WOAC Wrestlers perform well at the State Meet
Brayden Doran of Preble Shawnee finished runner up in 157 lb. weight class at the 2023 State Wrestling meet. (Submitted Photo)
COLUMBUS – Preble Shawnee sent three wrestlers to the boy’s state meet and Tri-County North sent one to the girls state meet and all represented the WOAC and their respective schools well.
Brayden Doran the WOAC wrestler of the year shocked everyone advancing to the championship match at 157 lbs and although he didn’t win a state title his 2nd place finish at state was quite an accomplishment.
Doran is in complete control of his opponent in this match.
Doran defeated Tristan McKibben of Rootstown on a 6-3 decision then went on to beat Kasen Wellman of Ayersville 7-2 and then Ayden King of Barnesville 5-3 making it to the championship match facing a very tough Tristin Greene of Keystone.
Brayden Doran looks to take his opponent to the mat after shooting into his legs.
Greene was the heavy favorite coming in and would defeat Doran, but for Brayden finishing as State Runner-up in his senior season is a great way to go out.
Also wrestling for Preble Shawnee was Nolan Earles in the 120 lb weight class.
Nolan Earles looks to find a weakness to exploit.
Earles would suffer a pin on the first day and had to drop down to the consolation bracket. He defeated Evan Natale of Sandy Valley by a pin at 1:40. He would however come up short in his bid to advance falling in his next match Trent Sigler of W.S. Northwestern bowing out of the tournament. Just a sophomore the experience of wrestling at the state meet should come in handy heading into next season.
Earles just a sophomore gained valuable experience at the state meet.
Preble Shawnee junior Riley Stevenson wrestled in the 175 lb class and dropped his first match to Hayden Dickman of Archbold but he would fight his way back into contention for a placement.
Riley Stevenson works his opponent and tie him up.
He wrestled well in the consolation bracket defeating Nels Van Gundy of Elgin 4-0, then Bryce Wickline of Westfall 1-0 before running into Cannon Endicott of Elmwood dropping a tough match 2-0.
He then wrestled Austin Seller of Dayton Christian and for a 5-0 decision to place 7th at state giving the Arrows to state placements.
Stevenson placed 7th at the State Meet at 175 lb.
In all it was a great state showing for Preble Shawnee.
For the first time in OHSAA history girls wrestling took place at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus and Tri-County North Madison Jeffers would make the Panthers proud coming away with a 6th place finish at the state meet.
Tri-County North Madison Jeffers looks to try and pin her opponent.
Madison pinned Vanessa Rechterman of Xenia in 3:23 to start the tournament but then dropped her next match to Savannah Holderby of Reynoldsburg dropping down into the consolation bracket.
Madison Jeffers gets her arm raised for the win at state.
She won her next two matches beating Emma Bolyard of Hilliard Darby by pin at 2:09 and followed that up with another pin over Cailyn Demagall of Columbia at 3:35.
Jeffers would fall in her next two matches but still finished in 7th place and gained valuable experience for next year as well.
In the first ever OHSAA girls state wrestling tournament Madison Jeffers gets on the podium for a 6th place finish. (Submitted Photo)
Congratulations to these WOAC wrestlers on your success at the State Meet.
Preble Shawnee Boys Basketball Season Ends In Regional Final
The Preble Shawnee Boys Basketball Team fell to Harvest Prep and finish as Regional Runner-up. (Dale Barger Photo)
KETTERING – The Preble Shawnee Boys Basketball team arguably put together the best season in history despite falling 59-46 in the OHSAA DIII Southwest Regional Final game to Harvest Prep falling short of reaching the State Final Four.
But it wasn’t for a lack of effort as the team battled right up to the end making incredible hustle plays trying to extend the game to make a miraculous comeback and nothing exemplified this more than the effort late in the game when Mason Shrout battled for a rebound, then a loose ball, and then jumped out of bounds saving the ball all in the same possession to make a winning play. And he did that while limping and barely able to go.
Mason finished the game with 27 points and 13 rebounds … but he wasn’t ready to concede defeat despite trailing by 10 late in the game and rolling his ankle that made it almost impossible for him to run.
Mason Shrout scored 27 points and had 13 rebounds but the Arrows fell short in their quest to make the state final four. (Dale Barger Photo)
“You know, it's been close to 50 years since the last time we’ve been in a regional final. This community here, has got my back, they got our backs through everything. My coaches, family, mom and dad, the countless hours my teammates have put into this, I was just trying to do everything I could, sure I could have come out of the game when I rolled my ankle, but I had too much to play for and too many people to be thankful for, so I had to push through, I mean, there’s nothing better than playing for Arrow Nation, we’re a family,” Mason Shrout would say after the game.
