BROOKVILLE – The Tri-Village Lady Patriots and the Bradford Lady Railroaders needed an overtime period to decide which Darke County team would advance to the DIV district championship game.
“Coach Besecker was one of the first to reach out to me when I first came to Tri-Village,” said Lady Patriots coach Brad Gray. “He is doing a great job with a young team at Bradford.”
“I have a lot of respect for Brad,” Bradford coach Chris Besecker said of Coach Gray. “He does a great job with that program. He’s the reason they are successful year in and year out playing in regional and even state tournaments and winning conferences.”
The teams played to a 49-49 score after regulation play but it was Tri-Village taking advantage of the free throw line to go 6-of-8 and pull out a 55-49 win.
The Lady Roaders grabbed an early 6-0 lead after two minutes of play before Tri-Village battled back to knot the score at 12-12 after one complete.
Lisa Siler paced Tri-Village with eight points including two 3-pointers while Austy Miller was good for a triple and 2-2 at the line to lead the Lady Roaders with five first quarter points.
The Lady Patriots’ Siler continued with the hot hand in period No. 2 scorching the nets for 18-points coming by way of two 3-pointers, five 2-point field goals and 2-2 at the line to lead Tri-Village at a 21-12 second quarter sending the teams to the break with TV holding a 33-24 lead.
Bradford chipped away at the Lady Patriots third quarter lead cutting it to six with scores of 36-30 at 6:48 and 39-33 at 5:32 before closing out the period with Tri-Village holding 44-38 six point advantage.
The Lady Railroaders took the fourth period 11-5 with Rylee Canan burying two big 3-pointers for six and five Austy Miller points good including a triple sending the teams to an overtime period.
“Our kids didn’t quit and that’s huge with this group,” said Besecker. “They keep fighting. We could have folded when we got down 10-points there in the first half but the kids just kept plugging away, scratching and clawing and made plays and got us back to where we got that game tied up.”
Meghan Downing and Andi Bietry each went 2-2 at the charity stripe and Emma Printz and Lissa Siler both were 1-2 at the line in OT while Bradford was going scoreless to advance Tri-Village in tournament play.
“It wasn’t that we didn’t play well – we played a good game,” said Gray. “It’s just that their girls played a really great game. They have a really young team and a great future. I have the most respect for Coach Besecker.”
Bianca Keener played her final high school basketball game for the Lady Railroaders.
“‘B’ (Keener) has been a workhorse for us this year and a big key to our success,” stated Besecker. “We’re going to miss her – there are some big shoes to fill. ‘B’ and all these kids are such a joy to coach. It’s fun going in the gym and that’s the sad part when you get knocked out of the tournament – you’re not going to be in the gym tomorrow with them, and you miss that as a coach.”
Lisa Siler led Tri-Village and a scorers with a game high 28-points.
TRI-VILLAGE 55, BRADFORD 49
TRI-VILLAGE – L. Siler 28, E. Printz 9, Maddie Downing 9, Meghan Downing 7, A. Bietry 2 – TOTALS 12 13-17 6 55
BRADFORD – A. Miller 19, R. Canan 16, C. Mead 5, E. Canan 3, A. Gade 2, A. Eike 2, B. Keener 2 – TOTALS 7 5-8 10
Tri-Village 6 (L. Siler 5, E. Printz 1)
Bradford 10 (A. Miller 4, R. Canan 4, E. Canan 1, C. Mead 1)
SCORE by QUARTERS:
12-21-11-05-06 55 Tri-Village
12-12-14-11-00 49 Bradford
PHOTO CAPTION: Lissa Siler drills a 3-pointer for three of her game high 28-points for Tri-Village in overtime tournament win over Bradford. (Gaylen Blosser photo)