Mississinawa advances to district title game with win over Lady Patriots

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Taylee Woodbury brings the ball up-court to score two of her game high 18 points in Lady Hawks win over Tri-Village. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

VERSAILLES – The Mississinawa Lady Blackhawks advanced to the OHSAA DIV District Championship game with an impressive 52-32 tournament win over the Tri-Village Lady Patriots.

“First thing we have to thank God for keeping us all healthy and letting us be able to play this game,” said Mississinawa Valley coach, Michael Paige. “We played well, we knew they would play well, we just had to play hard and stay focused on what we practiced.”

“We couldn’t make shots,” said Tri-Village coach, Brad Gray. “Give them credit, they played outstanding tonight. It is what it is. They took us to the woodshed – tough one to swallow but some nights the ball doesn’t fall and tonight it sure didn’t fall for us.”

Lady Hawks Mackenzea Townsend (L) and Lady Patriots Kynnedi Hager battle for a rebound in tournament game. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Tri-Village took the opening quarter 10-8 with Lady Patriots freshman Kenna Wilcox leading the way with five points including a 3-pointer.

Mississinawa Valley used a 9-2 scoring run to lead 17-12 with 2:57 showing on the second quarter clock before Tri-Village battled back with a 5-0 run to knot the score at 17-17. Lady Hawks senior, Mackenzea Townsend hit a free throw to close out first-half scoring giving Mississinawa a slim 18-17 halftime lead.

“Emotions were high in the first half,” Paige said. “Defensively I liked where we were, we held them to 17.  Obviously, we only had 18 but we were focused on defense all week.”

“We knew our shots would start falling eventually but that first half was just about establishing defense and seeing what we could get going after that,” Paige added.

Syenna Purding puts up a shot for the Lady Hawks in tournament win over Tri-Village. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Ojeda Ingrid, Taylee Woodbury, and Syenna Purdin each drained Lady Hawks triples in the second.

The Lady Blackhawks opened with a 6-0 third-quarter run for a 24-17 lead and would not look back taking period No. 3 by a 17-5 score sending the game to the final period of action with Mississinawa Valley owning a double-digit 35-22 advantage.

“When they got that lead up to eight we couldn’t answer the bell,” Gray noted. “Kynnedi getting that third foul early in the third quarter helped them out and they started to pull away a little bit. We went back to Kynnedi because I thought we needed to and she picked up that fourth foul right away and at that point, it became extremely challenging.”

Taylee Woodbury accounted for 12 Lady Hawks third-quarter points including two 3-pointers.

“Taylee’s a leader,” said Coach Paige. “We expect her to step up in big moments. Our team rallies around her – if she gets going our team gets going. She is a special player and she was able to get it going.”

MV’s Brenna Price scores for the Lady Hawks in OHSAA tournament win over Lady Patriots. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

A Brenna Price layup opened fourth-quarter play upping the Lady Hawks’ lead to 37-22 and a five-foot Brooklynn Seubert jumper turned into an old-fashioned three-point play giving Mississinawa Valley a 40-22 lead at 6:59.

A Syenna Purdin layup gave the Lady Hawks a 20-point 47-27 lead and a Brenna Price layup with 2:39 remaining in the game gave Mississinawa Valley a 23 point 50-27 advantage on the team’s way to a 52-32 tournament win.

“Sienna was able to drive and get some and ones and Breanna and Brooklyn did too,” Paige said. “They all stepped up tonight and played well. They played together. They wanted this game and we got it.”

Brooklynn Seubert scores for Mississinawa Valley in Lady Hawks tournament win over Tri-Village. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

The Lady Hawks went 7-8 at the third-quarter free throw line and 7-11 at the fourth-quarter line.

Foul trouble kept Tri-Village’s 6’3” Kynnedi Hager on the bench for a large part of the night.

“Kynnedi Hager was in foul trouble and that definitely helped us rebounding-wise,” Paige noted. “Outside of Kynnedi we’re a bigger team than them. When she got in foul trouble we were able to establish the boards.”

Two Tri-Village seniors played their final game for the Lady Patriots basketball program: No. 23 Kiersten Wilcox and No. 24 Bella Black.

Belle Black puts up a shot for Tri-Village in tournament play with Mississinawa Valley. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“They get to walk out of here accomplishing something very few kids do with the state championship last year,” said Gray. “What they brought to the program this year leading a very young inexperienced team. I don’t think going into the year very many people outside our locker room thought we would get to 20 wins and another league title and they were able to accomplish that. The two were a huge part of making our kids believe that. I’m proud of them.”

Taylee Woodbury led Mississinawa Valley and all scorers with a game-high 18 points including three 3-pointers and 7-8 at the charity stripe.

A large Mississinawa Valley student section was noticeable cheering on the Lady Hawks student body and fans.

“We wanted everybody to show up and they did,” Coach Paige stated. “Our student section helped us get this win tonight.”

The Lady Hawks advance to face Xenia Legacy Christian in the District championship game, Saturday, March 2 at Troy High School with a 2:30 p.m. start time. Mississinawa Valley’s last district appearance came in 2011, a game the Lady Hawks lost.

BOXSCORE:

MISSISSINAWA VALLEY – T. Woodbury 18, B. Seubert 9, M. Townsend 8, S. Purdin 7, B. Price 6, I. Ojeda 4 – TOTALS 11 15-23 5 52

TRI-VILLAGE – K. Wilcox 10, A. Hines 6, K. Hager 6, T. Mize 5, S. DeLong 3, B. Black 2 – TOTALS 5 7-10 5 32

3-POINTERS

Mississinawa Valley 5 (T. Woodbury 3, I. Ojeda 1, S. Purdin 1)

Tri-Village 5 (A. Hines 2, K. Wilcox 2 S. DeLong 1)

SCORE by QUARTERS

08-10-17-17 52 Mississinawa Valley

10-07-05-10 32 Tri-Village