Gone are eight seniors from a program that has made consecutive regional championship game appearances. But for the Tippecanoe girls’ basketball team, they are expecting the names to change this year, but not the success.
Tippecanoe heads into the GWOC American North division as the early favorites, but for coach Andy Holderman, it’s all about keeping the tradition going with success.
“We have some big shoes to fill, and we will look to get better each day,” Holderman said. “We have some experience, we just don’t have varsity experience.”
“Our schedule is a little tougher this year, so hopefully that will help get us ready to make another tournament run. You always are preparing for the next game, and the next game is the most important one and we want to just better.”
Even with the loss of a lot of talent, Holderman feels that the players coming back wants to continue the rich tradition of Tippecanoe basketball.
“I hope that is huge for us. Last year the way we ended it, we left a lot of points out on the floor, missing six layups the first quarter and a half. Our motto this year is ‘every possession matters’.”
“We need to take care of the basketball and put ourselves in position to have the best opportunity to score.”
Early the season, Holderman has seen some good things to indicate that the girls are focused and ready to get started.
“We have seen a lot of good things so far,” he said. “We are learning each day and the girls are getting used to each other.”
Leading the way for the Red Devils is their lone senior Taylor Prall, who comes in after another successful volleyball season. Prall had a huge district finals last year hitting some big threes to give Tipp the win.
“It will be important for her to get out and use her athletic ability and quickness, and she has been a great leader so far,” Holderman said. “We need to get ourselves better and it starts from her.”
Juniors include Allison Mader, who returns after a successful sophomore year. Another junior is Callie Stewart, who is coming back from an ACL injury and getting back into the grove.
Another junior is Claire Hinkle who moves up from a good junior varsity team last year, and Hailee Varvel also moves to see varsity action this year.
“All of those girls bring something to the plate, and they will all have their role and we are trying to figure out what that will be,” Holderman said. Also in was Chloe Schretzman who will be a factor in the paint.
Also on the roster this year are sophomores Isabel Crow, Brooke Aselage and freshman Kendall Clodfelter.
Tipp now prepares for their first year in the GWOC, where they will compete with Butler, Troy, Greenville, Sidney and Piqua, and expect to challenge for a winnable league title.
“It is a great move for us and it will be a good test for us for tournament,” Holderman said. “We hope to get better and compete.”
Tippecanoe opens the season Friday night at Fairmont, who is spotlight by two key returning letterwinners, and several key freshman.