By Bryant Billing
SIDNEY — Tippecanoe didn’t lose a Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division game last season and got off to a great to start in this season’s league play on Wednesday night at Sidney.
The Yellow Jackets could do nothing to contain Tippecanoe’s fast-break offense, which scored early and often in a 68-25 win.
The Red Devils (3-0, 1-0 GWOC North) finished the first quarter on an 18-1 run to put the game away early. Maddie Fredrick had eight points during the run to lead the Red Devils’ offense.
Tippecanoe’s man-to-man defense forced more than 10 Sidney turnovers in the first quarter.
“That was our intent,” Tippecanoe coach Andy Holderman said of the team capitalizing on turnovers. “After watching a little bit of film, we felt like that could be an area that we could exploit. We did a good job at the start, and then we decided to work on other things.”
The Red Devils lost in a regional final last season, and though it’s still early in regular season, Holderman said the team is already thinking toward the postseason. Even an early-December lopsided victory is an important learning opportunity according to Holderman. He pointed to a stagnant defensive effort late in the second quarter as one area that showed improvement is needed.
“The whole idea is to prep for the end of the year,” Holderman said. “You can have a great season, but if you stumble in the first round of the tournament, that puts a damper on things. So that’s the big picture.”
Tippecanoe led by 22 points at halftime and outscored Sidney 17-4 in the third quarter to put the game away. Tipp’s bench players closed out the win in the fourth.
Sidney went nearly eight minutes without scoring between the first and second quarters, during which time Tippecanoe built its lead.
After Kyana Johnson scored on an in-bounds play that caught Tippecanoe’s defense off guard in the first two minutes of the game, Sidney didn’t score a field goal again until the 6:00 minute mark in the second quarter.
Sidney found more life on offense in the second quarter, but Tippecanoe’s scoring didn’t slow down. The Yellow Jackets scored six of the quarter’s last nine points, but the Red Devils maintained a 36-14 halftime lead.
Tippecanoe has four of its five starters back from last season and has been bolstered by the addition of Frederick, who transferred from a school in Arizona.
Frederick, a 6-foot-0 senior guard, signed with Iowa State last month.
“She’s a super kid,” Holderman said. “All of our kids have been very welcoming, and that’s just something we preach every day at practice. Share the ball, and do things together.
“We’ve got 22 games to get ready, and as long as we’re getting better each time, that’s all we can ask for.”
Tippecanoe made 24 field goals and 15 of 20 free-throw attempts, while Sidney made seven field goals and 9 of 18 free throws.
Three Red Devils finished in double figures, led by Frederick’s 18 points and seven steals. Allison Mader added 14 points and six steals, Cali Stewart had 13 points and five rebounds and Ashleigh Mader added nine points.
Alina Kindle led Sidney with seven points.
Tippecanoe travels to Piqua Saturday.
Other scores: Butler 56, Piqua (2-2, 0-1 GWOC American North) 33.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.