NEW MADISON – Tri-Village held its senior night, recognizing five basketball players – Matthew Werner, Andrew Willcox, Kyle Pipenger, Kaleb Chowning and Shade Brubaker – along with two cheerleaders – Sara Bowman and Shelby Schepis.
The Tri-Village boys basketball team entered the game 18-0 and ranked No. 2 in state for Division IV.
It didn’t take long for the Patriots to flex their muscles on the offensive end of the floor as Matthew Werner and Kaleb Chowning both knocked down field goals inside and Kyle Pipenger dropped two treys to go up 10-3.
Moments later Shade Brubaker dropped a trey and with News Center 7’s Mike Hartsock looking on, he thought it might be time for an early exit and on to another game.
However, Brookville answered the bell by responding with three straight baskets including two treys to close the gap on the home team 13-11 with 4:05 in the opening quarter.
Tri-Village took the hit and came back swinging with a one-two punch counter from Pipenger and Tyler Cook. Cook scored two fielders inside, and Pipenger added three goals including a sweet fade away that helped the Patriots go up 23-13 and prompted Hartsock to say “see ya later” as he headed out the door with all the highlights he needed.
The Patriots ended the quarter up 23-15.
“Offensively we jumped on Brookville, and we were pretty good,” coach Josh Sagester said, “but defensively we just didn’t do the things we normally do, and Brookville took advantage.”
The defensive effort picked up in the second frame as the Patriots held the Blue Devils to just nine points. The Patriots built an 18-point lead by the half 42-24 behind the scoring of Pipenger and Cook as the duo combined for 30-of-42 first half points with Pipenger dropping 19 and Cook 11.
In the second half it was more Tyler Cook (10 points), Kyle Pipenger (six points) and a sprinkling of Shade Brubaker with seven points. Brookville was never able to make a real run at the home team, and the Patriots went on to a 73-45 non-conference win.
Kyle Pipenger led Tri-Village with 25 points, Tyler Cook added 21 points, and Shade Brubaker added 15 points in the win.
“We didn’t play our best defense,” coach Sagester said, “and it’s kind of hard to be overly critical on senior night with a 28-point win. Give credit to Brookville who played hard tonight.
“It’s always good to get a win on senior night and even better when they all can play,” Sagester said. “We started senior Kaleb Chowning; he is a kid that works hard, does everything we ask, doesn’t complain and fills his role well … and I couldn’t be happier for him or the rest of the seniors as they all contributed in the win.”
In junior varsity action the Patriots trailed 44-40 with five seconds to play and things looked bleak.
However, a mental lapse by a Brookville player, who all but tackled Tommy Bell racing up the court, was whistled for an intentional foul. Bell sank both free throws.
Due to the foul the Patriots also got possession of the ball and had enough time for Mason McCabe to catch and dribble to the top of the key.
McCabe let fly a high arching shot that swished through the bottom of the net to give the Patriots an unfathomable come from behind win 45-44 over Brookville.
McCabe raced to the other end the floor and was met by his team while the entire standing room only Patriot crowd were on their feet rocking the Battleground.
It was a great way to set the stage for a successful senior night.
With the win the junior varsity record stands at 16-3 overall.
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday, traveling to Sidney to play the Lehman Cavaliers.