By Josh Brown
TIPP CITY — A career milestone. Another division championship. A first trip to the state tournament.
Tippecanoe’s Allison Mader has a lot on her plate this season goals-wise.
So before the season began, she took care of one of them.
Mader, a senior at Tippecanoe High School and the leading returning scorer for the Red Devil girls basketball team that has reached the regional final the past three straight seasons, made her college decision, signing to attend Cedarville University and play women’s basketball for the Yellow Jackets.
And for Mader, it was simply destiny.
“Ever since I was in middle school, that has been the one school that I’ve always wanted to go to,” Mader said. “We did a lot of shootouts there throughout high school, and I always liked it.”
But for Mader, who has always thrived in the close-knit atmosphere of the Red Devils’ program, one major factor was her prospective teammates.
“I think what led me there the most were honestly the girls,” she said. “Compared to the different places I visited, I look at the campus obviously, but those are the people that I’m going to be with every day for the next four years. Just going there, not even knowing them, and just how welcoming and genuine they were — that was probably one of the biggest things. And I wanted to stay close to home, too.”
Another big factor for Mader — who also looked at Indiana Wesleyan and Bethel University in Indiana and Lee University in Tennessee — was Cedarville’s mission statement.
“Also, just how Christ-centered the school is,” Mader said. “When I go to college, I’m looking to play basketball, but I’m also looking to grow my relationship with the Lord. Those two things are probably the biggest things that led me there.”
In fact, that relationship may grow in other ways.
“I‘ve always wanted to go into education, but I go back and forth,” Mader said. “Now I’m thinking I‘m going to go into ministry. My freshman year, I may go in undecided, but I’m thinking ministry.”
There’s still plenty to take care of before leaving for college, though.
Mader and the Red Devils are currently 5-0 this season before facing Greenville Wednesday night in Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division play. Since joining the GWOC last year, Tippecanoe has gone undefeated in division play, winning last year’s title, and it went on to reach the regional final for a third straight season — also finishing as the regional runner-up to Alter for a third straight season. In fact, during her career the Devils are 73-10 overall, with three of those lossed coming to the Knights.
“I’m so excited for college, but obviously right now my focus is on my senior season,” Mader said. “As a team, every year we’ve lost in the regional final. Getting over that hump, especially as a senior since it’s our last year and we have so many seniors, is our long-term goal. Also working through our conference and going undefeated again. And personally, I have a goal of reaching 1,000 career points this season. Before the season started, I had 142 left.”
Once everything from this season is off Mader’s table though, it’s already set for her future.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.