KYLE SHANER/Advocate photo
Tri-Village’s Ecko Brown looks to pass the ball during a regional semifinal girls basketball game against Mechanicsburg Wednesday night at Tippecanoe High School.
TIPP CITY — After leading for most of the game Wednesday night, Tri-Village hit some big shots in the game’s final minutes to hold off Mechanicsburg and secure its fourth consecutive appearance in the regional finals.
The Tri-Village girls basketball team never trailed in the regional semifinal against Mechanicsburg, but the game went down to the wire with the Lady Patriots winning 47-44 at Tippecanoe High School. It’s the fourth straight time Tri-Village has advanced to the state’s final eight, and the Patriots now have a chance to play for second consecutive trip to the state final four in Columbus.
“Any time you win a game at this level, it feels great,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said. “I can’t say that any of them have felt better than this one. This group, I’m just so proud of this group because I don’t know that anybody really thought we’d be here. I think everybody kind of wrote us off after we graduated the stud (2012 Associated Press Division IV girls basketball player of the year Kayla Linkous) that we graduated last year. And to be right back here, I think these kids have been wanting to prove a lot to people, and I think tonight’s win finally does that.”
Tri-Village got on the scoreboard first as Krystal Falknor made a pair of free throws to put Tri-Village up 2-0. Falknor then added two more free throws, and Teha Richards drove to the basket for a field goal to put the Patriots up 6-0.