The Arrows went toe to toe with the Warriors trading baskets early with Brandon Roddy of Prep and Logan Hawley getting on the board for each team.
Logan Hawley came on strong at the end of the year but was held to just 9 points in game with Harvest Prep. (Dale Barger Photo)
Mason Shrout would then step out and hit a step back 17-foot jump shot, showcasing the talent that his name has become associated with in Southwest Ohio basketball.
Harvest Prep Zyaun Hudson stole the ball for a breakaway layup at the midway mark followed by Roddy swiping the ball loose from the Arrows and going coast-to-coast for back-to-back scores.
Cooper Roell answered converting two free throws after being fouled on a reverse lay-up.
Senior Cooper Roell was hounded all night in game with Harvest Prep. (Dale Barger Photo)
Then a series of triples for both teams including Shrout on a pull up with under 3:00 ... only to see Alan Chiles respond quickly with a three ball of his own.
Shrout buries another three from the wing with just under 2:30 to play in the first frame, giving the Arrows a 13-10 advantage.
The Arrows failed to convert in the final minutes of the quarter on the offensive end and a fast break attempt with only seconds remaining by Chiles gave Harvest Prep a slim 14-13 lead to close the first frame.
Harvest Prep ramped up the defensive pressure in the 2nd quarter and converted buckets on the other end of the floor including a layup by Ephraim Campbell.
Attempting to hold things close, Preble Shawnee took a 30 second timeout at 6:14 in the quarter as Harvest Prep extended their lead to 18-13. However, the moment remained in favor of the Warriors as they came out of the timeout on a 5-0 run in the first 90 seconds.
Arrow Nation had a strong turnout to support their team. (Dale Barger Photo)
Shrout was not done, crafting his way to the basket and attacking the rim, he would be fouled and make both attempts at the charity stripe stopping the Warrior run.
Down 23-15, Harvest Prep’s Hutson hit a three pointer and Hawley answered with an old fashioned 3 the hard way, making the basket and connecting on the free throw.
Shrout who demonstrated his accurate shooting and crafty handles to this point, made his other contributions known as well by getting a steal of his own and a put back lay-up that kept the score within 6.
After another Arrow stop, Shrout found Isaac Blankenship underneath for a layup with just over a minute to play in the half.
Isaac Blankenship drops in a short corner shot. (Dale Barger Photo)
Ephraim Campbell made an elbow jumper to keep Harvest Prep ahead by 6, 30-24.
It was a game of fast spurts that if you blinked you’d miss it, as Shrout nailed a corner three to bring them back within three points, 30-27 heading into the break.
The beginning of the second half, if it were possible, seemed to start with an even quicker tone for Harvest Prep. However, neither they nor the Arrows could convert the opportunities on their respective end of the floor offensively. The score remained locked at 30-27 until Nyelle Shaheed scored in transition two and half minutes into the 2nd half.
Brayden Robinette has his shot challenged by Harvest Prep. (Dale Barger Photo)
Shrout being the competitor and winner he is battled hard everywhere he could, on a loose ball he became entangled with Harvest Prep’s Shaheed who got a bit chippy earning him a technical foul. Shrout made 1-of-2 free throws to get things going again for Preble Shawnee.
Minutes later a goal tending call gave Hawley 2 points drawing within a bucket 32-30 but that was as close as it would get.
A couple of possessions later Shrout knocked down a trey from the right corner only to see Prep answer in transition off the made basket, and again in the subsequent possession, both being three-point goals going up 40-33 to carry into the final stanza.
Reece Smith looks to make a dish backside going down the lane. (Dale Barger Photo)
Surprisingly Harvest Prep attempted a major slowdown in the final stanza now with the clock in their favor.
Harvest Prep worked another steal leading Roddy to an and-one layup in transition.
Shrout answered with a floater in the lane trailing by 8.
After a Brandon Roddy drive resulted in a charge foul, his fifth of the game, the coaching staff at Harvest Prep was issued a technical foul and it gave Shrout two more tries at the charity stripe, and this time he made the pair.
Dylan Campbell take one to the face but absorbed the foul to make the shot with no foul called. (Dale Barger Photo)
With over 6:00 to play the Arrows trailed 43-37. Moments later on a pretty pass via Shrout, Dylan Campbell scored two at the rim, bringing the margin to 6.
At this point in the game more possessions were needed as Harvest Prep worked the clock and then made their free throws count when fouled.
