Tri-Village Lady Patriots down Bethel in season opener

It will be a fun year and hopefully, our fans and our community will enjoy the product they see on the floor ... Coach Brad Gray

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Kennedi Hager scores in the paint to lead Tri-Village in scoring in Lady Patriots season opening win over Bethel. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

TIPP CITY – The young Tri-Village Lady Patriots opened the 2023-2024 varsity regular season campaign with a convincing 55-11 non-conference win over the Bethel Lady Bees to extend its winning streak to 31 consecutive games following a perfect 30-0 State Championship 2022-2023 season.

Tri-Village senior, Bella Black gets fouled driving to the hoop for the Lady Patriots in big win over the Bethel Lady Bees. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“It’s always good to come out in the first game and be able to get some jitters out,” said Tri-Village coach, Brad Gray. “This is the first time in a while that I have had a team that is this young. Look at what we put out out the floor – we had five sophomores and two freshmen out there playing with two seniors and even those two seniors.”

Tia Mize (sophomore) brings ball up-court in Tri-Village season-opening win over Bethel. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

The Lady Patriots bolted out to a 16-0 lead at 3:14 in the first and would take a 22-2 advantage after one period of play led by 8 Kynnedi Hager points including 2-2 at the line, Bella Black’s 7 points including a triple and 4-4 at the charity stripe, a Sydnee DeLong 3-pointer and a Tai Mize basket.

Sydnee DeLong (sophomore) drains a Tri-Village 3-pointer in Lady Patriots 31st consecutive win. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Tri-Village upped its lead to 33-2 with 4:31 in the second quarter before backing down to close out first-half play with a commanding 43-6 lead. Eight Lady Patriots got in the second quarter scoring column including a 3-pointer each from DeLong, Mize, and Kenna Wilcox.

“It was a good game for our kids,” Coach Gray stated. “They hopefully are starting to feel a little settled in. We challenged them with our scrimmage season, played some pretty good teams and they looked pretty ready to go now. Overall I think there were a lot more positives tonight than negatives.”

Kenna Wilcox (freshman) launches a shot for Tri-Village in win over Bethel. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

With a second-half running clock in play, Tri-Village kept the game respectable scoring 10 third-quarter points and just 2 fourth-quarter points to go 1-0 on the new season with a 55-11 win.

Reagyn Hager (freshman) puts up a shot for Tri-Village in the Lady Patriots win over Bethel Lady Bees. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“With more games under these kid’s belts, I think this is a team that is going to get better as the season goes on,” said Gray. “We’re nowhere near reaching our potential but the effort is there, the attitude’s been there so with those two things there, being consistent the product on the floor we will continue be a little bit better.”

“Our depth is pretty solid which is comforting because you don’t worry as much about kids picking up fouls” he added. “It allows you to be more aggressive and that is something I’ve really not had the luxury of a whole lot in my career going as deep as we are right now.”

Tri-Village 6’3″ sophomore Kennedi Hager drains a trey from the top of the key to give the Lady Patriots a 53-6 first half lead over Bethel. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Hager led Tri-Village and all players with a game-high 18 points with 8 Lady Patriots denting the scoreboard. Black led the Lady Patriots in rebounding with 8 followed by K. Hager with 7 boards. Eight Lady Patriots accounted for steals; two each by K. Hager, DeLong, Mize, Kenna Wilcox, Heidi Bell and Reagyn Hager. Black and Kiersten Wilcox both had a steal. DeLong paced Tri-Village with 6 assists while K. Hager was leading the team with 4 blocked shots.

“We are road warriors this year,” Coach Gray said of the new season schedule. “We have 14 of our 22 games away from our friendly confines of the PAC so we’re going to find out what this young team is made of.”

“It will be a fun year and hopefully, our fans and our community will enjoy the product they see on the floor,” Gray concluded.

BOXSCORE:

TRI-VILLAGE, BETHEL 11

TRI-VILLAGE – K. Hager 18, B. Black 12, Kiersten Wilcox 8, S. Delong 6, T. Mize 5, Kenna Wilcox 3, H. Bell 2, R. Hager 1 – TOTALS 13 11-15 6 55

BETHEL – M. Halfhill 6, I. Halleg 5 – TOTALS 1 3-4 2 11

3-POINTERS

Tri-Village 6 (S. Delong 2, T. Mize 1, Kenna Wilcox 1, B. Black 1, K. Hager 1)

Bethel 2 (M. Halfhill 2)

SCORE by QUARTERS

22-21-10-02 55 Tri-Village

02-04-03-02 11 Bethel