Tri-Village ends Versailles’ six-year hold on Jet Holiday Tourney

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Tri-Village 47, Versailles 46
The Tri-Village Patriots did something Friday no other team has done
for six years – beat the Versailles Tigers in the Franklin-Monroe Jet
Holiday Tournament. In a thrilling game at FMHS, the Pats Ryan Buck drained two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining giving his team a 47-46 win. “We finally got a break,” commented Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester.


PITSBURG – The Tri-Village Patriots did something Friday no other team has done for six years – beat the Versailles Tigers in the Franklin-Monroe Jet Holiday Tournament.

In a thrilling game at FMHS, the Pats Ryan Buck drained two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining giving his team a 47-46 win.

“We finally got a break,” commented Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester.

That break started when the Tigers Jon Richard missed the front end of a one and one. It continued when a loose ball foul was called on Richard, the Tigers eleventh team foul, putting Buck on the line. The senior took it from there and Tri-Village pulled out the last second victory.

The two free throws capped a big night for Buck who finished with 18 points. He was aided by Tyler Greer who hit for 11 points. Versailles was led by Bryant Ahrens who had 13 points.

When the game opened Tri-Village was in a 2-3 zone and the Tigers ripped it apart. After falling behind 4-2 Versailles closed out the period with a 15-4 run, that included hitting three times from behind the arch. The first stanza ended with Versailles up 17-8 and in control of the game.

But during the break Sagester challenged his players and they responded.

“The difference in the game was our man-to-man defense,” noted Sagester. “I have worried about it all year. After they hit three three’s I told them we are going to have guard someone and they responded.”

The swing in momentum started when freshman Drew Moore hit a three pointer opening the second stanza, cutting the deficit to 17-11. After a defensive stop Moore hit another bucket and it was 17-14 Tigers. The quick spurt altered the entire scope of the game and put Versailles on its heels.

From that point the game remained tight as the Tigers’ offense disappeared and the Pats continued pushing forward. Using Buck and some dribble penetration Tri-Village outscored Versailles 13-5 in the second stanza, cutting the deficit to 22-21 Tigers at the half.

“It was tough for us to get around Buck with his big body,” Versailles coach Scott McEldowney said. “We knew they would come out with a match up zone, but I was bit surprised how their man-to-man defense bothered us.”

When the two teams returned for the second half, nothing had changed and the third stanza decided nothing.

Versailles started things with a 6-2 run behind buckets from Ian Nisonger, Richard and Bryant Ahrens, making it 28-23 Tigers. But the rest of the period belonged to Tri-Village.
Tyler Greer found success driving the lane, leading the Patriots on a 5-0 run closing out the third period. That spurt gave the Patriots a 35-30 advantage and seemingly control of the game.

When the final stanza opened the advantage hit seven points and things were going Tri-Village’s way. In a game that had seen numerous shifts it was no surprise that Versailles forced another one.

Using Ahrens’s quickness advantage in the post, Versailles attacked the basket and was able to wrestle the lead back when Clayton Nieport hit for two points, making it 41-39 Tigers. From that point on the two teams traded blows. With 1:18 left Richard put Versailles up 44-41, but the Pats’ Kendall Stutz tied the game with a three ball.

That started a wild stretch that saw Tri-Village pull out a dramatic victory. The first series of plays was a back door play that gave Versailles a 46-44 lead with forty seconds remaining.

Greer was sent to line with an opportunity to tie the game, but converted just one free throw. However, Buck ran down the rebound and the Pats were given another chance, but again failed.

The third opportunity was the Buck free throws which he converted, taking the lead and finally garnering the victory 47-46.

Said Sagester: “I think Versailles is a quality team. Scott does a great job with that team and they have a lot pride.”

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