BY TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Taylor’s boys basketball team fell in heartbreaking fashion Saturday night, dropping an 86-84 decision at Sheridan in triple overtime.
The Titans had an opportunity to win the game at the end of the first overtime but came up empty handed, while the Blackhawks (3-3) were unable to convert a similar situation at the end of the second OT.
Despite three regulars watching from the bench with five fouls, Taylor (1-4) held an 84-81 lead with 1:06 to play in the third OT, but Sheridan’s Brock Kitchell buried a 3-pointer from the wing off of a Titans turnover, and the Blackhawks converted a pair of free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
“I’m proud of our kids for battling, but we have a lot to work on,” Taylor coach Andy Lewman said. “We showed a lot of heart to get in position to have a chance to win, but couldn’t get over the hump. It was a team effort like we like to see, we just didn’t ultimately do enough to get ourselves in position to win. It’s tough when you have that many kids foul out because you get out of your comfortable combinations that you’re used to in practice. We didn’t make the plays that we normally would have made, but changing roles like that are part of the growing process.
Taylor point guard Calvin Wheeler fouled out in the fourth quarter, leaving Cole Schroeder to run the point for the Titans.
Schroeder finished the night with a team-high 23 points, and drew heavy praise from Lewman.
“Cole played an outstanding game,” Lewman said. “It was one of those nights where you watch a kid grow up. He did a great job of moving to the point after Calvin fouled out. He did his best to put us in position to win the game, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get it done.”
Taylor led 14-9 after the first quarter, but trailed at each stop before tying the game at 61-61 to send the game to OT. The Titans went 19 of 36 from the line for the night, but the Blackhawks weren’t much better, connecting of 25 of 43.
Latrell Mitchell added 21 points and nine boards for the Titans. Wheeler and Darian Stone each finished with 14 points, and KeShawn Stabler pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds in the loss.
Cort Christie led Sheridan with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Kitchel finished with 21, Chris Roberts added 18 points and 12 boards, and Jacob Chesney added 13 points in the victory.
CASS 84, ROCHESTER 46
Blake Hadley scored 20 points to lead three players in double figures in Lewis Cass’ 84-46 win over Rochester on Saturday.
Ryan Bixler added 17, and Austin Kiesling had 14 for the Kings, who improved to 4-2 and crossed the 80-point mark for the third time.
Luke Cannedy led Rochester (2-3) with 10 points off the bench.
Lewis Cass scored the first 13 points of the game and never trailed. They led 42-25 at halftime and scored the first nine points of the second half. They led by as many as 42 points in the second half.
“We came out and got a big lead, and they kind of clawed and scratched and got back into the game,” Cass coach Jon Kitchel said. “I think we were up by 17 at halftime, and we talked about it being real important for us to come out in the first three or four minutes and make sure we maintained that momentum and not let them get their heads up, and we were able to do that.”
— Val Tsoutsouris, Rochester Sentinel
WESTFIELD 54, TIPTON 42, OT
Tipton picked the worst possible time to suffer a scoring drought in Saturday’s game against Westfield at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis
Tanner Maxey drained a baseline 3-point basket with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter to give the Blue Devils a 42-35 lead. Those were the last points scored by Tipton.
The Shamrocks ended the fourth quarter on 7-0 run and then outscored the Blue Devils 12-0 in overtime to go home with a 54-42 victory.
“We don’t give them away very often but we sorta gave that one away,” Tipton coach Brad Dickey said. “We battled hard. They’re an athletic and strong team. We put ourselves in a real nice spot, we just sorta ran out of gas.”
Westfield’s Kaizen Perry hit a 3-pointer and Ty Osswald hit four straight free throws, the second two knotting the score 42-all with 1:20 still remaining in the fourth quarter.
Maxey missed a 3-point attempt and Pearson came up with the rebound and was fouled with :49 on the clock. He missed the front end of the one-and-bonus and Jack Critser pulled down the rebound for the Blue Devils.
Tipton played for the final shot and Friend got an uncontested 15-foot jumper but the ball rimmed out and the game went into overtime.
Westfield won the tip and Osswald hit a 3 to give the Shamrocks their first lead since the second quarter, 45-42. It turned out to be the only points the Rocks needed but they scored more.
Osswald’s fifth foul sent Degenkolb to the line at the 3:30 mark of OT but he missed the front end of the one-and-one. The ball went out of bounds and belonged to Westfield. Devin Reece hit a short jumper to up the lead to 47-42.
Degenkolb missed a short jumper at the other end and fouled out going for the offensive rebound. Cam Shaw made 1 of 2 free throws. Reece scored again and after Andy Riemersma meshed two free throws to extend WF’s lead to 52-42 with 1:06 left, both teams cleared their benches.
Degenkolb led all scorers with 18 points. Freshman Sam Gutierrez came off the bench to hit 3 of 5 3-pointers to finish with nine points. Maxey added seven and Friend six.
Reece and Chandler Kemp each scored eight to lead Westfield. The Shamrocks had a balanced attack with 10 players getting into the scoring column.
The 4-2 Blue Devils are idle until Tuesday, Jan. 7 when they will host Delphi. Westfield, meanwhile, evened its record at 2-2.
— Michelle Garmon, Tipton Tribune