NEW CARLISLE — After three seasons of watching Tippecanoe High School dominate the Central Buckeye Conference’s Kenton Division, Tecumseh is calling ‘We’ve got next.’
Tecumseh — which hasn’t won a league title since the 1998-99 season — strengthened its Kenton Division lead with a 47-42 win over Tipp on Friday. It was the Red Devils’ first road loss in 29 games.
“We weathered the storm tonight,” said Tecumseh coach Roger Culbertson. “We gutted out another win.”
Tipp (7-3 overall, 6-2 Kenton Division) led for all but about 50 seconds in the first half, taking a 21-20 lead into halftime. An 8-0 run early in the third quarter extended the lead to its largest of the game at 31-21. But while Tipp was holding Tecumseh scoring threats Jordan Kimmey and Josh McKee to a combined 12 points, Justin Apple was putting the shine on the comeback. Apple hit a pair of three pointers and scored off a steal to key the Arrows’ (10-0, 7-0) quarter-ending 12-2 run.
“Our game plan was excellent,” said Tipp coach Matt Pond. “Holding McKee and Kimmey to 12 points, I like our chances.”
Tipp twice tied the score in the fourth quarter. But a pair of Tecumseh subs and seven bonus free throws over the final 1:17 sealed the win. Erik Smith scored five of his 10 points in the fourth quarter and Dustin Holmes scored off a steal to help the Arrows pull away with a 7-0 run. That spurt put Tecumseh up 44-37 with 25 seconds left. For Smith and Holmes, varsity minutes had been rare before Friday.
“It’s nice to see kids step up in big games,” said Culbertson.
Tipp, meanwhile, received a game-high 19 points from Kyle Corbin. The Red Devils missed out on a handful of other scoring chances with 22 turnovers.
“You can’t have unforced errors in a game of this magnitude,” Pond said. “We have to play better. People say you have youth and inexperience, but we’re 10 games into the season. I still thought we gave ourselves a chance to win.”
The Red Devils can take pride in knowing they held the Arrows to a season-low 47 points, tying Troy for those honors (Tecumseh also beat Troy 47-42). The Arrows entered the game averaging 73 points. Tipp entered allowing just 36 points on defense.
“When you play Tipp City the intensity is always humongous,” Apple said following his team-high 17 points. “We haven’t beaten these guys in forever and it felt so good.”