It was one of those games that Tippecanoe could never get on track. The Red Devils fought through a sluggish three quarters, and could not catch the Troy Trojans in the final eight minutes, as Tippecanoe lost a GWOC North boys basketball contest last week on the road at Troy 51-41.
Both teams now prepare for the sectional tournament this week. Troy opens tournament play on Friday night against Fairborn at Trotwood High School, while the Red Devils battle Ben Logan this Saturday, at 7 p.m. at Springfield High School.
Troy jumped out to a fast lead as the Red Devils struggled in the opening minutes, as they went scoreless for the first three minutes. The Trojans led 7-0 before Zach Bonifas could break the ice with a shot in the paint, making it 7-2 with 4:50 left in the opening period.
Tipp tried to battle back, as Josh Wildermuth added a late three but Zach Reichelderfer scored with seconds left in the opening quarter, pushing the Trojans lead to 16-7 after eight minutes.
A sluggish start to start the second period saw Troy battle with turnovers and Tipp was unable to take advantage, as nobody scored the first three minutes.
Bonifas finally got Tipp on the board at the 5:17 mark of the period but the Trojans answered to take a 21-8 lead with 2:53 left in the half.
Tipp put together a quick 6-0 run to cut their deficit to seven, but the Trojans outscored the Red Devils 4-0 over the final minute of play to take a 25-14 lead into the half.
The Trojans remained in control throughout the third period, thanks to consecutive threes from Zion Taylor and Ryan McClurg but the Red Devils hung around. Quenten Williams scored four points in the period to keep the Red Devils close, and when Bonifas hit a shot at the buzzer, the Red Devils only trailed 37-26 heading to the fourth.
Six straight points by Tipp cut the Troy lead to two possessions with five minutes left, and when Williams scored on a layup with 3:10 left, Tipp again only trailed 40-34.
A big three-point play by Troy gave them the momentum back as they led 45-36 with just over one minute left. Caiden Smith hit a pair of free throws for Tipp but the Trojans ran off five straight points to seal the win.
Leading the way for Tipp in the loss was Bonifas with 14 points while Williams added eight. Reichelderfer scored 16 to lead the Trojans.