By Rob Kiser
and Josh Brown
PIQUA — The Tippecanoe boys basketball team is getting accustomed to close games.
After an eight-point win over Oakwood to start the season and a narrow four-point loss to defending Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division champion Sidney, the Red Devils won a back-and-forth battle against Piqua Tuesday night on the road, 76-66.
Piqua (1-3, 0-2 GWOC American North) led 19-18 after one quarter, but Tippecanoe (2-1, 1-1 GWOC American North) led 38-36 at halftime and 54-52 after three quarters. The Red Devils had taken a 50-41 lead in the third quarter after a three-point play by Caiden Smith. But Piqua’s Ben Schmiesing hit a 3 with 1:55 to go in the third quarter to tie it at 52-52.
Tipp scored the next five points, before Piqua countered with a 3 by Nick Rigola and a basket by Devon Brown to tie it at 57-57 with six minutes to go.
But the Indians could never get the lead, and Tippecanoe eventually stretched the margin to 10.
Piqua may need to repaint the foul lines after 73 free throws were shot in the game, including 44 by Tippecanoe. Piqua lost both Schmiesing and Hayden Schrubb to fouls, while several other players had four — and when Schmiesing left the game with 4:23 to go, Tipp began to take over in the paint.
Caiden Smith led Tippecanoe with 24 points and six rebounds. Tyler Skaggs had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Ben Sauls scored 11 points and Zach Losey grabbed 11 rebounds.
Devon Brown led Piqua with 18 points and Schmiesing had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Quirri Tucker scored 11 points — all in the first half, while Nick Rigola had his best game with 10 points.
Tippecanoe was 23 of 56 from the floor for 41 percent and 26 of 44 from the line for 59 percent. Piqua was 23 of 63 from the floor for 37 percent and 14 of 29 from the line for 48 percent. The Devils won the battle of the boards 38-30, but had 18 turnovers to Piqua’s 14.
Both teams are back in action Friday, with Tippecanoe playing host to Greenville. Piqua, meanwhile, will face a tough challenge in Sidney.
PLEASANT HILL — In a battle between winless teams, Newton (1-4, 1-1 Cross County Conference) was able to come out on top Tuesday night at home against rival Covington, capping off a girls-boys doubleheader with a 51-48 victory over the Buccaners.
Kleyson Wehrley led all scorers with 18 points for the Indians. Ryan Mollette added 15 points, James Whitaker scored six and Treg Jackson chipped in five as Newton battled back from a 26-25 halftime deficit, led 34-30 going into the fourth quarter and held on from there.
Zach Parrett led Covington with 17 points, Braden Miller scored eight and Bradley Wiggins chipped in eight points.
Both teams are back in action — and on the road — Friday, with Newton facing Tri-Village and Covington (0-3, 0-2 CCC) traveling to Bradford.
MIDDLETOWN — Milton-Union (0-5, 0-3 Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division) fell behind early and never recovered Tuesday at Madison, dropping its fifth straight to begin the season, 60-45.
Daniel Albaugh had 16 points and seven rebounds and Aaron Stone added 16 points and five rebounds as the Bulldog duo was strong in the paint. But the Bulldogs committed 18 turnovers in the game and got no scoring production from the bench, and the Mohawks (3-1, 1-0 SWBL Buckeye) jumped out to a 20-9 lead after the first quarter and a 34-17 halftime lead.
Milton-Union travels to Miami East Saturday.
Other scores: Troy Christian (4-0, 2-0 MBC) 51, Emmanuel Christian 35.
* Girls Basketball
PLEASANT HILL —The Covington girls basketball team jumped out to a 15-3 first-quarter lead against Cross County Conference rival Newton Tuesday night, and though the Indians battled back, the Buccaneers (6-1, 4-0 CCC) were able to hold on for a narrow 46-42 victory.
Newton (3-2, 1-1 CCC) trailed by two with less than one minute to play, but Covington’s Lauren Christian hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to four and ice the game.
Covington held Newton’s leading scorer Tatum McBride to only three first-half points, but she led the charge in the second half, finishing with a game-high 23 points and adding six rebounds and three steals. Brooke Deeter added nine points.
Sammi Whiteman led the Buccs with 18 points, Jordan Crowell hit four 3-pointers and added 12 points and Lillian Hamilton chipped in seven points.
Covington travels to Franklin Monroe Monday.
Other scores: Xenia 46, Bethel 41.
RIVERSIDE — The Tippecanoe bowling teams both dropped Greater Western Ohio Conference American League crossover matches at Stebbins Tuesday, with the boys (2-2, 0-2 GWOC American North Division) falling 2,146-2,011 and the girls (1-2, 0-2 GWOC American North) falling 1,803-1,574.
Tippecanoe, which hosted West Carrollton Wednesday, hosts Fairborn Friday.
Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-3334. Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.