ST. HENRY – After being tied 26-26 at halftime, the Tri-Village girls basketball team outplayed St. Henry in the second half Saturday afternoon to win 53-44 on the Redskins’ home court.
Tri-Village didn’t play its best game, coach Brad Gray said, but the Lady Patriots did a good job of persevering against a tough St. Henry squad.
“I was pleased,” he said. “I thought we withstood some flurries that they kind of threw at us there, especially in the first half. I thought we left some points out on the board, but we withstood that and were able to put them away in the second half. St. Henry is a good basketball team, plays a strong schedule, definitely a good test for us, but I was glad our kids were able to persevere when they didn’t play their best, especially in the first half.”
Tri-Village never trailed by more than two points in the game, which happened twice early in the first quarter with 2-0 and 4-2 leads for St. Henry.
The Lady Patriots were able to build a 15-10 lead in the first quarter, thanks in large part to Lexie Bruner, who scored all 11 of her points on the day in the opening period. The Patriots also got baskets from Shaye Thomas and Teha Richards in the first quarter.
A basket from Heather Ferris gave Tri-Village a 17-10 lead early in the second quarter, but then St. Henry mounted a comeback. The Redskins scored 11 of the next 14 points, with only a 3-pointer by Krystal Falknor breaking up the St. Henry scoring, to regain the lead at 21-20 with 4:22 left in the first half.
Tri-Village regrouped during a timeout called by Gray and regained the lead with another 3-pointer by Falknor. Although St. Henry was able to tie the game five more times, including three times in the second quarter, Tri-Village didn’t relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
Coming out of halftime tied 26-26, Tri-Village outscored St. Henry 12-9 in the third quarter to take a three-point lead. The last tie of the game was at 33-33 in the third quarter, but a 3-pointer from Raya Mikesell and a basket by Thomas helped the Patriots build a 38-35 lead.
“I just thought we found a way to persevere,” Gray said. “I thought our kids really stepped it up in the second half. We went back to our man-to-man, which is typically our bread-and-butter defense. We didn’t play that at all in the first half, and I thought making that move back, going man to man against them, allowed our defense to be a little more successful than the defense we were playing in the first half.”
Tri-Village clung to its small lead in the fourth quarter and held a 46-42 advantage when St. Henry called a timeout with 2:37 left in the game.
Following the timeout, St. Henry increased its defensive pressure in an attempt to force a turnover, but Tri-Village was able to keep control. The Redskins ended up having to foul the Patriots down the stretch, but Tri-Village calmly sank its free throws – two from Ecko Brown and five from Thomas to close out the 53-44 win.
“It was huge,” Gray said of Tri-Village’s fourth-quarter free throw shooting. “Early on we weren’t making our free throws, but I think we finished the game 16 of 22, and a majority of those came in the fourth quarter. Our players, over the last four years we’ve been in a lot of games down the stretch where we had to hit free throws, and our kids typically step up and make them. So as a coach standing there on the sidelines, I felt confident when we were going to the line. I felt like our kids were going to make them because they’ve been there and done that.”
Thomas led the way with 16 points for Tri-Village, who improved to 15-1 with the victory. Also for the Lady Patriots, Falknor scored 14 points, Bruner scored 11, Ferris scored four, Mikesell scored three, Richards scored three, and Brown added two.
Tri-Village returns to action Monday when it plays host to Dixie. It will be a varsity-only match up that will begin at 6 p.m.
story created on Saturday 1/26/2013 at 4:14:58 pm by Kyle Shaner