Tri-Village boys move on in D3 tourney

We were a couple of shots away from blowing it wide open in the first quarter ... Coach Josh Sagester

Tri-Village Trey Sagester gets a shot off over a Waynesville defender. He scored 24 to help the Patriots advance to the District Final. (Dale Barger photo)

CLAYTON – The Tri-Village Patriots had to hold on to avert a big upset by Waynesville squeaking by 45-43.

The Patriots have started slowly in many games this year but surprisingly jumped out to a sizable lead 15-3 lead by the end of the 1st quarter and it appeared poised to cruise in this one.

Sophomore guard Trey Sagester hit back-to-back triples and had 11 points in the opening frame.

“We were a couple of shots away from blowing it wide open in the first quarter.  We didn’t finish around the rim, didn’t make some wide-open perimeter show we are accustomed to making … but thankfully we were really good on defense,” Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester said.

The Patriots added 10 points in the 2nd quarter but gave up 11 to Waynesville for halftime lead of 25-14 but still seemingly in control.  At the break Trey Sagester had 16 points for the Patriots.

Waynesville would become a bit more aggressive coming out of the half face guarding Sagester who wouldn’t make a field goal in the 2nd half and then point guard Tanner Printz would get into foul trouble eventually fouling out and sitting most of the half.

The points became limited in the 3rd quarter for the Patriots, scoring just 8, while the Spartans added 10 to their tally but TV still held a 33-24 lead heading into the final stanza.

The game would become very physical and at times comical with the amount of grabbing, holding along with a few takedowns as the Patriots scored 8 of their 10 points from the free throw line.

With the Patriots holding a 39-27 lead at the 5-minute mark Waynesville would get even more aggressive and turned the Patriots or beating them down the floor to crawl back into the game.

The Spartans leading scorer Nick Warren came into the contest averaging 16.5 points per game and he would score 11 of his 13 points in the 4th quarter.

“I think that was called desperation, their down 10-12 points and it’s how you got to play and to their credit, they did play physical, and we didn’t take care of the ball,” Sagester stated.

Waynesville connected on a triple and then a lay-up to close the mark to 39-32 … but the Patriots would get a lay-up from Noah Finkbine to go back up 41-32 at 3:55.

The Spartans surged again this time on a fielder and back-to-back triples tying the game.

Tri-Village needed a score and put the ball in Sagester’s hands, and the Spartans got too aggressive sending him to the free throw line.  He would make both of them, but Waynesville responded with a score of their own to tie it back up at 43 with 19 seconds to play.

The formula worked once so try it again and an overly aggressive defender knocking Sagester to the floor sent him to the line one more time with the same results as TV went back up 45-43.

The Spartans still had a chance to tie or go ahead with 6 seconds remaining … but the Patriots defense held strong with Noah Finkbine grabbing the rebound off a missed shot while falling to the ground and was called for traveling.

Waynesville had one more chance with .3 seconds to play needing to lob it into the middle for a tip, Finkbine was there to defend knocking it away and the Patriots survived the furious rally to move on.

“Anytime you hold a team to 43 points, you think you’re going to win, that’s a very good basketball team with good athleticism and we were playing with a lot of youth on the floor down the stretch due to foul trouble, but we found a way to win it,” Sagester commented.

Patriots Noah Finkbine gets 3 stooges scrape and poke in the eye from a Waynesville defender. At times the calls or non-calls in the game were as comical as the 3 stooges. (Dale Barger photo)

“I thought Noah Finkbine stepped up for us and Reed Wehr both got us some big buckets down the stretch. I thought Braden Keating’s defense on Warren was really good, he ended up getting 13 but 11 of those are in the fourth quarter.  Jayden Hollinger played really well on the glass for us, Kasyn Hollinger came in and gave us some good minutes while taking care of the basketball,” Sagester concluded.

Trey Sagester led the way with 24 points, Noah Finkbine had 9, Reed Wehr 4, Braden Keating 3, Jayden Hollinger 2, and Tanner Printz 1.

Tri-Village improves to 23-2 advances to the District Finals and will play at UD Arena on Tuesday March 5th at 5:30 pm.  They will take on 14-7 Summit Country Day.