|Tipp Scores OT Win, Stands at 14-3|
|Written by Gary Gregory|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013 00:00|
Tippecanoe coach Marcus Bixler felt like a kid at Christmas last Friday night.
In a fantastic finish, the host Red Devils snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after scoring a 62-59 overtime win over a pesky Bellefontaine team,
"The basketball gods granted us four more minutes (OT), so let's take advantage," Bixler told his squad after tying the game 47-47 in the final second of regulation.
Trailing 47-44 after calling a timeout with 12 seconds left, senior Austin Hadden was in the right place -- the top of the key -- when he buried a 3-pointer to set up the OT period.
The last play of regulation, Bixler said, was intended to be a long range shot by Nick Fischer. But Fischer was covered tightly, forcing the team to free-lance. Hadden passed the ball to junior Michael Landwehr, who dished it to Hadden at the top of the key.
"The ball kind of bounced off my chest, but I grabbed it and saw Austin there for a 3-pointer," Landwehr said.
With his feet set and squared to the basket, Hadden made a perfect shot in the clutch as pandemonium reigned supreme in the Pat Wampler Gymnasium.
Knotted at 47-47, the Red Devils grabbed the momentum in OT by sinking 12 of 14 free throw shots that decided the game.
Every free throw shot was critical in OT because the Chieftains rallied in the final 35 seconds to cut the deficit to one point. With 3 seconds left, the game's leading scorer Tristin Tillman hit his first two shots from the line, cutting the deficit to 60-59.
In an attempt to tie the game and forcing a second OT, Tillman misfired on his third free throw and senior Nick Fischer was fouled. He swished and two free throws to seal the 3-point league win.
The Red Devils stand at 14-3 overall and 6-2 in the CBC Kenton Trail Division.
Bixler credited the Chieftains for "dictating the pace of the game,"
"But our guys played through it and got the win," he said. "They found a way to get it done."
Down 45-38 with 1:45 left in regulation, the Red Devils -- like Lazarus rising from the dead -- came alive with big plays down the stretch.
With 1:45 remaining in regulation, Hadden connected on trey that cut the deficit to 45-41. Junior Cameron Johnson followed with a trey with minute remaining, cutting the deficit to 45-44.
After the Chieftains took a 47-44 advantage with an inside basket, the resilient Red Devils called a timeout with 12 seconds left.
Then Hadden turned hero by hitting the long range shot to set up OT.
Fischer paced Tipp with 16 points, including nine free throws. Hadden tallied 12 points and Johnson was close behind with 11.
"We had confidence in OT," Fischer said. "That's a huge win for us."
The Red Devils travel to league-leading Shawnee on Friday. The Braves stand at 8-0 in the Kenton Trail Division after nipping Kenton Ridge 36-35.