Boys Basketball SW Game of the Week: Troy Christian Edges Tri-Village in O.T.

The Troy Christian Eagles hit 10 of 11 free throws in overtime to outlast Tri-Village 63-59 at the Patriot Activity Center in New Madison Friday Night. Junior guard Parker Penrod hit 5 of 5 during that stretch and led the Eagles with 18 points on the night.
"Parker is shooting 90+ percent from the free throw line on the season," explained coach Ray Zawadski. "Sometimes I do not even watch when he shoots, I just know they are going in. And Alex ( junior guard Alex Free) made a big one and one in that stretch after he he had missed one or two earlier. It was huge to see him respond and make those as well."

"To Troy Christian's credit, they came out and made shots," Patriots' coach Josh Sagester said. "They made 15 free throws and 12 threes, that kinda sums it up. They made the plays they needed to make."

The Eagles hit 5 of those dozen 3's during a stretch that helped build a 40-32 lead with 7:42 to play. Tri-Village went on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 40-39 at the 2:52 mark. From there, T.C. built the lead back to 46-41 before Patriot seniors Wilson Suggs and Justin Finkbine brought things back to 48-48 at the end of regulation. Finkbine had 5 of his 17 during that stretch, with Suggs hitting a tough 2 with just six seconds left to tie it.

Zawadski expected nothing less. "We had put in a defensive game plan during our walk through this morning. We wanted to stay attached to the hips of some of their players and to whip under screens on others. He (Coach Sagester) did a good job making adjustments to combat that. It was just like a little basketball chess match today."

"We competed," Sagester complimented his team. "Our kids are going to compete. Unfortunately, they kept getting loose balls and long defensive rebounds and they made us pay."

Troy Christian opened the overtime with a Penrod hoop and a plus one free throw. Finkbine cut it to one with a driving hoop for the Pats. Senior Kyle Sebor buried a 3-pointer for the Eagles to make it 54-50. From there, The Eagles went on the free throw binge, offset by the Patriot's Suggs who hit two driving layups and a long 3-pointer to finish with a game high 23 points.

"We just didn't play well enough to win," Sagester said. "Any time somebody comes into your gym and makes 12 threes they are going to be hard to beat."

Troy Christian, out of the Three Rivers Conference will be one of the favorites in the 14-team, Division IV Troy District moves to 12-3 on the season. Tri-Village, of the Western Ohio Athletic Conference will compete in the 20-team, D-III North District drops to 11-4.
Both teams return to league play this week.

Authors Note: All stats are unofficial. I try, but keeping a running play by play rather than a standard score book can lead to some errors. I should be pretty close. No game stats were up on either conference websites as of this writing.
As always: thanks to the coaches for their time and insight.
And specifically, my sincere thanks to Patriot Athletic Director Brad Gray and his staff for the welcoming spirit and seat at the scorer's table in their beautiful facility.