“That’s one of our strengths and that’s where our defense has been good,” Bellbrook coach Jason Tincher said. “But if they’re making it and going to the free-throw line it’s hard to run.”
Key No. 3 for Tri-Village: Don’t leave Bellbrook sharpshooters Alayna Meyer and Kelley Griffin open for catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. Neither player attempted a three and the Eagles were 3 of 12 from behind the arc and shot 23.8% overall.
“Not allowing those kids to get a three, let alone a catch-and-shoot 3, was huge,” Gray said.
Tincher said: “They put great pressure on our guards. Even when we tried to get into some sets, they made it hard with their guard play and their defense.”
Rylee Sagester led Tri-Village (13-2) with 18 points, Meghan Downing had 15, Torie Richards 13 and Morgan Hunt 12. They shot 44.7%, made 7 of 17 3-point attempts and 18 of 21 free throws.
“They’ve got nice players, they’ve got a great inside-out, they’ve got great high-low stuff with their bigs and their guards, and we knew that coming in,” Tincher said. “We were a little bit undersized, but at the same time they played an excellent game.”
Downing, who is 6-foot-2, scored 11 in the first half and totaled 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Her size, back-to-the-basket offensive prowess and shot-altering presence on defense sparked the Patriots to an early lead and a 36-21 lead at the half.
“Meghan was unreal in the first half,” Gray said. “She really set the tone and is playing with a lot of confidence right now, and that’s huge for us.”
Taylor Scohy and Olivia Trusty led the Eagles with nine points apiece.