Lady Patriots Basketball takes sole possession of 1st place in WOAC

Tri-Village girls basketball takes sole possession of 1st place in the WOAC with win over Arcanum. (Dale Barger photo)

ARCANUM – The Tri-Village girls basketball team moves into sole possession of 1st place in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference with a 46-32 win over Arcanum.

It was a girls basketball game between the last two undefeated teams Arcanum and Tri-Village in the WOAC. Also, two of the hottest teams, both coming off significant wins last week.

Arcanum won the Buccaneer Holiday Classic Tournament and had an impressive win over Covington one of the top DIV teams in the area.

Tri-Village came off a big win over DI Sidney with Kynnedi Hager scoring 23 points to lead the Patriots.

The 1st half was indicative of the rivalry between the neighboring schools with the energy and emotions pouring out from both teams.

The Trojans jumped on top in the 1st quarter taking a 7-point lead .., but Tri-Village weathered the great start and slowly erased the deficit taking a 3-point lead 24-21 at the half.  Tri-Village then relied on their size, rebounding and strong defense in the second half to pull away just enough heading into 4th quarter and burned the clock to earn a 46-32 conference win.

Tri-Village held a 4-2 lead to start the game, but Arcanum went on an 8-0 run to go up 10-4 by the 2:30 mark.  In that run they got a triple from junior guard Rylee Leeper to go up 5-4 then a fielder and free throw from Alexis Gibbons and a lay-up by freshman guard Matty Noe prompting a Patriot timeout that fired up the home team and their fans.

The Arcanum girls basketball team played with fire and energy to build a 7 point lead in the 1st quarter. (Dale Barger photo)

The Arcanum girls basketball team played with fire and energy to build a 7 point lead in the 1st quarter. (Dale Barger photo)

Tri-Village responded out of the time out to break the five-minute 1st quarter scoring drought on a Kenna Wilcox bucket that was followed by two free throws from Bella Black to cut the margin to 10-8 at the 1:00 mark.

Arcanum struck back in the last minute getting two free throws from Anderson and a triple by  senior guard Ashlynn Miller at the buzzer for a 7-point lead 15-8 at the end of the 1st quarter.

Ashlynn Miller drains a triple from the corner giving Arcanum a 15-8 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. (Dale Barger photo)

“You have to give them (Arcanum) credit they came out with a lot of want to,” Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said.  We knew they were a diverse team that plays really hard, and they were excited about this game,” Gray added.

Arcanum coach Abby Moore was happy with the start by her team.

“You know, on the defensive end we got some deflections and scored the ball well to start.  We played with great energy and that adrenaline helped fuel us which allowed us to grab the momentum early,” stated Moore.

But in the second quarter the Trojans only got scoring from Alexis Gibbons who had 6 points in the period and 9 at the half.

Alexis Gibbons gave the Patriots defense trouble in the 1st half scoring 9 points for the Trojans. (Dale Barger photo)

The Patriots responded scoring 16 points to erase the 7-point deficit to go in front by 3, 24-21 at the break.

Arcanum defensively was doing a great job of taking away post entry passes into 6’3” sophomore Kynnedi Hager … but the Patriots didn’t settle for outside shots and instead looked to penetrate attacking the defense and was able to get 4 points on runners from Sydnee DeLong a drive for a layup from Tai Mize and Bella Black muscling inside to put the Patriots on top 19-17.  Black would have 8 at the half.

Sydnee DeLong help spark the Patriots comeback in the 2nd quarter with a couple of runners. (Dale Barger photo)

Alexis Gibbons responded with a triple and a free throw to put the Trojans back up 21-19 with 2:30 minutes left in the 1st half.

Tri-Village freshman guard Kenna Wilcox hit a trey from the corner giving TV a 22-21 lead and then a lay-up from Mize ended the half with the Patriots up 24-21.

Kenna Wilcox had a couple of big timely baskets to help spark the Patriots. (Dale Barger photo)

The third quarter performance by Kynnedi Hager and the Patriots defense would turn out to be the difference in the game.  After scoring just two points in the first half Tri-Village was determined to find a way to get the ball inside and it would result in 8 points from Hager in the paint and if she wasn’t scoring it she was kicking out to open shooters as Tri-Village scored 16 points in the frame.

On the defensive end the Patriots were able to slow down Alexis Gibbons on a concentrated effort from Sydney DeLong.  Gibbons scored on a free throw and the only other points generated in the 3rd quarter was a triple from Miller as the Patriots went up 40-27 heading into the final stanza.

Kynnedi Hager was a difference maker in the 3rd quarter as the Patriots took control. (Dale Barger photo)

Brad Gray felt the play of Kynnedi Hager in the 3rd quarter along with their defense was key to their game plan of trying to go up double digits by the 4th quarter.

“I thought in the first Kynnedi was frustrated especially in the first quarter and she allowed her frustration to show.  She wanted to show the officials that she had her hands up and they were riding her a little bit rather than just sit low and win the leverage battle and she did a much better job in the 2nd half,” Gray stated.

“We emphasized the importance of trying to get the lead to 10 in the third quarter and we were able to get it to 13 going into the fourth that was an important number for us if we could do that then Arcanum might start to press a little bit in terms shots and turnovers,” Gray added.

Senior Kiersten Wilcox score a layup off an assist from her sister freshman guard Kenna Wilcox. (Dale Barger photo)

Arcanum coach Abby Moore felt like her team was right there and if a few things could have gone the other way it might have been a tighter game heading into the 4th.

“We talked about it in a timeout that they’re going to make a run, we got to be able to combat that. And unfortunately, when they did make the run, I felt like our big plays were kind of taken away from us.  They had a couple of put backs that didn’t allow us to make up ground.  We’ve got to learn though, when we get stops we have to get those rebounds, because their offensive boards in the second half was the difference maker,” Moore explained.

Brooklyn Anderson makes a hustle play to save the ball from going out of bounds. (Dale Barger photo)

Tri-Village out-rebounded the Trojans 32-10 with Kynnedi Hager pulling down 14 rebounds with a number of them on the offensive end for points.  Hager would end the game with 12 points, 10 in the second half.

In the 4th quarter Tri-Village showed patience and played a bit of keep away trying to use the clock to their advantage.

Arcanum wasn’t able to generate enough shots or offense to come back as the Patriots closed out the contest 46-32 for the league win.

Sophomore guard Tai Mize scored 8 points in win over Arcanum. (Dale Barger photo)

Tri-Village improves to 10-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference and will play at Ansonia on Saturday.

Arcanum falls to 8-3, 4-1 in WOAC and it doesn’t get easier as they make their way through difficult part of their schedule.  They will play at 8-4, 5-1 Mississinawa Valley on Saturday.

TV:       Hager 12, Black 9, Mize 8, Kenna Wilcox 7, DeLong 6, Kiersten Wilcox 4
ARC:    Gibbons 11, Miller 6, Noe 6, Anderson 4, Leeper 3, Long 2.

The Arcanum Student section was fired up and feeding energy to the girls team in game with Tri-Village. (Dale Barger photo)