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Tipton had to shake a little rust off in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s varsity boys basketball game against Bethesda Christian and once they got it shaken off, the Blue Devils rolled to 66-50 victory over the Patriots.
Tipton handed Bethesda its first loss of the season as the Patriots had won their previous seven games. The Blue Devils (9-3), meanwhile, have now won six of their last seven games. They host Northwestern tonight in a Hoosier Conference divisional game.
Tuesday’s game at the Inferno was originally scheduled for last Saturday night and would have been Tipton’s first game since beating Southwestern of Shelby County in the third-place game of the Monrovia Holiday Classic on Dec. 29. But the game was postponed to Tuesday.
“Great team win,” Tipton coach Cliff Hawkins said. “We were a little rusty in the first half because we’ve been off 13 days and the speed is what we were rusty at. They tempoed it a bit with their spread and some different things, but we worked hard to get a two-point lead by the half and the big catalyst to that was Maverick Conaway coming in and knocking down two 3s for us in the second quarter to get us in position where we were on the plus side.”
Tipton’s first nine points of the game came off a pair of 3-pointers by freshman Grady Carpenter and a trey from sophomore Jackson Money. Money also had a two-point field goal but Bethesda had a pair of 3-pointers and took a narrow 16-15 lead after one quarter.
The Blue Devils, however, came back and outscored the Patriots 15-12 in the second quarter. Conaway hit the two big 3-pointers, while Aden Tolle also knocked down a 3 and Tipton led 30-28 at halftime.
Tipton’s most experienced duo of senior Nate Powell and sophomore Nolan Swan took over in the second half as the Devils outscored BC 36-22.
Swan scored 10 of Tipton’s 18 third quarter points and Powell added four as the Blue Devils extended their lead to 48-40 after three quarters. Tipton fed the Patriots a heavy dose of Powell inside and the senior responded with seven points. Swan and Carpenter kept the middle open and balanced out Powell’s inside scoring by knocking down a 3-pointer. Carpenter and Tolle also went 2 for 2 from the line in the fourth quarter. Tipton was 6 of 10 from the line over the final eight minutes and 10 of 14 for the game.
“The second half we started dominating defensively,” Hawkins said. “The first half we couldn’t get the ball in position to deliver it to the post. The second half, we got the ball into position to deliver. We only had two turnovers in that second half and they were very aggressive with their defense.
“It was a total team win. Everybody got something tonight and helped us. We built a lead in the third quarter and extended it out in the fourth quarter. It’s a real credit to our team to beat this team.”
Powell and Swan shared game-high honors with 17 points. Carpenter added 13 points and Money chipped in eight points, Conaway six and Tolle five.
Demonte Ferguson, Sam Milagan and Luke Stuckey scored 12 points apiece to lead Bethesda Christian, who is now 7-1.