Shrout on a drive late in the fourth found Hawley for two to keep the score 53-46 at 1:49.
Despite the heroic effort by Shrout and his teammates late in the game time was growing short and opportunities dwindling and there wouldn’t be any late game heroics to save them as Harvest Prep walked away with a Regional Championship 59-46.
Senior Josh Miller was key for the Arrows in tournament time against Versailles.
(Dale Barger Photo)
“We talked about going hard for 32 minutes and giving it everything we had, and they did. I’m so proud of these guys for not giving up they battled till the end,” Preble Shawnee coach Jake Turner said after the game.
“We were right where we wanted to be after the first half, we shot the ball well … but they (Harvest Prep) sped us up and forced us to take some tough shots. We knew it could come down to live ball turnovers and when you give up 20 points off turnovers that’s difficult to overcome,” Turner added.
“It’s been a tremendous season for us one that hasn’t happened in a very long time and arguably the best team ever at Preble Shawnee,” Turner stated. “So, we’re going to enjoy ourselves on the last bus ride as a team. I said guys I know you’re upset and there is nothing wrong with that but go enjoy this man. We had a heck of a season. This is something our kids will never forget. I will never forget coaching this group as I have a lot of great memories with them.
“I'm upset, more so that this is the last time I get to coach you guys,” Turner said to his team.
It's the last time Jake Turner will get to coach seniors Cooper Roell, Josh Miller and Dylan Campbell. (Dale Barger Photo)
It always difficult especially for your seniors playing in their last game.
“I'm just proud of our three seniors they have just given us everything they had, those guys helped change the culture and are going to be great young men after they graduate. We're definitely going to miss those three guys,” Turner praised.
Preble Shawnee concluded their season with a 23-4 overall record – the best in school history. 11-0 in conference, WOAC League Champs, Sectional and District Champions and Regional Runner-up.
“I think it will take a little bit for some of the guys to realized what they accomplished. We’ve got a lot of young guys so I'm hoping it fuels their fire to come back even better … but be proud of yourself and this community, the school district, everything like that. Nothing to be upset about. We had an unbelievable season; it didn’t end the way we wanted but these guys worked every single day. I told them my two years here have been unbelievable. Guys buying in and working their tail off and giving us everything they have, every guy in that locker room is a part of this and deserved this great season,” Turner exclaimed.
Looking into next season the Arrows bring back key pieces to their long tournament run and expectations will be great … but it’s one Turner, Shrout and company will be ready to embrace.
“You know, we have a lot of experience coming back and that's always nice. But now we also got a bigger target on our back. So, we got to work harder this off season than we did last, nothing's going to be easy,” Turner concluded.
That hard work Turner eluded too started two years ago and it started with the seniors and embraced by the rest of the team with them leading the way.
“You know, we're going to miss our seniors, they are the foundation of this kingdom and the strength of our brotherhood over the past two years with coach Turner who has completely turned the program around, from not being in a district final for 34 years and going to the regional for the first time in 50 years. I’m just happy we brought basketball back to Arrow Nation and we're looking forward to next getting back in the gym to get ready for next year,” Mason Shrout said after the game.
Mason Shrout has been generous with his time with a generation of young ballers looking up to him, signing t-shirts, posing for pictures making way for the future of Preble Shawnee basketball. (Dale Barger Photo)
Shrout is doing his part to spur the imagination of lots of young kids in the community and took the time even in the loss to sign dozens of t-shirts they were wearing at the game.
“I love basketball, this community and Arrow Nation,” Shrout concluded.
And it’s apparent Arrow Nation loves Shrout, Turner and their basketball team … and why not it was a magical year, the best ever in Preble Shawnee history!
Preble Shawnee has plenty of reasons to stay excited as they will return the nucleus of their team and they are prepared to work hard and use the experience they gained in the Regional Semi-Final game for next season. (Dale Barger Photo)
The Dream Became Reality – The Lady Patriots are State Champions
Tri-Village finished the dream going 30-0 to become OHSAA DIV Girls Basketball State Champions. (Dale Barger Photo)
DAYTON - In a crowded conference room at the University of Dayton arena, three seniors Rylee Sagester, Morgan Hunt, Torie Richards and coach Brad Gray sat fielding questions for the Lady Patriots on their ability to overcome adversities and how they learned to compete and finally win a state title. A state title that holds meaning like no other…. the collection of feats and accomplishments achieved far exceed anything they could have truly imagined or even comprehend in the 45 minutes following their victory over Toledo Christian 52-50 in Saturday’s State Championship game going a perfect 30-0 for the season.
