|Red Devils Cruise Past County Rival|
|Written by Jim Dabbelt|
|Sunday, 23 February 2014 15:00|
The game had no implications in the league championship race, but rest assured, Tippecanoe wanted to send a statement on Friday night. Troy came to town, and the Red Devils knew that beating their county foe would go a long way in the growth of this team.
After a slow start, the Red Devils outscored the Trojans by 20 over the second and third periods, en route to a 55-43 victory, giving Tipp their fourth win of the season.
“I’m very pleased,” said Tipp coach Marcus Bixler. “We knew with it being a county rival it would be a tough game. Sometimes you are short-handed, and it makes the victory even sweeter.”
Tipp was without Sean Ford, but the Red Devils used some balanced scoring, and came right out of the gate exchanging baskets with the Trojans in the opening period, where there were three ties as Troy battled the Red Devils evenly. A dunk from Tipp junior Ben Stucke tied the game at seven, but the Trojans came right back with a three, and took an 11-9 lead after the opening eight minutes.
That’s when the Red Devils opened the flood gates. Nathan Shirley’s layup in the opening seconds of the second period tied the game, and Tipp took control from there. Troy tried to stick around with a three midway through the quarter, but Stucke hit a 10-footer, which started a 6-0 run which included contributions from Michael Landwehr and Shirley, and a big three from Stucke to end the half sent the Red Devils into the half with a 24-16 advantage.
“They knocked down tow three’s in the first quarter, and we knew that couldn’t happen,” Bixler said. “We went zone but the guys did a real good job in keeping it spread out, and it made all the difference. Our kids closed out with hot hands, made it very difficult to knock down three’s, and made them put the ball on the floor.”
Tipp continued to add to their lead early in the third, pushing their lead to 30-16 when Zach Blair and Stucke opened the quarter on a 6-0 run, but Troy was not finished. They reeled off five straight points to bring their deficit into single digits, but with 5:08 left in the third, the Red Devils shut down the Trojans offense for the remainder of the period, going on a 9-0 run and sent the game to the fourth with the Red Devils leading 39-21.
Troy scored some points late, but the game was in hand for the Red Devils.
“I couldn’t ask for a much better execution on both ends of the floor,” Bixler said. “We got a little sloppy in the fourth quarter offensively, but I am pleased. We put some things this week defensively that I am very pleased with.”
“It’s starting to click for everybody. The younger kids are starting to figure out their roles, and as coaches we are also trying to figure out the best roles for everybody.”
Tipp (4-1) also played at Milton Union on Saturday, which occurred after the early holiday deadline.
*Gametime change- This Friday’s game times have been changed to accommodate the Ohio State football bowl game. Tipp hosts league foe Shawnee, and the freshman game will begin at 3 p.m., followed by the JV at 4:30 and varsity at 6 p.m.