Teams that are successful hope to be peaking just at the right time…when the post-season arrives. For Tippecanoe, their boys basketball team is geared up for what they hope will be a solid run by winning their third consecutive game on Saturday, defeating Troy 50-41 at Hobart Arena on a night where they honored the history of Trojans basketball.
As for the Trojans, they were riding high after a big win against Miami East and a thrilling win against league for Butler. On this night, it came down to who could survive a bad night at the free throw line, and put the game away in the fourth quarter.
It wouldn’t have surprised anyone in attendance if both Troy coach Paul Bremigan and Tippecanoe’s Joel Visser called their squads back in for a midnight practice to work on one thing…free throws.
The two teams combined to miss 16 free throws in the fourth quarter alone as the Red Devils were trying to put the game away. Tipp did hit six of their last seven to secure the win.
“We had to get to the line, we are shooting 70 percent from the line as a team, and that is our deal,” Visser said. “We got to the line 30 times, but we only made 17. We made it interesting and didn’t need to.”
He knows that coming off a rough year last year, this group is hungry to make a statement in the sectionals.
“We had a good win at Urbana who I think will have a good shot at a #1 seed in the tournament, we beat Bellefontaine twice this year for the first time since 2009, and tonight we come in here and play tough,” Visser said. “This is a huge win for us.”
“It’s all the kids, they are working so hard,” he added. “They want it for each other.”
Bremigan also hopes to have his team playing well as they head into the post season as well.
“We didn’t get the ball inside like we want to, and when we did, we rushed some shots,” he said.
“We are looking to try to get better and more consistent,” he added. “We are trying to find people who will put the ball in the basket. That has been a struggle for us all year, we have missed a lot of shots inside that other teams don’t miss.”
Troy led early but Tipp took the lead at 5-3 on a three-point play from Carter Mann, and never looked back. Nathan Shirley then hit a three, and later Adam Grieshop scored in the paint, giving Tipp a 10-4 lead.
The Trojans fought back behind Zach Reichelderfer and Romello Yaqub but a three from Zach Wildermuth kept the lead for Tipp.
Tipp took a 25-21 lead at the half as Jakob Prall scored in the paint in the closing seconds, then battled the Trojans close in the third, as Trey Bucio scored consecutive layups at the four minute mark of the third, closing the Tipp lead to 28-27. Shirley answered for Tipp, and the visitors led 32-29 heading to the fourth.
Shirley led the Red Devils with 13 points, with Prall adding 11. Yaqub scored 15 to lead Troy.
Troy's Romello Yaqub looks for an open teammate.
Troy's Trey Bucio goes in for a layup.