Lady Patriots & Brad Gray all smiles in the interview room. (Dale Barger Photo)
“It’s still sort of surreal,” commented Sagester. As the senior trio sat and reflected on their now completed post season accomplishment. “We did it ladies…” Hunt chimed in. Then the bubbly and chipper interview session suddenly became emotional as the girls began to comprehend the finality of their season, “it’s just bittersweet,” Richards said.
“Richards went on to explain the amount of emotion that comes from the realization that the three seniors, though completing their senior year to perfection, they would no longer have the honor to compete together again on the hardwood.
“I can’t believe it’s over, that we won’t ever be able to go out and compete together again the three of us,” said Richards fighting back tears. This was a team whose hunger and desire to win was built upon the relationship they had developed and driven by the triumvirate head of leadership in those three seniors. Their past adversities and failure to achieve the pinnacle of winning a state title prior to this season had been the fuel to their fire.
The same fire that carried them through a perfect regular season, 22-0, and a 7-0 tournament run going into the state championship contest.
It was a very slow offensive start for TV before Bella Black sank two free throws. Moments later, a theme that will become consistent throughout much of the first half, Rylee Sagester drives and draws a defender to find Morgan Hunt for an open layup with 5:00 left in first quarter.
Toledo Christian midway through the first quarter began to settle for open three-point attempts and finished just 1-11 from beyond the arch in the first half.
At the first media timeout the score was knotted at 4-4 with 3:36 remaining.
Kendall Braden scores on a runner in transition with a little less than minutes to play giving the Lady Eagles the lead 6-4. Kaylona Butler followed on a hard drive to the hole and finished at the rim extending the score to 8-4 Eagles.
Toledo Christian was working hard to contain Sagester who would go scoreless in the opening frame … but the Patriots got a triple from Torie Richards and a lay-up in transition from Morgan Hunt bringing the Patriots back. Sagester found Kynnedi Hager for a lay-up with 10 seconds left to pull the Patriots even after one quarter of play 11-11.
Freshman Kynnedi Hager came up big with 10 points in win over Toledo Christian. (Dale Barger Photo)
Mackenzie Royal-Davis isolates Hager at the top of the key early in the 2nd quarter and is able to score on the dribble drive. The following offensive possession the Patriots Hager responds with a score of her own inside.
The back and forth continued throughout most of the quarter with The Eagles holding a 19-17 lead at the media timeout.
Coming out of the break the Patriots Rylee Sagester scored in transition going nearly 12 minutes before getting into the scoring column.
Rylee continued attacking the rim, finding herself on a trip to the free throw line and making both and another possession later scoring at the rim again.
Under a minute to play in the half after a Sagester/Hager pick-and-roll, the Patriots used excellent ball movement, and a nice little bit of footwork which allowed Hager to score at the rim capping off a 9-0 run heading into the break with a 26-19 lead.
In the first half Tri-Village shot just 17 times making 10 while the Eagles had a whopping 32 shot attempts making just 9.
Kynnedi Hager would come up big with 8 points, Sagester had 7 including 6 assist, Hunt 6, Richards 3 and Black 2 in the first half.
The Eagles Rosales connected on a three and Royal-Davis hit a midrange jumper to start the 2nd half.
But Rylee Sagester would be the first to score in the half for the Patriots, matching Toledo Christian numbers with a triple and deuce of her own then at the 5:30 mark, Sagester dropped her 400th career trey putting the Patriots ahead 34-24 prompting a Toledo Christian timeout.
Rylee Sagester's triple here gave her 400 in her career, she ended with 401. (Dale Barger Photo)
Out of the timeout the Patriots got a stop and Torie Richards followed connected on another 3-pointer her 2nd of the night, extending the Patriots lead to 37-25.
Macey Wensink lifted the Lady Eagles back up, scoring her first 3-point field goal right at the Media timeout with the Patriots leading 37-28.
The Eagles Butler shows off what she does best again scoring on a jumper … but Sagester found Hunt sprinting in transition to make it 39-30.
Morgan Hunt was able to score multiple times in transition deflating the Eagles.
(Dale Barger Photo)
Royal-Davis answers by powering up one in the lane with just under a minute to play to bring it back to within 7 points … but Sagester countered with 19 seconds remaining in the quarter on a deep three, 12 points in the quarter, giving the Patriots a 42-35 advantage going into the final quarter of play.
In the final stanza, Hunt hits Hager going to the rim from the opposite elbow but was fouled and she converted both free throws.
