Big 2nd half propels Devils to opening-night win

By Gary Gregory

For the Troy Daily News

VANDALIA — The Tippecanoe girls overcame a sluggish first quarter Friday to post a 62-39 season-opening victory over host Butler.

Early shooting woes plagued the Red Devils (1-0), who connected on only three of 18 first-quarter shots from the field. Tied at 7-7 after one period, Tippecanoe grabbed a slim 23-22 lead at halftime. But a 13-2 run midway in the third quarter sparked the squad to a 41-26 bulge. With a working lead, the Devils outscored Butler 21-13 in the remainder of the contest to notch a convincing 23-point non-league win.

According to first-year Tipp coach Andy Holderman, the girls’ struggles in the opening quarter were due mostly to opening game jitters.

“The girls were amped up at the start, played too fast, too quick,” Holderman said. “They got into the flow the second half and played much better.”

Butler scored first Friday when guard Brittney Petrosky snared the opening tip and sprinted to the hoop for a 2-0 lead. The Devils could not a get a shot to drop in the first five minutes, missing 10 straight shots from close range.

Senior Aubrey Cox, who tallied 12 points in the game, hit a bank shot to break the shooting drought. After a Butler score, senior Carly Coldfelter, who scored a game-high 14 points, followed with a basket to tie the game at 4-4.

Senior Kelsey Wertz, who scored eight points, swished a 3-pointer for a 7-4 advantage that the squad never relinquished.

Eight Red Devils scored. Sophomore guard Allison Mader scored 11 points and junior Taylor Prall added seven points. Holderman credited Mader and Prall for coming off the bench and adding an “offensive lift” in the second period. Sammie Rowland added five points, Rachel Rusk chipped in four and Mikenna Varvel scored one.

With size advantage, the Devils dominated in the paint, scoring 40 points inside with bank shots and second-chance scores. The squad won the battle on the boards with a 35-16 rebounding advantage.

Tippecanoe connected on 12 of 22 shots from the charity stripe. The Aviators, meanwhile, hit 8 of 12 from the line.

Petrosky led Butler (0-1) with 10 points.

The Devils traveled to Fort Loramie Saturday night for a huge early-season showdown against the defending Division IV state champion. The game was not complete at time of press.