what the team needs heading into the post season.

The Patriots pulled away in the 4th quarter registering a 66-48 win for the first ever conference title in the newly formed WOAC league with an 11-0 record.  It also marked the 4 straight title for Tri-Village who has went undefeated in league play over the last 4 years at 47-0.

Tri-Village got off to a great start jumping ahead 10-0 to start the contest before Preble Shawnee Kahlen Kulms broke the ice with a short corner shot at 3:15 and TV held an 18-8 lead at the end of 1st quarter.

Tori Richards, Rylee Sagester, Morgan Hunt all had 5 points and Meghan Downing 3 in the 1st quarter. 

Rylee Sagester drained a triple to start the 2nd frame and the PATS looked like they were in control, but Preble Shawnee guards’ quickness and speed began to create problems and they were able to score off turnovers to close the gap to 23-16.

TV settled back in and worked the ball into Meghan Downing who scored 10 first half points, 7 from the charity stripe in the 2nd frame as the Arrows had difficulty defending her in the paint.  

Olivia Thompson had 7 points in the 2nd period for Shawnee, but the Patriots led 29-22 at the break.

“Their speed was probably the best we’ve seen, I would throw them in the category of a Country Day, who also has a lot of team speed. I think Preble Shawnee might have even been a little bit quicker, so they were getting to a lot of our passes that a lot of teams don’t, so I don’t know how many turnovers we had but it felt like a lot,” Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said on the team’s play after going on a 10-0 run to start the game.

In the third quarter Downing and Richards both experienced some foul trouble, and both were spelled relief with solid play off the bench from Bella Black and Mollie Scantland.

“Bella and Molly came in and did a great job when we needed to kind of protect a couple of kids because of foul trouble. We were able to protect our lead and even go on run with them in there and not lose ground,” Gray praised.

Morgan Hunt picked up the scoring with 9 of her 18 points to increase the Patriots advantage to 47-32 by the end of the 3rd quarter.

Heading into the final stanza Preble Shawnee needed to find a way to score as they struggled with Downing and Hunt’s presence inside.

They got it from Jr. guard Olivia Thompson who scored 27 points in the game, including 4 long range bombs in the 4th quarter with each made triple keeping the Arrows within striking distance.

In the end Tri-Village had too many weapons; including Downing who scored 11 of her 22 points in the final frame to post a 66-48 win. 

“We went through a bad patch of not playing good high low basketball and got away from it, and then came back to it in the second half,” Gray stated.

“We were playing out of our minds for a good portion of the first half and even at the start of the second half, playing at a pace in the half court we don’t want to play.  We like to get out and go … but once it gets to half court, we just want to just pick our spots where we have advantages. We have enough kids that can kind of be effective with the ball in their hands and in most games somebody will have a bit of a mismatch, we did a better job of that in the 4th quarter,” Gray added.

Tri-Village was led by Downing with 22 points, 13 rebounds, 6 blocks, Morgan Hunt 18 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals, Rylee Sagester 14 points, 6 assists, 3 steals and Tori Richards 9 points. 

“Winning league titles is important to us it’s the first thing we put on the board we don’t talk about wins and losses and number of wins won’t matter to us, but winning championships do.”

“This group of seniors have finished their high school careers with a 47-0 conference record which is the first group of seniors we’ve had go undefeated in conference play since I’ve been coaching.   So, it’s great accomplishment for them and hopefully we can keep it rolling and maybe get a few other championships first this year,” coach Gray concluded.

Tri-Village finishes the regular season with a 20-2 record and received the #1 seed in the OHSAA DIV Trotwood Sectional Tournament.  They will play a first-round game on Wednesday at 5:30pm verses East Dayton Christian.

Meghan Downing was too much to handle inside for Preble Shawnee as the senior center scored 22 points, 13 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. (Dale Barger Photo)
Morgan Hunt tried to split the defenders, she would score 18 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals in game vs Preble Shawnee. (Dale Barger Photo)
Rylee Sagester knows for sharpshooting was able to get into the lane for a couple of floaters in game vs Preble Shawnee. She had 14 points and 6 assists. (Dale Barger Photo)
Tori Richards is tough as nails and not afraid of contact and a fearless defender. She had 9 points in game. (Dale Barger Photo)
Delanee Gray knocks down the open three-pointer in win vs Preble Shawnee. Gray and her senior teammates have went 47-0 in league play the last 4 years. (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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