Boys basketball: Tri-Village, Botkins advance to D-IV regional final

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

KETTERING — The Tri-Village High School boys basketball team is one win away from the Division IV state tournament.

Senior Layne Sarver scored a game-high 32 points as Tri-Village beat Howard East Knox 60-38 in a Division IV regional semifinal game on Tuesday night at Fairmont’s Trent Arena.

“We’re surviving and advancing and moving on,” Sagester said. “We’re not really gonna talk a ton about what occurred other than that we’re excited to be in the Elite 8. Our kids are excited about that opportunity.”

Senior Josh Scantland added 13 points and 11 rebounds as Tri-Village improved to 23-4. They advanced to play defending state champion Botkins — a 60-46 winner over Springfield Catholic Central in the other semifinal — in a Division IV regional final game at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Trojans beat the Patriots 51-50 in double overtime at the Flyin’ to the Hoop showcase on Jan. 16 at Trent Arena.

Senior guard Shane Knepp scored 21 points as East Knox finished its season 19-7.

“I thought we were really good defensively, especially early,” Sagester said. “We did a good job knowing where Knepp was the majority of the first quarter. I think we lost him a few times in the second half and he was able to get to the line a few times. Defensively, that’s been our calling card all year long and I thought tonight was no different.”

Tri-Village never trailed in the game. Sarver scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Patriots jumped out to a 16-3 lead. The Patriots led 32-12 at the half and led by as many as 26 points in the second half.

“Offensively, I thought we got some good looks, but they didn’t all go down,” Sagester said. “Sarver was really, really efficient and shot it well for us from the perimeter.”

Sarver went 13-for-22 from the field, including 4-for-8 from the 3-point line.

“Big players have to make big plays in big games,” Sagester said. “He’s our horse we rode in on and we’re going to ride out on him as well. Our kids did a good job finding him in positions to be successful.”

Botkins 60, Springfield Catholic Central 46: The Trojans led from start to finish to advance to the regional final for the second straight year.

Senior Jacob Pleiman had 19 points, junior Carter Pleiman had 13 and Jameson Meyer added 11 as Botkins improved to 25-2.

Botkins led 5-0 to start the game and took a 15-10 lead after the first quarter.

“It’s a great way to start the game when you come out hitting shots right away,” said Trojans coach Phil Groves. “The kids were ready to go from the beginning. I’m proud of them.”

Botkins led 23-12 at the half and extended their lead to as many as 22 points in the second half. Trojans senior Jaydon Wendel scored nine points, hitting three 3-pointers, including two in the third quarter.

“We have a bunch of kids who can step up at any time,” Groves said. “When you focus on (Jacob Pleiman) in the post and they send doubles, guys are open on the perimeter as a result. They stepped up and knocked down shots when they needed to. I’m proud of the guys.”

Catholic Central junior Tyler Galluch had a game-high 20 points and senior Ian Galluch added 12 points for the Irish, who cut the lead to nine points with 1:30 remaining, but couldn’t get any closer.

“We knew (Tyler Galluch) was a great player, he’s one of the best players in their conference,” Groves said. “We knew he was going to get looks, attack off the dribble and shoot the 3. We just wanted to contain him as much as possible and make him work for everything he got. I thought Jacob did a really good job on him. He had 20 points, but he had to work for all of them.”

The Trojans are one game away from advancing to the state tournament for the second straight season. They’ll face a familiar opponent in Tri-Village who they played earlier this season.

“They’re a resilient group and they’ve worked hard all year long,” Groves said. “This is just one more challenge in front of them. … (Tri-Village) is in the regional finals for a reason. They’re wellcoached. Our kids look forward to competing on Friday.”

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