NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village Patriots are putting together a pretty good season. Friday night they hosted Covington and survived 46-40, improving to 5-2 on the season.
“We are now 5-2 and 4-1 in conference on the year and that means were are going to get everyone’s best shot,” noted Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester. “Any time you beat Covington that is big because they are the two time defending conference champions.”
In a game that saw very little offense, the Patriots got a huge night from center Ryan Buck. The big guy in the middle dropped in 22 points, accounting for nearly half of the Tri-Village points.
“Ryan was a horse tonight there was no doubt about it,” noted Sagester.
Twenty of Buck’s 22 points came from within 3 feet of the basket. The senior simply tossed aside any defense the Buccs pushed at him. Aiding the Patriots cause was Kendall Stutz who dropped in 10 points and Tyler Moore who added 9 points in the contest. Convington was paced by Kody Thiebeau’s 10 points.
The strategy for Covington was clear, slow it down, be patient on offense and attempt to frustrate Tri-Village. The plan worked in a lot of areas, except for the final score. Covington did slow things down and the Pats were frustrated at times.
“We were not very efficient on offense at times,” noted Sagester. “But Covington was patient and that was what they wanted was to slow things down.”
The game was dictated by defense, which both teams played extremely well, mixing in man-to-man with a number of different zone looks. The problem for Covington was regardless of the type of defense, they could not stop Buck.
The entire first half the teams traded the lead, going back and forth. Covington’s best offense output was the result of the three point shot. The Buccs drained three in the first period. As for Tri-Village their offense went through Buck who had 9 of the Pats 11 points in the period. When the first eight minutes ended Covington had a 13-11 lead.
In the second period Covington lost their touch from behind the arch, but made up for it with their defense. Tri-Village managed to take a 15-13 lead, but like the first stanza, neither team established much separation.
The teams traded buckets and the lead went back and forth. When the buzzer sounded on the first half the game was tied at 21-21.
Knowing they had to slow down Buck, who finished with 15 points in the first half, Covington came out in a zone defense. They were able to slow Buck down, but the Patriots got hot from the perimeter.
t started with Stutz who drained a three pointer opening the second half. That made it 24-21 Tri-Village and they never trailed again. After the two teams traded buckets, Stutz hit another three ball, pushing the advantage to 29-23 Patriots.
With the advantage creeping up Sagester and crew were starting to feel it.
“We wanted to hit a couple of shots and get it to double digits,” noted Sagester. With the deficiency of the offense, a ten point advantage would be huge.
They didn’t make it there by the end of the quarter, up 33-29, but the momentum had certainly shifted to Tri-Village.
The biggest shot of the night came from freshman Tyler Moore. The Patriots guard calmly sunk a three pointer to open the final stanza and it was 36-29 Tri-Village. Covington cut the deficit to six, but after that the Patriots took control of the contest.
With four minutes remaining the lead finally hit double digits at 40-30 and Tri-Village was on their way to victory. Although Covington made it interesting, the Pats garnered the victory.