NEW LEBANON – Tri-Village won the Dixie Boys Basketball Holiday Tournament with a 55-47 win over DII Eaton.
It was a game where Eaton matched up well with the Patriots a physical and athletic team with skilled guard play and able to defend well out front and Tri-Village was never able to really pull away as the Eagles would find a way to keep within striking distance most of the game.
Ironically the championship game would be between two teams who have met in a few Holiday Tournament championship games in the Patriot Holiday Classic.
Tri-Village reached the championship game by defeating one of the top teams in the Three Rivers Conference the Northridge Polar Bears by a score of 69-40. Northridge is a very quick, athletic team with size but was unable to slow down Tri-Village offensively.
In that game it was Tanner Printz who led the Patriots scoring 22 points. Sophomore Kasyn Hollinger had a career high 15 points, Trey Sagester 12 and Braden Keating 11.
Against Eaton it was Trey Sagester who led the Patriot offensively scoring 30 and coming up with big shots every time the Eagles cut the margin below double digits to keep them at bay.
“We keep talking about guys being elite in their role. And it’s a different guy each night, sometimes a couple of guys each night. Obviously, Trey carried us offensively tonight and last night it was Tanner Printz and that’s what makes really good teams is when you’ve got multiple guys who can do that,” Patriot coach Josh Sagester stated.
The Eagles would hang tough with TV in the first quarter trailing 17-13. It was Sagester scoring 12 points in the frame along with 4 points from Reed Wehr and free throw from Kasyn Hollinger.
The offense diminished in the 2nd quarter with both defenses locked in a playing very physical, so much so that senior guard Braden Keating would pick up his 3rd foul and sit most of the 2nd period.
The Patriots managed 9 points while holding the Eagles to just 3 for a halftime lead 26-16.
Tri-Village expanded their lead in the 3rd quarter to 31-16 after a fielder and triple from Sagester by the 5:45 mark.
But then the offense sputtered as the Eagles ran Sagester off the line and created some turnovers to offense to claw their way back into the game. Eaton scored 13 in the quarter and trailed 38-29 heading into the final frame.
Eaton would not fold and seemed to get stronger as the game went along. They scored 18 points in the 4th including two long range bombs from talented guard Rahm Ahmed who ended the game with 19 points.
However, the Patriots were able to make some key shots and aggressive taking the ball to the hoop drawing fouls to get to the free throw line including a few from senior Reed Wehr in crunch time.
The Patriots would win the game from the line and was 24-for-33 in the game and 12-for-17 in the final stanza to secure the 55-47 win over stubborn Eagles team to win the Dixie Holiday Classic and improve to 8-0 on the year.
“8-0, I’m excited about where we’re at heading into the new year. I’ll take it, we just got to keep getting better and I like the contributions we are getting from all our kids,” Sagester commented.
“Don Black is a freshman that came in and gave us good minutes, his decision making is growing right before our very eyes and has nothing to do with making and missing shots, it’s about effort, rebounding the basketball, taking charges, being in the right places, knowing what we’re looking for, you know, all those intangibles that we talk about as coaches,” praised Sagester.
“Obviously Braden Keating, has taken the best players night in night out on defense, tonight he kind of got his hand in the cookie jar with those 3 fouls. But what his value brings to us isn’t always about making shots, it’s about taking their best players and he is doing that well,” Sagester,” added.
“Tanner Printz really makes us go and had a great weekend for us. He’s gotten everybody’s really good player and handles the ball for 32 minutes out front, getting us into everything and finishing around the rim and making some free throws. So again, he’s a really good player,” Sagester beamed.
“I love our team and to win as many games as we want to win in the regular season it doesn’t always have to be pretty. you got to find a way to win gritty and get some help along the way with players off the bench stepping up.”
“Last night it was Kasyn Hollinger, tonight it was Dom Black.
Trey Sagester was named the Tournament MVP with 42 total points, Tanner Printz and Braden Keating were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Tri-Village goes to 8-0 on the year and will host Carlisle on January 2nd.