COVINGTON – The Tri-Village Lady Patriots rolled out its 2023-2024 girls basketball program in scrimmage action on the Covington Lady BUCCS home court sporting a new look from the 2022-2023 perfect 30-0 state championship team.
“Tonight we really competed hard against a Covington team that is going to be really good,” said veteran Tri-Village coach, Brad Gray. “They’re going to win a lot of games. They have a lot of experience back so what they had, a ton of experience is something that we don’t have. For our kids to be able to come out and compete with that I thought it showed potential for the Lady Patriots is still there.”
Gone 2022-2023 Lady Patriots is Rylee Sagester, the state’s all-time 3-point leader and 21.0 point average per game, Morgan Hunt’s 13.7 points per game, and Torie Richards’ 12.7 points due to graduation.
Tri-Village started the night a little slow before picking up the pace as the night rolled on.
“We’re young but I like the progress that we are seeing,” Gray stated. “You can go all the way back to the summer, we’re taking some steps in the right direction with this young group.”
The Lady Patriots struggled early in one of the middle quarters of the night before getting back on track to close out the 10-minute period.
“That’s what we tried to talk about during one of the breaks,” said Coach Gray. “We have to limit where they got up 9-3 on us in one of the quarters and we made a run to get back into it but we can’t allow teams to have 9-3 runs, we have to figure out ways to stop those runs.”
“A 7-3 run is about the max that you can give up if you want to have success,” Gray continued. “Our kids were just playing instead of thinking about they are on a little bit of a run right here, we have to have a really good offensive possession making sure we are getting the right shot for the right person. Young teams don’t really understand that yet – we are going to get there.”
A seasoned Lady BUCCS team returns seven lettermen from a 14-11 winning 2022-2023 season while competing in the Three Rivers Conference.
Closing out the night in the final period of play the Lady Patriots were facing a four-point deficit with two minutes to play. The team showed poise and determination in answering with six unanswered points to close out the night and take the bus ride home on a winning note.
“I really like our group and I thought tonight was a really positive step for us,” Coach Gray concluded. “Hopefully we can keep getting better before the regular season starts.”