On the ensuing possession Braden attacked hard and finished at the rim that was followed by a surprising long range shot from Royal-Davis from distance at 6:25 as the Eagles cut into the margin 44-40.
A turnover led to a lay-up and the Eagles closed the gap to 44-42 at the 6-minute mark.
Play slowed way down as both teams spent the next 3 minutes working hard to stay locked down on their respective matchups and the score remained frozen 44-42 going into the media timeout with 3:31 remaining in the ball game.
Out of the timeout a patient Patriot possession came home empty … but a missed Royal-Davis lay-up was rebounded by Hager that initiated a fast break find to Morgan Hunt scoring the goal and drawing a foul. She converted the and one attempt putting Tri-Village ahead 47-42 with 2:25 to play.
After stop by TV, Torie Richards would drain her 3rd trifecta from the corner extending the lead, 50-42 with 1:55 to play in the game.
Torie Richards sends up a triple as dad videos & Patriots fans pray in background.
Their prayers answered as she connected on her 3rd one at a big moment in the game. (Dale Barger Photo)
The Lady Eagles Wensink responded with a triple at top of the key drawing to 50-45 with 1:19 to play.
Rylee Sagester continued to add to her historic career marks in this game after going to the line for a one and bonus, Rylee scored career points 2000 and 2001, putting her team ahead 52-45 with 54.2 second remaining.
This free throw gave Rylee Sagester her 2000th career point. (Dale Barger Photo)
Royal-Davis powered home two after multiple offensive rebounds on three-point attempts sailed long into the hands of the Eagles making the score 52-47.
A timeout following the bucket gave Tri-Village 14.5 seconds to take care of the ball and their 5-point lead.
Morgan Hunt was be fouled with 8 seconds left to play and it was at this point as she went to the line for the one and bonus you could see the rest of the team at half court smiling as they realized they were about to close the deal on the first ever girls state championship.
“We knew at that moment we had it in hand even if she didn’t make a free throw. They were out of timeouts and if they make the shot we wouldn’t even have to throw the ball in,” said Sagester.
The Patriots realized they were going to be state champs. (Dale Barger Photo)
It would so happen they would miss the front end of the one and one and Braden quickly got to 30’ from the basket rose up and drained a harmless triple as time expired with the Patriots winning 52-50 to claim the OHSAA DIV State Championship and going a perfect 30-0 for the season and wire to wire number one in the state.
Morgan Hunts celebrating their final long awaited goal. (Dale Barger Photo)
After coach Gray reflected on the game and the state championship in the interview room.
“This feels great, it wasn’t easy, obviously, these three right here to my right, (Torie, Morgan, Rylee) were huge. I mean, not only throughout the course of the year, but today, all three of them really made big plays when we needed to. Keys to the game really seemed like, almost every time they scored, we answered right away, which was huge, you know, anytime you can go get a bucket, within a couple of seconds of when the other team gets one, it's kind of deflating for that other team. And we were able to do it multiple times today. And that's a credit to these kids trusting each other getting out and running. And knowing that was a big piece of what we were trying to do,” Gray said.
Coach Brad Gray finally gets to wave a state championship net after 17 years of coaching. (Dale Barger Photo)
“I'd say that we've had a lot of heartbreak in the last three years and those games just made us stronger and we knew that we had to do some different things to be able to overcome the challenges we faced, today was just a just an example of that, we can be up and then down by two and still come out with a win,” Gray added.
“I don't know if it has truly sunk in for any of us. But it's been a long, hard journey for this group. And really, for the Lady patriots as a whole, we've had a lot of heartbreak over the last 12 years, they'd be the first to tell you, we've had some other teams that could have been up here, and we'd let it slip through our fingers. That's been the focus of this group. You know, they're being humble. But they really led us to this, you know, and it took three years of, of heartbreak. But it built for this moment. The way they lead our freshman Kynnedi Hager and Sydnee DeLong … it was as good if not better than any senior group I've had. They really welcomed both freshmen with open arms because they knew we needed both of them to kind of have success. And that's a credit to them, because sometimes that's hard for seniors to do,” Gray praised.
For the seniors they finally got their Gold cementing their legacy forever at Tri-Village going a perfect 30-0 duplicating the feat of the 2015 boys and the only school to have a boys and girls team go a perfect 30-0 and win state titles.
The senior finally get to hoist the State Championship trophy. (Dale Barger Photo)
But it also closes the chapter on their prep careers.
