Tri-Village, Fort Loramie, Russia win D-IV district titles

Fort Loramie and Russia also won district titles as part of the tripleheader at Troy.

Tri-Village (26-0) remained undefeated and advanced to face the winner of fifth-ranked Marion Local and Minster in a regional semifinal game at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Vandalia Butler Student Activities Center.

“It never gets old (cutting down the net),” said Patriots coach Brad Gray.

Patriots senior Torie Richards scored a game-high 19 points, Rylee Sagester had 18 and senior Morgan Hunt added 14 in the victory.

The game was tied 4–4 early in the first quarter until the Patriots went on a 23-5 run to take a 27-9 lead — and they never looked back.

“It was a good start for us,” Gray said. “We came out really well. The last few games we haven’t gotten off to a great start, so it was good to see us kind of get it going early. … It was a good team effort.”

Tri-Village hit 10 3-pointers in the game and led 44-14 at the half.

“Offensively, our kids are very willing to share with each other,” Gray said. “They move it really well, they zip it around to try to get the best shot they can on almost every possession. It was good to see them continue to do that.”

Tri-Village beat Fayetteville Perry (13-11) at Troy for the second straight season. The Patriots now set their sights on breaking through the regional barrier for the first time since 2012.

“We’ve definitely got to get over the Vandalia Butler hump,” Gray said. “We’ve struggled in that gym in the past. We’ve just got to play good basketball. If we continue to be us, I like our chances. Obviously, we’re going to run into some really good basketball teams. … The Southwest District is a grind to get out of here. I think it’s some of the best D-IV basketball in the state of Ohio. Year-in, year-out you have some of the top-5 teams in the state and the region. We’re going to have to be ready to play for sure.”

Fort Loramie 52, Covington 19: The Buccaneers hit their first two shots of the game, but the Redskins responded with a 25-3 run to end the first half en route to their sixth straight district title.

“At the end of last year, everybody said this was going to be a rebuilding year for us,” said Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel, “and the way that we played this summer, I thought it was going to be a rebuilding year, too. But if you have great senior leaders and they know what the expectations of your program are, they can get the other girls to believe in the system and what we’re trying to do and great things can happen.”

Redskins sophomore Avery Brandewie had a game-high 14 points, junior Skyler Albers had 13 and senior Ava Turner added 11 for Fort Loramie (24-2), which advanced to play rival Russia at 8 p.m. Thursday at Vandalia Butler.

Buccaneers sophomore Maggie Anderson had 10 points for Covington, which finished its season 14-11.

The Redskins knew the Buccs were going to play a tough 1-2-2 zone, Siegel said. Once they settled down, they were able to find holes in the zone.

“We just needed to take a deep breath and relax,” she said.

Defensively, the Redskins were stifling, playing a “handful” of defenses and full-court presses, Siegel said. They were able to cause turnovers and get easy baskets in transition.

“(Covington) is a good team,” she said. “Our defense was just so nice today. We’ve got all these girls with long arms, so we try to use them to the best of our advantage.”

The second-ranked Redskins will face 11th-ranked Russia for the third time this season in the state’s Sweet 16 that could feature four of the top-11 teams in Division IV.

“You’ve got to bring your A game,” Siegel said. “There’s things we need to fix if we want to try to compete at that level.”

Russia 57, Legacy Christian Academy 32: Raiders senior post Kate Sherman had a game-high 23 points as Russia pulled away in the second half to win a district title for the first time since 2017.

Raiders junior Roni Poling had 12 points and senior Cece Borchers added 11 for Russia, which improved to 22-4 overall.

Legacy Christian Academy junior Natalie Strickle had 11 points for the Knights, which finished its season 19-5.

The Raiders led 20-11 early in the first half, but the Knights cut the lead to 22-18 with about two minutes remaining. As time expired, Russia senior Reese Goubeaux nailed a 3-pointer, pushing the lead back to seven points at 25-18 at the half.

“It was big for us,” said Raiders coach Paul Bremigan.

The Raiders outscored the Knights 26-8 in the third quarter to pull away for good. While Sherman played a key role in their offense, she was equally as important on defense, Bremigan said.

“She did a great job changing shots,” he said. “Whenever they come into the lane, they’ve got to try to shoot over her. That was big for us, too.”

The Raiders advanced to play Fort Loramie for the third time this season in a D-IV regional semifinal game. The rivals split their matchups this season with each team winning on its home floor.

“We play people a third time all the time — that’s just the way it is,” Bremigan said. “I’m sure it’ll be a fun one.”

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