TV 7th graders fall at sectionals

TUSCOLA — The Tri-Valley boys seventh grade basketball team saw their stellar season come to an end as they dropped a hard-fought class 3A sectional championship game 30-23 to the Monticello Sages last Wednesday.

The first quarter proved to be a defensive tussle as both teams struggled to get into a rhythm offensively which led to the Sages taking a 4-1 lead at the close of the first quarter.

The Vikings got off to a quick start in the second quarter following a lay-up by Andrew Petrilli and a 3-point basket by Ben Dischert gave the Vikings a 6-4 advantage at the 2:46 mark.  

The Vikings then went on to close out the quarter with two points from Trevor Scott and six points from Logan Cagley as the Vikings outscored the Sages 8-7 to take a 14-11 lead at halftime.

The Sages opened the third quarter with three unanswered points to even the score at 14-14 with 4:26 remaining in the quarter.  A bucket by Scott put the Vikings back in front 16-14 at the 4:10 mark.

Following a free throw by the Sages the Vikings pushed their lead to 19-15 with a 3-pointer by Petrilli. The Sages quickly narrowed the gap to 19-18 with a 3-point basket of their own with 2:05 left in the quarter.

The Vikings went ahead 21-18 with a Brett Kelly basket with 41 seconds remaining, but the Sages went on a 5-0 run to take a 23-21 lead into the fourth quarter.  

The Vikings tied the game at 23-23 on a basket by Elliott Johnson with 5:48 remaining in the game, but the Sages then went on to outscore the Vikings 7-0 the remainder of the game to make the final score 30-23.

“The sectional game was a tough loss for us, but a great experience for the kids,” said Vikings coach Nick Kronmiller.  “We battled and improved all year to earn this opportunity.  I would like to thank the fans and students that came to support the boys in the sectional game.  It was fun to play in front of a great group.”

The Vikings were led by Cagley with six points, Petrilli and Scott five each, Dischert three, while Johnson and Kelly added two each.

The Vikings finished their outstanding season with a record of 20-4 while winning the LeRoy tip-off tournament, the Sangamon Valley Conference regular season and tournament championships, and the class 3A regional.

“Overall this was a great season for the team.  The team exceeded our expectations all year and got better every game throughout the season.  The team was a great group to work with, that always gave their maximum effort every game,” Kronmiller said.

Members of the Vikings included Andrew Dardis, Lucas Amend, Trevor Scott, Ben Dischert, Noah Streenz, Nate Simon, Andrew Petrilli, Neil Sundaram, Brett Kelly, Logan Cagley, Will Masters, Elliott Johnson, Brendan Kraft, Gavin Gosch, Luke Myszka, team manager Zach Schummer, and assistant coach Dave Heideman. 

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