Lady Devils come up short
By MICHELLE GARMON
MARION — Tipton’s second-half rally fell short as No. 2 Winchester held on for a 50-47 victory over the No. 5 Lady Blue Devils in Tuesday night’s championship game of the Class 2A Eastbrook Sectional.
The Lady Devils trimmed an 18-point halftime deficit to two points before falling by three points.
“We said in that really tough after loss huddle in the locker room: ‘You already have a picture on the wall that no one is ever going to forget and this game isn’t going to define us as the program we’ve been in the last couple of years because we got beat by a really good team,’” Tipton coach Chad Wetz said. “Our program motto from the day I got here has been ‘win or die trying.’ The hole was amazing that was dug, but we never stopped coming back and trying, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Winchester advances to the Frankton Regional and will play Clinton Prairie (18-7) in the second game. Frankton (20-5) will play Carroll (18-7) in the first game.
Early foul trouble hampered Tipton early as Ashlee Schram picked up her second personal foul with 5:15 remaining in the first quarter and Ella Wolfe was whistled for her second at the 4:24 mark. Both players went to the bench and did not return until the start of the second quarter. Hallie Wolfe picked up her second personal with 2:03 left in the first quarter. Sophomore Kaiya Money hit a 15-footer to put the Lady Devils up 10-7 immediately after that but with both point guards on the bench, Tipton struggled against Winchester’s half-court press and the Falcons ended the quarter on a 9-0 run with Haley Lanter’s bucket putting Winchester up 16-10 at the quarter break.
After turning the ball over eight times in the first quarter, Tipton committed seven more in the second quarter, went 2 of 10 from the field and was outscored 18-6 to head into halftime trailing 34-16.
The Lady Devils (21-5) came out of the locker room much sharper and turned the tables on the Falcons. Led by the senior backcourt of Ella Wolfe and Abbi Parker, with five points apiece, Tipton outscored Winchester 15-4. Schram scored the final three points of the quarter and Tipton had cut the deficit to 38-31.
Gena Moore scored the first basket of the fourth quarter, but the Lady Devils scored the next seven points. Parker and Money converted layups before Parker hit the second of two free throws and Ella Wolfe sank two free throws to pull Tipton with 40-38 with 5:07 remaining in the game. The two teams traded two points before Winchester got back-to-back 3-pointers by Riggin and Moore with Moore adding a layup to cap an 8-2 run that upped the Falcons’ advantage to 50-42 with 2:46 left to play.
Tipton did not go away. Schram hit 1 of 2 free throws but Hallie Wolfe came up with an offensive rebound that led to a three-point play by Ella Wolfe. Ella Wolfe then hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1:33 remaining to cut the lead to 50-47.
The Lady Devils had fouls to give and put Winchester into the bonus with :45.8 left. Caitlin Campbell missed the front end and Schram pulled down the rebound. Tipton worked the ball up before turning it over with :14 on the clock and Parker fouled Campbell with :13 left. Campbell again missed the front end of the one-and-bonus and Schram got the rebound. Wolfe drove the ball down and put up a runner in the lane with :05 left but it did not go down and Winchester got the rebound and held the ball as the clock ran out.
“Momentum is a crazy thing,” coach Wetz said. “The momentum was sucked away from us in the first half and then we caught it in the third and early fourth and had control of the game but had such a deep hole to get out of. Give them credit, the two shots they hit – deep 3s – when they had to hit them is the difference in the game.”
Ella Wolfe shared game-high scoring honors with Moore, each player scoring 13 points. Wolfe was 8 of 9 at the free-throw line. She also had five rebounds, three assists, two steals and took four charges in her final game in a Tipton uniform. Parker added 12 points, a rebound, an assist and a steal in her final game for the Lady Devils. Both Wolfe and Parker will continue their careers at IUK and Saint Mary of the Woods College, respectively.
“I thought Ella and Abbi just played like the champions they are,” coach Wetz said.
Schram, meanwhile, had a double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds. She was 4 of 6 from the field and 4 of 6 from the line, while also recording two steals. She also altered several Winchester shots, especially in the second half. Hallie Wolfe and Money added four points each and Rylea Wetz added two points and four rebounds.
Morgan Lawrence added 11 points and had seven rebounds for Winchester before fouling out with 1:33 left to play. Riggin added nine points, going 3 for 3 from beyond the arc, and Lanter had eight points and eight rebounds. Tipton limited Campbell to just six points on 3-of-16 shooting.
No. 2 Winchester 50, No. 5 Tipton 47
At 2A Eastbrook Sectional
Winchester (23-1) – Lanter 3-6 2-3 8, Moore 6-8 0-0 13, Lawrence 3-8 4-4 11, Campbell 3-16 0-2 6, Baker 0-3 1-2 1, Craw 1-2 0-0 2, Hicks 0-3 0-0 0, Riggin 3-3 0-0 9. Totals 19-50 7-11 50.
Tipton (21-5) – E. Wolfe 2-5 8-9 13, Parerk 5-10 1-2 12, Spidel 0-5 0-0 0, Earl 0-1 0-0 0, Schram 4-6 4-6 12, H. Wolfe 2-6 0-0 4, Money 2-4 0-0 4, Wetz 1-6 0-0 0. Totals 16-43 13-17 47.
3-Point Shooting: Winchester 5-11 (Moore 1-1, Lawrence 1-3, Campbell 0-2, Baker 0-1, Craw 0-1, Riggin 3-3), Tipton 2-14 (E. Wolfe 1-2, Parker 1-2, Spidel 0-3, Earl 0-1, H. Wolfe 0-4, Money 0-2). Rebounds: Winchester 32 (Lanter 8, Lawrence 7), Tipton 31 (Schram 13, E. Wolfe 5 ). Team Fouls (Fouled Out): Winchester 19 (Lawrence), Tipton 17 (none). Turnovers: Winchester 16, Tipton 18.