ELWOOD — It wasn’t the prettiest at times, but the Tipton boys basketball team’s 43-38 win at Elwood on Tuesday night served as a much-needed bounceback game for the Blue Devils following Saturday’s lopsided 71-41 loss at unbeaten Frankton.
“Our shooting was awful and our play selection was poor,” Tipton coach Brad Dickey said. “But our intensity and energy was fabulous, from the very start. We’d certainly like to shoot better and run a few plays better, but we made a lot of progress.”
Tipton (2-1) looked good out of the gate, riding 50 percent shooting (7 of 14) to an eight-point, 15-7 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Devils went up by 10 on the 2-2 Panthers following a pair of Jon Ross freebies to open the second quarter and again on a Nate Friend basket with 6:10 to play in the half, 19-9, but that’s as big a lead as Tipton would get.
The Devils went ice cold from the field, shooting 4 of 22 in the period as Elwood clawed back in, trailing just 25-21 at the half.
“We were playing about 100 miles per hour defensively, which is great, but then we were also playing above the speed limit on offense, which wasn’t so good,” Dickey said.
Tipton’s shooting woes continued in the third quarter as Mason Degenkolb scored all six of his squad’s points in the period as the Devils shot 22 percent (3 of 14) from the field and still clung to just a four-point lead, 31-27, heading into the final frame.
That’s when things got interesting. Elwood tied the game at 31-all on Griffin Hughes basket at 6:05. The Panthers then took the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter at 33-31 on Dakin Updegraff’s one-and-bonus with 4:24 to play.
Tanner Maxey kept the Blue Devils alive with back-to-back hoops. He knotted the game at 33-all and then put Tipton up by a deuce with 3:36 remaining.