KETTERING — The Bellbrook Golden Eagles found out what it’s like to be their opponent
Normally a team that plays high-pressure defense and scores transition buckets by forcing turnovers and bad shots, Bellbrook was the victim of that tactic in a 67-37 loss to Tri-Village Saturday at the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational at Fairmont High School.
The Patriots, who were ranked No. 4 in the latest Division-IV state poll, turned 18 turnovers into 20 points and held the Golden Eagles — No. 4 in the D-I state poll — to a season-low 24 percent shooting. The 18 turnovers matched a season high.
“Tri-Village, man, they’re a nice team,” Bellbrook Coach Jason Tincher said. “They’ve got nice players. Our goal is to either turn a team over or force them into bad shots and get rebounds so we can go. Its easier to run off those two things. Today we couldn’t do that as much. We were giving up way too much.”
Tri-Village’s 67 points were the most allowed by Bellbrook since losing 63-51 to Tecumseh last January. The Golden Eagles (14-1) had allowed 50 points just one other time prior to Saturday. Tri-Village (13-2) shot 48 percent in the first half in building a 36-21 lead at halftime and it was never close again.
“I was looking up at 21 (points) and 31 (points), I was like, that’s not good for us,” Tincher said.
Tri-Village jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead less than three minutes in and extended it to 16-8 before a pair of free throws from Dreann Pryce and a fast-break three from Ashley Frantz made it 16-13 after one. Alayna Meyer scored on a runner and then Taylor Scohy hit one of two from the line to tie it at 16-all. But the Patriots outscored Bellbrook 7-2 to take a 23-18 lead with five minutes left in the half, and then up 26-21, the Patriots went on a 17-2 run to make it 45-23 with 4:36 left in the third quarter.
“Basketball is a humbling sport sometimes,” Tincher said.
Scohy and Olivia Trusty each scored nine points for Bellbrook, while Kelley Griffin added six and Pryce five and a team-high eight rebounds. Rylee Sagester led Tri-Village with 18 points and five assists, while 6-footer Meghan Downing added 15 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks.
Tri-Village had an 18-10 advantage in the paint and Downing was a big reason why.
“We were a little undersized but at the same time I thought they played an excellent game,” Tincher said, adding that he isn’t worried about how the loss will affect the team going forward.
”I think these girls and their character, they’ll respond,” Tincher said. “They were fine in (the locker room). They understand. I don’t see them getting down on it. When you’re winning like we were and are, you could use a game like this just to get a little edge back. Get back into the grind and understand there’s always room to improve. We’re not as good as we want to be. We want to get better as a unit.”
Bellbrook visited Springboro Monday. The final score was not available prior to deadline.