Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

March 4, 2014

Boys BB: More sectional previews

Eastern faces Sheridan on Wednesday.

Tipton’s boys basketball team came into the season with a new look following the graduation of Indiana All-Star Mike Crawford, who is the program’s all-time leading scorer. He led the Blue Devils to Class 2A sectional and regional titles in 2011-13.

The Blue Devils will look to continue their sectional reign this week when they head to Alexandria for Sectional 39 play.

“With our youthful team and a just-above-.500 record, I think that removed some of the target [as three-time defending sectional champions]. We’re just one of the decent teams over in that sectional that could play well and have a chance to win,” Tipton coach Brad Dickey said.

Tipton (11-8) faces Alexandria (10-11) in the opener at 7 p.m. today on the Tigers’ home floor. Tipton was the sectional host when it won the 2011-13 titles.

The opening round continues Wednesday with Eastern (3-17) vs. Sheridan (3-17) at 6 p.m. followed by Madison-Grant (8-12) vs. Elwood (12-9). Taylor (6-13) received the bye and will face the Tipton-Alexandria winner in Friday’s semifinal round.

Tipton jumped to a 6-2 record early in the season and was 11-5 before falling to Frankfort, Class 2A No. 7-ranked Cass and Western in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Dickey likes how his squad is playing

“I think we caught some people off guard at the beginning of the season and got some good wins. We probably leveled off in the middle of the season. Now here down the stretch, we’ve played very well,” Dickey said. “We’ve been energetic and enthusiastic and our teamwork has improved greatly, but we’ve come up short the past three games against some really good opponents.”

Alexandria enters the sectional with some momentum after closing the regular season on a 5-1 streak. The Tigers’ only loss during that stretch came to Class 2A No. 4 Frankton.

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