Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


March 15, 2013

Tipton faces Bowman Academy Saturday in semistate


Tipton (25-2) vs. Bowman Academy (16-9)

Where: Huntington North H.S.

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

TIPTON — Fifteen wins, two losses.

Tipton’s boys basketball team has enjoyed deep runs during the last three postseasons, reaching the semistate each time while racking up the aforementioned record.

In that tally is a 12-0 mark on the Blue Devils’ home floor. They’re just 3-2 outside of The Inferno, including neutral-site losses in the previous two Class 2A North Semistate contests.

The latest postseason loss came at the hands of Bowman Academy in a 69-64 heartbreaker in last season’s semistate at Lafayette Jeff’s Crawley Athletic Center. The Blue Devils trailed by 11 at the half and got as close as three in the closing minutes before succumbing to defeat.

The No. 2-ranked Blue Devils will get a chance at redemption Saturday when they head to Huntington to take on Bowman again. Their Class 2A semistate matchup is at 1 p.m. A win would not only make those postseason losses a distant memory, it would send Tipton to the state finals for the first time in program history.

“We had a chance to win it, we just didn’t close it out,” senior Mike Crawford said. He scored a career-high 40 points in last season’s loss to the Eagles. “Hopefully we can do that this year. This’ll be my third time here and I hate to lose. I just want to win it.”

Tipton and Bowman have both navigated their way back to the semistate level this season despite featuring new faces in their respective rotations.

Crawford leads the Blue Devils’ charge, averaging 27.2 points per game this season, eclipsing the 2,000-point career scoring mark during the postseason. The Saint Louis University recruit has emerged as a Mr. Basketball candidate in recent weeks. He also pulls down a team-high 8.6 rebounds per game.

Senior point guard Blake Hoover (10.6 ppg) and junior forward Nate Friend (7.5 ppg) played major roles on last season’s team as well, but the other regulars, including freshman guard Mason Degenkolb (7.7 ppg), junior center Luke Shively (5.0 ppg), junior forward Austin Hooker (3.4 ppg, 5.2 rebounds), junior guard Tanner Maxey and sophomore guard Brody Dell are all, for the most part, experiencing their first postseason as go-to players.

“I think maybe our group over-performed a little bit because we lost so many talented kids over the last couple seasons,” Tipton coach Brad Dickey said. “The expectations were probably mixed on this group, but because of our strength and toughness, we’ve hung in there. We’ve had a lot of competitive close games. The coaches aren’t shocked that we’re doing this again, but I think some of the community is surprised that we’ve performed so well.”

On the flip side, No. 7-ranked Bowman (16-9) returns three players who saw action in last season’s semistate game. Justin King, Antonio Pipkin and Linden Jackson combined for two points in the win.

“They did graduate some power and some height, but they bring back some excellent athletes and they’re going to play the same way,” Dickey said. “They still fly around and trap and press. They’re capable scorers and great rebounders. It’s another daunting task, but we’ll take another shot at them.”

King, a 6-foot-7 junior, scored 19 points in the Eagles’ regional championship win over Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. He’s already picked up his first NCAA Division I scholarship offer from Northern Illinois, averaging 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season.

Pipkin, a 6-3 senior guard, chipped in 19 as well in the win over Luers and has averaged 11.8 ppg and a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game.

 Sophomore David Dillard, a 6-4 guard, scored 19 to match King and Pipkin in the win over Luers. Dillard enters semistate play averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game, drawing interest from several Big Ten schools and North Carolina.

Junior guard Aurthur Haggard III adds 13.2 ppg to a high-octane offense that averages 72.8 ppg and has scored 80 or more nine times.

The Eagles have been held under 60 points just five times, the lowest output coming in a 69-56 loss to Indianapolis Tech to open the season back on Nov. 20.

Tipton only gives up 52.3 ppg, holding its opponents to 50 of fewer 11 times.

“Maybe we can hold them down? Maybe we need to outscore them? We’ll see how it goes when we get there,” Dickey said. “Our kids are spirited and solve a lot of problems on their own. We scored a lot more points in the sectional than we thought we might, but that was the style of play at that point. We’ll make another adjustment Saturday.”

The Blue Devils (25-2) have been no stranger to close ballgames. Tipton enters Saturday with a 6-1 record in games decided by two points or less. The only loss in that stretch was a 67-65 setback to 3A No.  9 Frankfort on Feb. 15. The Hot Dogs led the Blue Devils 24-12 at the end of the first quarter, only to have Tipton outscore them by 10 the rest of the way before holding on.

“I hope it’s beneficial,” Dickey said of his team’s tested resume. “We stick together. Our kids support each other and that’s one of the ways you can win a close game. This is a whole new set of challenges. This is a different kind of team to play. This is a new set of circumstances. If you’re a Blue Devil, you have to go ahead and believe.”

The Class 3A North Semistate, pitting No. 3 Andrean (22-3) against No. 7 Fort Wayne Concordia (22-4), will follow at 3:15 p.m.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • SPL - KT082114 Brett Bowman column-pic Smackdown gets rolling tonight The three biggest nights of the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series’ season kick off tonight and conclude Saturday night with the third-running of the Stoops’ Freightliner Sprint Car Smackdown at the Kokomo Speedway.The event is rapidly gaining mo

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo tennis 04 Prep roundup for Thursday, Aug. 21: Kokomo tennis tops Alex Kokomo’s boys tennis team topped Alexandria 4-1 on the Wildkat courts on Wednesday to even the Kats’ record at 1-1.The No. 1 doubles team of Blake Brookshire and Joey Hurlocker won 6-2, 6-4 and were the first point off the court for the Kats. The No.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor fball practice 01 Titans adjusting on the fly to new coach When Taylor found itself without a football coach after the sudden departure of Eric Davis in the first week of preseason practice, the school turned to one person who couldn’t say no, no matter how difficult the situation.Long-time girls basketball

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • EHSvsPeruFB 19 Peru looks to take another step in the right direction The Peru football team posted a 4-6 record last year, which marked the Bengal Tigers’ best showing since the 2000 team went 7-5.Peru coach Bob Prescott would like to build on its 2013 success.“We are trying to improve every day, and taking it one day

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jenkins card Greatest Save brings Major Leaguers to Kokomo Community First Bank Executive Vice President Bob Hickman saw first hand the great benefits and excitement the Greatest Save program brought to the community of Evansville the last two years. He watched as Major League Baseball legends like Rollie Fi

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Age no opponent for some of NFL's veteran stars NEW YORK (AP) — There's something stunning happening on Michael Vick's head. You can't see them from far away, but up close, tiny gray hairs are starting to emerge — color-sapped reminders that the New York Jets quarterback is no longer the speedy y

    August 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT082014 - Western football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Western preview Western's football team ran the ball on 575 of its 634 offensive plays last season. Three players combined to account for 424 of the rushing attempts. Expect a much different look from the Panthers under new coach Ronnie Jankovich.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT082014 - Cass football preview - mug FOOTBALL: Cass preview Lewis Cass may lack experience entering this season, but not moxie. The Kings return just a handful of starters from last year’s team that finished 5-5, one of the few teams in recent program history that did not win more games than it lost.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT082014 - County boys XC preview - pic BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Howard County preview Western's boys cross country team is ready to chase after more championship hardware. The Panthers are four-time defending Mid-Indiana Conference champions and two-time defending Logansport Sectional winners.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Taylor's boys soccer team got its season off to a flying start with a 5-1 victory over Western on Tuesday night, highlighted by a hat trick from Hunter Stephens. It marked the first time the Titans had beaten the Panthers in Mike Shane's tenure as coach.

    August 20, 2014

Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.