“It's just really bittersweet we went undefeated but we're like done playing together. And it's just really emotional because even though it's like the ultimate goal, and what we've been planning, I mean, we're never going to play together again but it's like the best way to go out,” Torie Richards said.
The dream became a reality one that started years ago watching the 2012 girls’ team with Kayla Linkous, Teha Richards, Shaye Thomas, Krystal Falknor, Lexie Bruner, Raya Mikesell advance to the Final Four.
It took 11 years to get back and the Patriots had to go through all the same obstacles they did in 2012 beating historical powerhouses along the way.
First they defeated Marion Local out of the MAC in regional semi-finals who won a state title in 2003.
Then they defeated Fort Loramie for the regional championship who is the winningest girls’ basketball team in the state of Ohio with 950 wins and 3 state championships.
They followed that up by toppling basketball giant Berlin Hiland the 2nd winningest team in the state with 945 wins and 6 state championships.
And finally, the one for all the marbles a 2nd win over Toledo Christian in the same season to earn the State Title … perfection personified … a legacy forever.
Their run will fuel the dreams for the next generation of little girls wanting to be just like them!
“These three have meant a lot to our program and if I had any say they would be in the Hall-of-Fame tomorrow, but there is a 10-year waiting list,” Gray said.
Gray concluded with two words for his seniors, THANK YOU!
It was a dream season and a long time coming that we’ve been fortunate to witness and one that won’t be forgotten so soon, for the dream became reality!
The Dream became reality, Lady Patriots State Champions. (Dale Barger Photo)
Lady Patriots Advance to DIV State Championship Game!
Lady Patriots pose before their semi-final game. They defeated Hiland 51-34 to advance to State Championship game. (Dale Barger Photo)
DAYTON – #1 ranked Tri-Village is now the only undefeated girls’ team in the state of Ohio at 29-0 after toppling a basketball giant Berlin Hiland 51-34 in the OHSAA DIV state semi-final game to advance to the championship game on Saturday, 2pm at UD Arena.
The Patriots were led by Rylee Sagester with 22 points despite being face guarded the entire night.
“At this point we’ve seen so many boxes one, triangle two, face guarding, stuff like that, there's times where you just chuckle about it, you're up 30 points and teams are still trying to box just because they want to take Rylee away and we’ve got so many other really good players on this team,” Tri-Village coach Brad Gray said.
Rylee Sagester was able to keep the defense honest by being able to get downhill and to the rim. (Dale Barger Photo)
And those other players would contribute throughout the game.
Hiland scored the first bucket of the game before Rylee Sagester went down the lane for a lay-up to tie it. Bella Black’s short corner runner gave the PATS a 4-3 lead and they would never trail the rest of the game.
Back-to-back triples from Rylee Sagester and Torie Richards gave TV a 10-5 advantage and a bucket from Hunt and a put-back by Kynnedi Hager extended the lead to 14-8 … but the Hawks got a buzzer beater to draw it to 14-10 at the end of the quarter.
Bella Black had 7 points & 8 rebounds in win over Hiland. (Dale Barger Photo)
The Patriots got hot in the 2nd quarter with Sagester knocking down two more treys and a big triple from freshman Sydnee Delong putting TV up 27-17 prompting a Hiland timeout with about two minutes left in the half.
Morgan Hunt scored an and one and Rylee Sagester connected on her 4th triple in the half sending TV into the locker-room up 33-22.
Kynnedi Hager's presence in paint helped TV to big win over Berlin. (Dale Barger Photo)
Sagester was 4-5 from distance and 6-8 overall in the first half for 16 points. The Patriots shot 50% from three and 46% overall while holding the Hawks to 38% shooting.
Torie Richards had 2 triples & 8 points in win over Hiland. (Dale Barger Photo)
Torie Richards came out firing in the 3rd quarter with a triple and with Hiland pressuring Sagester out front she drove in for a lay-up to go up 38-24 … but Hiland responded with a couple long balls of their own, a few scores in the paint posting up Mallory Stutzman on Rylee worked to get offense going for them.
"Yeah, they posted her a little bit trying to go at Rylee and once they started doing that we had to start bringing some extra help. And our kids were able to kind of help off some and did a great job of getting in there and challenging her a little bit," Sagester said.
Hiland was able to make a bit of run closing the gap to 39-31 at the 2-minute mark. With the Hawks doing everything they could to slow down Sagester it was Bella Black, Torie Richards scoring and then Sidney DeLong on a lay-up to make the Hawks pay as the Patriots took a 45-32 lead heading into the final stanza.
