Tippecanoe girls playing in third D-II district final in four years

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Tippecanoe Basketball

Posted on the locker room wall of the Tippecanoe High School girls
basketball team is a pyramid showing their goals and accomplishments.
And just like that pyramid, the Red Devils are peaking. Tipp (20-3) makes its third Division II district final appearance in
the past four seasons Friday with a 7 p.m. match up against Bellbrook
(19-4) at Mason High School. The Red Devils hope to finally break
through to the regional tournament this time. Tipp lost a 41-40
heartbreaker to Cin. McNicholas last year and fell 68-49 to Cin. Roger
Bacon in 2005. So what’s going to be the difference this time?


Posted on the locker room wall of the Tippecanoe High School girls
basketball team is a pyramid showing their goals and accomplishments.
And just like that pyramid, the Red Devils are peaking.

Tipp (20-3) makes its third Division II district final appearance in
the past four seasons Friday with a 7 p.m. match up against Bellbrook
(19-4) at Mason High School. The Red Devils hope to finally break
through to the regional tournament this time. Tipp lost a 41-40
heartbreaker to Cin. McNicholas last year and fell 68-49 to Cin. Roger
Bacon in 2005.

So what’s going to be the difference this time?

“The outcome,” said Tipp coach Todd Varvel with a laugh. “We hope to
play well. I think we know at this point we can’t afford to have a bad
game.”

That hasn’t been much of a problem this season. The Red Devils have
won six straight and 15 of their last 16. The Golden Eagles enter
winning nine straight and 15 of their last 16, too.

“Ever since we lost by one point it’s all been about getting back to
work,” said Tipp junior Abby Dowd, the Red Devils’ vocal leader since
her freshman year. “We knew we could have a great year.”

Tipp tied for the Central Buckeye Conference’s Kenton Division title
with Kenton Ridge at 15-1. Dowd, who averages 14.2 points per game, is
a big reason why. Teamed with Jess Pierre’s 13.5 points and key role
playing from Cassie Berning, Leah Schiller, Danie Ross, Abby Stucke and
Alia Gray, the Red Devils’ cohesiveness has allowed them to make
another run at regional.

You get what you get with her,” Varvel said of Dowd. “She gives 100
percent. There’s no 99 percent in her. She’s a natural leader and a
very competitive player who doesn’t like to lose. Even as a freshman
she was a vocal leader. She just brings so much energy to the court. I
think it was a natural progression to take on the scoring and defensive
leadership.”

With returning height from Pierre and Berning and some graduation
losses, Tipp switched from a four-guard offense to a two-post offense.
Toss in Dowd’s contagious desire and the Red Devils have added to
Tipp’s strong baskeball tradition. It even carries down to how they
practice. Dowd goes as hard there as she does in games.

“I don’t see anything good coming out of it if you aren’t going
hard,” Dowd said. “If I do something it’s going to be as best I can.”

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