By Rob Kiser
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Matt Zircher for providing stats from the game.
TROY — It was tale of two halves for the Russia girls basketball team Saturday in a D-IV district final at Troy High School.
And, unfortunately for the Raiders, the second half was one they couldn’t overcome against a hot shooting Tri-Village team.
After leading much of the first half and being in a 28-28 tie at the break, the Lady Raiders struggled to get anything to drop for most of the second half and had the season end with a 53-42 loss.
Tri-Village, 21-5, will play Minster in a Vandalia D-IV regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, while Russia closes at 20-6.
“I just feel fortunate to have had this group of girls to coach in my first two years,” Russia coach Andy Timmerman said. “We just didn’t get a lot of shots to fall in the second half.”
Against a team the Raiders had lost to 40-22 in the regular season, the Raiders came out firing Saturday morning.
Baskets by Laurissa Poling and Shea Borchers and three by Jenna Cordonnier had Russia in front 7-2.
A jumper by Ashley Scott, two baskets by Cameo Wilson and a basket by Poling gave Russia a 15-9 advantage late in the first quarter.
“We shot the ball really well early,” Timmerman said.
After Cordonnier scored off a Whitney Pleiman assist and Poling scored inside, Russia had a 19-11 advantage with 6:25 to go in the half.
That’s when the 3-point shooting of Tri-Village began to change things.
While Poling held Tri-Village post Maddie Downing scoreless in the first half, Trisa Porter and Lissa Siler began to heat it up from behind the 3-point line.
They combined to go 5-for-5 from behind the arc in the opening half an it took a jumper from Shea Borchers to even the game at 28 at halftime.
“We shot over 50 percent in the first half,” Timmerman said. “But, Tri-Village really shot the ball well. Laurissa Poling did a great job on the (Maddie) Downing girl all game.”
The second half started with a basket by Cordonnier to put Russia up 30-28 with 6:00 to go in the third quarter — but the Raiders would not scored again until Cordonnier got a free for a layup on an inbounds play from midcourt with 5:56 remaining in the game.
And by then, Russia was in a 44-32 hole the Raiders could not climb out of.
“The shots that were falling in the first half — they didn’t fall in the second half,” Timmerman said. “And Tri-Village did a better job defensively in the second half.”
Cordonnier had 12 points and three steals for the Raiders, while Scott had nine points and Poling added eight points and eight rebounds, with Pleiman dishing out four assists.
Siler made all four of her 3-point attempts in the game and finished with 20 points, while Porter finished three of four from 3-point range and had 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Emma Printz added 11 points and three steals, Downing had eight rebounds and Andi Bietry dished out five assists.
Russia was 18 of 44 from the floor — and five of 19 in the second half — for 41 percent. The Raiders were three of eight from behind the arc for 38 percent and three of six from the line for 50 percent.
Tri-Village was 19 of 42 from the floor for 45 percent — including eight of 11 from 3-point range for a sizzling 73 percent. The Patriots made seven of 10 free throws for 70 percent.
Tri-Village won the battle of the boards 27-25 and had 14 turnovers to Russia’s 13.
“These girls have really set the bar high the last two years,” Timmerman said. “Another 20 win season. Hopefully, we can continue that success next season.”
After one bad half ended the season Saturday.
Emma Printz 4-2-11, Trissa Porter 6-1-16, Andi Bietry 0-1-1, Lissa Siler 7-2-20, Maddie Downing 1-1-3, Lauren Flory 0-0-0, Peyton Bietry 1-0-2, Madison Foreman 0-0-0. Totals: 19-7-53.
Jenna Cordonnier 5-1-12, Laurissa Poling 4-0-8, Shea Borchers 3-0-6, Cameo Wilson 2-0-4, Whitney Pleiman 1-0-3, Ashley Scott 3-2-9, Jessica York 0-0-0. Totals: 18-3-42.
3-point field goals — Tri-Village: Printz, Porter (3), Siler (4). Russia: Cordonnier, Pleiman, Scott.
Score By Quarters
Tri-Village 11 28 39 53
Russia 15 28 30 42
Records: Tri-Village 21-5, Russia 20-6.