Sydnee DeLong scored 5 including this lay-up to put TV up 45-32. (Dale Barger Photo)
“This team is just that … when Rylee is drawing all the focus we have players who can make plays and we showed it in that late 3rd quarter stretch,” Gray stated.
Not many points were scored in the final frame as Tri-Village used the clock by spreading the floor. They took care of the ball with just 6 total turnovers in the game and won the final quarter 6-2 and the game 51-34.
Morgan Hunt had her usual all-around game being the warrior for the team. She had 7 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks. (Dale Barger Photo)
TV as they have done so many times this year held Hiland 14 points under their scoring average with great team defense led by Torie Richards.
“I thought, obviously, what Torie did on Mullet was huge, she had nine at the half, but Torie just really worked her hard and to her credit she only scored two points in 2nd half ending up with a tough 11 points,” Gray praised.
“The Yoder girl stepped up for them and had 12 at the half and we held her to just 3 in the second half, so the job that we did on those two kids that were kind of carrying them offensively in the first half was outstanding,” Gray added.
Offensively the Patriots were led by Sagester with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting and 4-for-7 from beyond the arch. Torie Richards had 2 triples and 8 points, Morgan Hunt played her usual all-around game added 7 points, had 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Bella Black had 7 points and 8 rebounds, Sydnee DeLong 5 points and Kynnedi Hager 2 points and 7 rebounds.
Rylee's quick release allows her to get shots off that typically most can't as she was hounded all night. (Dale Barger Photo)
With the win the Patriots will get the chance to play for a state title on Saturday setting up a rematch with 23-4 Toledo Christian a team they beat 50-35 at the prestigious “Classic in the Country” on Berlin Hiland’s floor. Toledo Christian’s has 3 losses to Division 1 schools beside the loss to Tri-Village.
“That game was two months ago so we can’t come in overly confident just because we've already played them once and they're going to want to prove themselves and prove that the first time we played them that wasn't a real version of themselves,” Gray said.
“We almost need to erase that game from our memory, like it didn't even happen, we've got to be ready to go,” Gray added.
The dream for Rylee, Torie and Morgan is within reach as the three embraced with seconds left to play in the game knowing they were heading to the state championship game.
“When we hugged I just said to my teammates … since we’ve made it this far and we’re here we might as well win it all,” Rylee Sagester said after the game.
TV seniors embrace knowing they were moving onto the state championship game. (Dale Barger Photo)
The trio has been playing together since the 2nd grade and as they were winning games by big margins in junior high, coached by current boys coach Josh Sagester they began to realize they had something special and when they got into High School the dream of being able to make it to state was clear.
“This obviously has been our goal now for the last four years,” Torie Richards said. It’s also our last time to get it done here in our senior year,” she added.
The last time the Patriots made it to the state final four was in 2012 and they would lose the semi-final game to none other than Berlin Hiland. Torie’s sister Teha was a key player and a senior on that team so now Torie is carrying the torch for her sister as well.
“11 years ago, they beat us in the semi-finals and to beat them tonight to advance to the championship game was not only big for us but for our community as well,” Rylee Sagester stated.
“These kids were little, but they got to witness our state final four run in 2012 and no doubt it impacted them. I have watched them play together for years and we really believe in each other,” Coach Gray concluded.
Dreaming is believing with one more game before them to make it a reality.
The Patriots got full support from cheerleaders, student section and loyal fans. (Dale Barger Photo)
Preble Shawnee Boys Basketball advances to "Elite 8".
Preble Shawnee Mason Shrout went 6-for-6 in the 4th quarter from free throw line to seal win over Miami East. (Gaylen Blosser Photo)
KETTERING – The Preble Shawnee Arrows used its height and length to confirm size can make a difference in the game of basketball by defeating the Miami East Vikings 50-40 in regional OHSAA DIII tournament action to advance to the Elite Eight.
“Having the size advantage was huge,” said Preble Shawnee coach Jake Turner. “Getting to the rim, go give it to our bigs and just try to get as many points as we can in the paint. We did a great job of getting it to the paint for the most part.”
Logan Hawley goes strong to the basket for Arrows fielder. (Don Selanders Photo)
A tightly called game had Preble Shawnee’s margin of victory coming at the free throw line with the Arrows knocking down 25 of 32 (78.1 percent) tosses from the charity stripe including 14 of 16 at the fourth quarter line while Miami East was 11 of 17 (64.7 percent), only 2 of 2 at the fourth quarter stripe.
