Lady Patriots host shootout as part of busy summer

By Kyle Shaner kshaner@civitasmedia.com

June 22, 2014

NEW MADISON — The Lady Patriots’ busy summer continued this weekend as the Tri-Village girls basketball team hosted the Tri-Village Varsity Girls Basketball Shootout.

Tri-Village had two teams compete in its own shootout with the pair of squads combining to play 15 games in the two-day event. The varsity squad alone played nine games with five on Friday and four on Saturday.

In a three-week span, the Lady Patriots played more than two dozen games, Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said.

“We’ve played a lot of basketball, and I think right now like what I saw today just looked like a lot of fatigue,” he said.

Some fatigue aside, Gray has been very pleased with his team’s progress during the summer. The team has 10 girls seeing varsity action as they prepare for the upcoming season.

“I think overall in the summer we’re very pleased with what we’re seeing,” Gray said. “Obviously we still need to make a lot of growth between now and November.”

Tri-Village will have to replace three graduated seniors from last year’s squad in Lexie Bruner, Krystal Falknor and Heather Ferris — players who were key to the Patriots’ recent success including a trip to the state final four in 2012.

“I think we’re pretty confident on who are starting five is but finding out who six, seven, eight, who those players are going to be, that’s a battle right now between a few kids,” Gray said. “They’re all showing good signs to us. They’re all showing ways that they can help us. As long as they continue to do that and compete with each other, it’s going to help our basketball team be better.”

While there’s still things that need to be settled such as the top bench players, the Patriots have shown signs of being a strong team.

“I think we’re seeing some things that we like,” Gray said. “I think we’ve definitely shown that we can be a versatile basketball team and can score in a lot of different ways. But I think we’re inconsistent right now. With it being summer, that’s not to be unexpected, I guess.”

The two-day shootout — which included teams from Bethel, Greeneview, Miami East, Miami Valley, Monroe Central, Newton, Northeastern, Richmond, Russia, Tippecanoe and Union City — provided a nice mix of opponents for Tri-Village, Gray said, including familiar foes and teams the Patriots don’t play during the regular season.

“I think for our kids, what we try to do every summer is go out and find the best competition that we can find, and I think we’ve got some really good teams here at this shootout,” Gray said.