Tri-Village boys basketball beats Marion Local in MLK Classic 52-40

Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester addresses his team who played in the MLK Classic at Fort Loramie. They beat Marion Local 52-40.

FORT LORAMIE – Tri-Village took on Marion Local at the MLK Classic hosted by Fort Loramie in what has become a very competitive tournament showcasing some of the best boy’s small school basketball in Ohio.

Tri-Village was making their first appearance in the event taking on Marion Local in a showdown featuring Flyer Twin Towers verses the guard play of the Patriots.

The Patriots were undersized in their game with Marion Local but they used their athletic ability, quickness and shooting to overcome the size difference.

The size difference between the two teams was evident from tip off with 6-9 senior center Jack Knapke towering over 6-1 Tanner Printz and winning the jump ball to start the game.

The Flyers opened up with a 6-2 lead to start the contest before the Patriots responded on a lay-up from Reed Wehr and a bucket from freshman Dom Black at the 1:18 mark of a low scoring first quarter.

Both teams struggled to get good shots and when they did get them they weren’t falling.  The highlight of the first quarter was a block from 5’7” Wehr on 6-9 Knapke that brought a few oohs and awes from the crowd.

Tri-Village took the lead on a triple from Braden Keating to end the 1st quarter up 9-7.

Keating added 5 points in the second quarter along with 4 each from Tanner Printz and Trey Sagester improving their lead to 22-17 at the break.

The Patriots were doing a good job of being physical with Knapke inside not allowing him to get comfortable holding him to just 3 free throws in the first half.  6-8 junior teammate Austin Niekamp playing more on the perimeter would get in the scoring column with a triple and fielder for 5 points in the 2nd quarter.

Tri-Village pushed their lead to quickly to start the 2nd half with Printz going to the rim for two and Keating hitting a triple from the corner for a 27-17 lead.

Tanner Printz goes hard to the rim for two.

The Flyers responded with Niekamp hitting a triple and Knapke a bucket inside.

Tri-Village made another run pushing their lead to 37-22 by the 2:24 mark.  During the run the Patriots got a couple of layups from guard Wehr and Finkbine cutting down the lane and finishing over Knapke.

But the Flyers twin towers who did all the scoring in the third quarter answered with Niekamp scoring 8 and Knapke 5 points to narrow the margin to 37-30 heading into the final stanza.

Knapke opened with an old-fashioned three-point play to start the 4th cutting the lead to 37-33 and a free throw later the Flyers within a possession at 37-34.

Back-to-back triples by Braden Keating and Trey Sagester was the answer Tri-Village needed to go back up 43-34 at 5:22.

Keating added a short jumper and then a rebound put back by Noah Finkbine for an and

Noah Finkbine exuded toughness and earned big and one in the 4th quarter to spark the Patriots.

one expanded the lead back out to double digits 48-36 with two minutes to play.

Tri-Village would make the 12-point lead stand by using their guard play and quickness to spread the floor to run clock where they closed out the game 52-40 for a good win against the MAC.

Braden Keating was named the MVP of the MLK Classic game with 4 triples and 20 points.  Trey Sagester added 15, Tanner Printz 6, Noah Finkbine 5, Reed Wehr 4 and Dom Black 2 points.

Senior guard Braden Keating scored 20 points and was the MLK Classic game MVP.

Marion Local got 13 points each from the twin towers.

Tri-Village shot 47% for the game and 7-for-10 from the free throw line.  The Flyers shot 30% and was 6-for-10 from the line.  Marion Local won the battle of the boards with 28 with the Patriots grabbing 21.  Both teams had 11 assists and 2 blocks each.  Tri-Village had 6 steals and 8 turnovers, while Marion Local had 14 turnovers and 4 steals.

Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester was pleased with his team’s defensive effort and grit knowing they were undersized and would have to play physical to contend.

“Our kids played hard today, they executed our game plan well and when you play twin towers it’s not easy, but our kids battled all night,” Sagester stated.

Sagester was pleased with the effort from Jayden Hollinger and contributions from Dom Black and Noah Finkbine battling 6-9 Knapke in the paint.

“They all did a great job in post defense, and everyone play to their roles well to help us win the game,” Sagester exclaimed.

Tri-Village improves to 12-1 overall and will look to improve on their 6-0 WOAC record when they host National Trail Friday.  On Saturday they will travel to Northeast Ohio to take on Smithville.

Trey Sagester scored 15 points including this one-handed runner in game with Marion Local.