Miami East took the court with a starting lineup of 6’2”, 6’1”, 6’1” 6’0” and 5’9” while the Arrows hit the court at 6’8”, 6’5”, 6’2”, 6’1” and 5’9” with a noticeable inside game advantage.
Miami East’s 6’2” Wes Enis buried a corner 3-pointer to give the Viking an early 3-0 lead before Preble Shawnee would take the opening quarter 13-10 with Mason Shrout, Logan Hawley each adding four points to the board, Brayden Robinette and Isaac Blankenship both with 2-points and Cooper Roell a point. Wes Enis poured in 8 Vikings points draining two 3-pointers and 2 free throws.
Brayden Robinette gets two going to the basket. (Gaylen Blosser Photo)
Period No. 2 went to the Arrows by an 11-5 score with 6’8” junior Logan Hawley scoring 6-points in the paint, Roell 4-points and Robinette a free throw sending the teams to the break with the Arrows leading 24-15. Enis logged 4-points for Miami East in the second.
“I thought we had the size advantage obviously, a big size advantage,” Turned noted. “Our game plan was to feed him (Hawley). We did a good job of getting him the ball when he was open. He probably altered 10-15 shots at the rim.”
“If he doesn’t do that we don’t win,” he added. “He changed the game on both ends of the court. He has the ability to do that – he works his tail off.”
Miami East battled back taking the third quarter 11-7 with Devon Abshire coming off the bench to pace the Vikings with 4-points. The Arrows took a 5-point 31-26 lead to the final period of play.
“We have to knock down some shots,” Coach Turner said of the team’s only downside of the night as the team would finish 1-7 from beyond the arc. “We can’t throw it in the ocean right now it feels like.”
The Arrows are struggling from distance shooting but here Isaac Blankenship gets one to go in the lane. (Don Selanders Photo)
The Vikings continued to chip away at the Arrow lead to trail by a single point, 31-30 at 5:39 to open fourth quarter play. Shawnee took advantage of the team’s lone triple of the night with Shrout draining a trey to give the Preble County school a little breathing room.
With Shrout drawing fouls cutting and driving to the basket, the 6’5” junior sealed the Arrows win canning 6 of 6 fourth quarter free throws to go along with his 3-pointer to pace Shawnee with 9 fourth quarter points. Hawley added 5-points, Blankenship was 4-4 at the line and Roell added a free throw to round out fourth quarter Shawnee scoring.
“Mason (Shrout) took over down the stretch,” said Turner. “He struggled a little bit early. He can’t play great for 32 minutes every night. He struggled a little bit on offense – he didn’t let it affect him on defense. He got some big plays down the stretch.”
Hawley led Preble Shawnee and all scorers with a game high 18-points and Shrout 15-points. Enis paced Miami East with 15-points, 13 coming in the first half.
“What a night, unbelievable, he dominated both ends of the court, offensively unbelievable around the rim, made his free throws, altered so many shots,” Coach Turner said of Hawley.
“We were able to keep him at the rim and protect. He’s had some ups and downs this year – tonight was unbelievable,” Turner added.
Coach Turner gives instruction to his big man during the game. (Gaylen Blosser Photo)
Coach Turner closed out the night complementing the Preble Shawnee community and appreciation for their league; the Western Ohio Athletic Conference (WOAC).
“What a great student section, what a great crowd,” Turner stated. “The whole community was here tonight it felt like. It’s for these guys but it’s also for this community. It’s just a special night for Preble Shawnee – for the community.”
“This is great for our league to have two teams (Tri-Village and Preble Shawnee) play tonight,” said Coach Turner. “It’s unbelievable and it shows how much our league is improving. I think we’re just going to continue to improve year after year. This is a great night for the WOAC and for everybody.”
The last time the Preble Shawnee boys’ basketball program made it to the regional finals was the 1973-74 season.
PREBLE SHAWNEE 50, MIAMI EAST 40
PREBLE SHAWNEE – L. Hawley 18, M. Shrout 15, I. Blankenship 6, Co. Roell 6, B. Robinette 3, J. Miller 2 11 25-32 1 50
MIAMI EAST – W. Enis 15, J. Roeth 8, C. Apple 6, B. Haught 5, D. Abshire 4, M. Kemp 2 – TOTALS 7 11-17 5 40
Preble Shawnee 1 (M. Shrout)
Miami East 5 (W. Enis 2, C. Apple 2, J. Roeth 1)
SCORE by QUARTERS
13-11-07-19 50 Preble Shawnee
10-05-11-14 40 Miami East
Logan Hawley steady improvement over the course of the season has been big in key game late in the year. (Gaylen Blosser Photo)