Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester looks at the summer as a blueprint to build his basketball team.
That map led several area teams to Tiernan Center on Thursday.
The Red Devils hosted the Richmond High School Boys Basketball Shootout, with varsity and JV teams playing on multiple courts at Tiernan.
Sagester’s Patriot squad, a state finalist in Ohio’s Division IV a year ago, was one of seven varsity teams participating in the event.
“We take it very serious,” Sagester said after games against Wapahani and Evansville Bosse. “We do the things in the summer that we’re going to do in the winter. We make sure we’re prepared and we make sure we’re ready.
“This is important to us, and we know this is kind of a building block to where we want to be.”
Richmond, Northeastern, Evansville Bosse, Winchester, Centerville and Wapahani also fielded varsity teams Thursday.
The Red Devils posted two victories, halting Wapahani in Tiernan’s auxiliary gym, and stopping Evansville Bosse on the main floor in the game that ended the day’s competition.
“It’s been really good. We’ve had a chance to play a lot of guys and both teams that we had play did well,” said RHS coach Joe Luce. “Good competition.
“Overall, it’s been a good day for our basketball team.”
Good summer, too — and one that continues this weekend with a trip to Missouri State.
Luce said earlier this week that the Red Devils also have events at Purdue, Indiana State and Wright State on the horizon.
Luce guided Richmond to its first sectional title in nearly two decades during the 2013-14 season, and his Red Devils also completed a 6-0 campaign to claim an outright North Central Conference championship.
Luce said Thursday’s shootout field was a good mix with great coaches.
“We had a chance to be around Matt Fine (former Muncie Central coach now at Winchester), and for him to see our guys play, and we had a chance to watch his and just talk about some different things, as well as all the others,” Luce said. “It’s a good collection of coaches that were here today that had a chance to share a little bit about how their summers have went, their teams, what they thought of our team. That’s beneficial.”
Fine was hired as the Falcons’ new coach in May.
Fine spent 10 seasons as Muncie Central’s head coach, twice leading the Bearcats to the Class 4A state championship game.
He graduated from Winchester in 1991.
“For us, to get three games in a short amount of time, it builds some toughness,” Fine said. “You’ve got to be able to bounce back and play right away there.
“For me, it’s just getting to know our guys, setting the expectation, the standard that we need to practice at, play at, work out at. It’s been very positive so far.”
It was a positive day for Northeastern, too.
The Knights, sectional and Tri-Eastern Conference champion this past season, faced Winchester and Evansville Bosse.
“We did well,” said Northeastern coach Brent Ross. “We’ve had a really good summer.
“The kids who played JV last year, you’re getting them some experience with the varsity players this year and you’re meshing that group together. I think that’s where it’s really helpful.”
Centerville coach Ryan Chiddister agreed. The Bulldog leader said shootouts give coaches an idea of what they need to work on for the upcoming season.
“This kind of shows us what we’re doing well and what we need to improve on to be the best basketball team we can be come November, December and so on,” Chiddister said.
Richmond, Twin Valley South, Winchester, Centerville and Wapahani also had JV teams participate in Thursday’s shootout.
“We had a great crowd today. Lots of people came out to check out our guys, and we just appreciate the following that we feel has really gotten strong over the last few years,” Luce said. “To see lots of familiar faces that are all-sports ticket holders and the same faces we’re seeing during the regular season, it’s nice to have them out today also.”