Versailles passes tough test with win over Tippecanoe

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Versailles 54, Tippecanoe 40
The Versailles Lady Tigers were a rude host Tuesday night as they
dominated the Tippecanoe Red Devils 54-40. Led by Justine Raterman, who
tallied 19 points and 16 rebounds, the Tigers jumped on the Devils
early and never looked back. The 6-foot-2 Raterman controlled the game at both ends.


VERSAILLES – The Versailles Lady Tigers were a rude host Tuesday night as they dominated the Tippecanoe Red Devils 54-40. Led by Justine Raterman, who tallied 19 points and 16 rebounds, the Tigers jumped on the Devils early and never looked back.

The 6-foot-2 Raterman controlled the game at both ends. Defensively, she pushed the Devils to the perimeter and cleaned up the missed shots. Offensively, Raterman first stretched the Tipp defense with the outside jumper and then went back inside.

“Justine hit some outside shots early on,” said Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker. “In the first quarter she really took it at them (Tipp City).

After a few scoreless minutes the Tigers Karen Smith broke the deadlock with a field goal. On the next possession Raterman set the tone for the night with a three, making it 5-1 Versailles.

The Raterman three ignited the Tigers offense and began a dominating run. Versailles built a 13-3 advantage getting seven points from Raterman. The early spurt led to a 19-6 Tigers advantage.

Having established the offensive game, Raterman handed that part off to her teammates. In the meantime she focused on rebounding and defense. Swatting away shots and snaring rebounds, controlling the game at all levels.

The other four players then began to score. Stonebraker’s three guard rotation of Mallory Barga, Courtney Barlage and Karen Smith combined for 11 points, creating balanced scoring and a nightmare for Tipp City.

“Everyone really attacked the basket and was not afraid to shoot the ball tonight,” said Stonebraker. “The other players are taking it as a challenge when teams are leaving them open and the girls are just working so well as a team.”

Meanwhile the post duo for Tipp was struggling. Jess Pierre spent the night in foul trouble and Cassie Berning was battling not only Raterman, but illness.

Add up all those factors and it came up to a 27-6 Versailles lead early in the second quarter. Tipp City made 27-8 with about three minutes until to go when they connected on only their second field goal of the night.

The Devils were able to stabilize a bit before the half ended and went into the break down 31-15. The problem was the damage had been inflicted and they still had no answer for Raterman.

When the third period opened the Tigers were clearly looking to squash any dreams of a Tipp comeback. After a pair of free throws made it 31-17 Tigers, Raterman put an exclamation point on the game.

Blocking a shot, she snatched the ball out of the air, dribbled out of traffic down the left side and promptly scored. That made it 36-17 and all but sealed deal. Tipp did respond when Alia Gray drained a three ball making it 36-20, but they never really got any closer than that.

Versailles went on another run that was capped by Emily Bohman’s three point play making it a 41-22 late in the third period. When the buzzer sounded the Tigers were up 43-22.

Tipp’s Abby Dowd opened the fourth with a three ball, but as they had all game Versailles responded when Bohman hit for five quick points. That pushed the advantage to 48-27 and both coaches started to clear the benches.

The reserves played the rest of the game as Versailles improved to 17-0 on the season, while Tipp City falls to 14-3.

“We are happy where we are, but we certainly are not satisfied,” said Stonebraker about her undefeated Tigers.

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