Fun continues for Tippecanoe boys basketball; Red Devils knock off Braves 50-47 for D-II district title


TROTWOOD — The Tippecanoe boys basketball team is done having fun yet.

The Red Devils did all the little things right Saturday against Indian Hill at Trotwood-Madison High School to win a D-II district title with a 50-47 win — overcoming some suspect free throw shooting along the way.

Tipp, 21-1, will play 13-5 Chaminade-Julienneat 8 p.m. Thursday at Vandalia in the regional semifinals. C-J defeated Wyoming 56-51 in Saturday’s second game.

It is Tippecanoe first district title since 2007, when current Red Devil assistant coach Kyle Corbin played.

“It is great that Kyle (Corbin) is part of this because he played on the 2007 team,” Tippecanoe coach Toohey said. “These guys are such a great group of guys and it so much fun.”

There were some hold your breath moments late in the fourth quarter, before the Tipp bench exploded on to the court in celebration after time ran out.

Much of that was caused by Tipp’s free throw shooting.

At one point in the fourth quarter, Tipp missed seven straight free throws and went four of 13 from the line in the fourth quarter.

“Can we make a free throw?,” Toohey said with a laugh. “When I looked at the scoreboard, we were up 10 with about two minutes — I looked again and it was 49-47. I thought, what the heck is going on?”

Nick Robbins was able to make one of two free throws with 27.3 seconds to go to make it 50-47.

Then Tipp fouled 6-foot-10 Luc Robinson.

Robinson, a 26 percent free throw shooter, missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Indian Hill was able to tip the ball out towards the foul line on the rebounds, but Gavin Garlitz grabbed it for Tipp.

“We were struggling to score,” Garlitz said. “So, we needed the ball anyway we could get it.”

After Tipp missed two more free throws, Indian Hill had one last shot to tie it.

The Braves shot was off the mark and Ben Knostman grabbed the rebound and the clock ran out before the Braves could foul and the celebration was underway.

“It feels great,” Gabe Dean said. “If you noticed, we are all wet like a shower from celebrating in the locker room.”

And all of the little things played a key roll in that.

The Red Devils were down 9-4 later in the first quarter when Griffin Caldwell hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Then, Nick Robbins hit four straight 3-pointers in the second quarter and Zach Frederick also hit one and the lead was 26-14.

Robbins shook his head with a smile after hitting the fourth one.

“I guess I was feeling it,” he said. “We were just having a lot of fun out there.”

Despite Knostman picking up his third foul, Tipp led 29-19 at the break.

“He (Nick Robbins) did (change the game),” Toohey said. “He is such a great leader for us.”

Indian Hill opened the third quarter with threes by Antwan Peek and Mateo Lopez and Tipp was clinging to a 39-35 lead when Garlitz hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 42-35.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter until a Robbins layup with 4:18 to go in the game.

With 2:40 to go and Knostman on the bench with four fouls, Frederick found Dean under the basket for a layup to make it 47-37.

“They were trapping Zach (Frederick) hard and I was able to get behind them,” Dean said. “I wanted to dunk it, but I couldn’t risk it.”

Toohey was happy to see that.

“Zach (Frederick) did a nice job with Ben not out there,” Toohey said. “We didn’t score many points in the fourth quarter (eight), so every basket was big.”

Two free throws by Wyatt Wachs and and a 3-pointer by Lopez made it 47-42 with 1:11 to go.

On the Tipp inbounds, as Knostman cut towards Frederick, Frederick threw it the other way and Caldwell was able to chase the ball down just before it went out of bounds.

“I was starting to run down the court and saw the ball going towards the out of bounds,” Caldwell said. “I just knew I had to go get it.”

A 3-pointer by Wachs made it 47-45, before Knostman hit two free throws and Tipp was able to hold on for the win.

“Really, all those little things are important,” Toohey said.

Robbins led Tippecanoe with 15 points.

Frederick had 13 points and six rebounds and Knostman added 10 points and nine rebounds.

Thornton had 12 points for Indian Hill and Wachs added 11 points.

Lopez scored 10 points and Robinson had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Tipp was 17 of 35 from the floor, hitting eight 3-pointers, for 49 percent. The Red Devils made eight of 20 free throws for 40 percent.

Indian Hill was 19 of 52 from the floor for 37 percent and two of five from the line for 40 percent.

The Braves won the battle of the boards 24-21 and had five turnovers to Tipp’s 10.

Now, the Red Devils are looking toward Thursday’s game.

“That’s one of the first things coach (Adam Toohey) said in the locker room,” Caldwell said. “We are not done yet. This team is much fun to be part of.”

And the fun is not over.

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