NEW MADISON – It was senior night at Tri-Village as the Patriots recognized two four-year starters, Teha Richards and Shaye Thomas, along with Elizabeth Collins and manager Myrna Van Vliet.
The Patriots got off to a slow start and tied the game 4-4 at the three-minute mark on a Shaye Thomas fielder then grabbed the lead on a Teha Richards free throw.
The Patriots held the Jets scoreless the rest of the period while going on a 12-point run to go up 17-4. Teha Richards led the way with seven points and Ecko Brown added five.
The Jets got a triple from Michelle Heckman to start the second quarter. Allison Snider scored four points, and Claire Neiswander added a basket to cut into the Tri-Village lead 20-13.
Seniors Shaye Thomas and Teha Richards closed the scoring for T-V the remainder of the quarter and took a 24-15-halftime lead.
Franklin Monroe turned in a strong defensive effort, holding Tri-Village to just two points in seven minutes of the third quarter. Two back-to-back baskets by Claire Neiswander got FM to 26-20 at the 1:25 mark.
Tri-Village coach Brad Gray sat Teha Richards, Shaye Thomas and Krystal Falknor for nearly four minutes to try and motivate them, and it appeared to work as the trio each scored in the final minute to help the Pats go back up 33-20 to end the third quarter.
The Jets appeared to run out of steam, giving up 19 points in the final stanza. They didn’t hand it to Tri-Village, scoring 17 points as well … but they just couldn’t quite get over the hump.
The Patriots went on to record a 52-37-league win.
“I was really proud of the defensive effort put forth by this team tonight,” Franklin Monroe coach Gavin Spitler said. “Just a few months ago we gave up 76 points to Tri-Village; that’s a 24-point improvement for this team.
“I thought one of the big keys to the game was second- and third-chance points, and we gave Tri-Village too many of them; they really hurt us on the offensive glass, especially in the first half,” Spitler said.
“We made them shoot jump shots and got back on defense, stopping them from getting easy baskets. I don’t know maybe we just ran out of gas there at the end … but for three quarters our defense was really good,” concluded Spitler.
Coach Brad Gray was a little more perplexed after the game, left scratching his head as to why his team isn’t playing with much energy or passion.
“I’m not sure what’s going on,” Gray said. “If I knew we would fix it, but this team has been inconsistent with their effort and not just this game but over the last three or four games.
“We aren’t taking good shots and struggling to make them; it goes hand in hand,” Gray added. “I guess the positive to all this, we are finding ways to win games … but if we don’t fix it soon it’s going to cost us down the line.
“We have a big game on Saturday with Brookville coming to town, so I hope we can get them motivated and ready for the challenge they will bring,” concluded Gray.
Seniors Teha Richards and Shaye Thomas led the Patriots in scoring; Richards had 18 points and Thomas had 11. Ecko Brown also chipped in 10 points as well.
Claire Neiswander was the only double-digit scorer for the Jets with 10 points.
T-V upped its record to 17-1 overall and 10-1 in the Cross County Conference while FM falls to 9-9 overall and 6-3 in the conference.