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Wawasee lets Tippecanoe Valley off the ropes

Gage Reinhard nets 20 for Wawasee whiile Tanner Andrews cans 21 for advancing Tippy Valley.

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 11:23 p.m.

SYRACUSE — Wawasee boys basketball coach Steve Wiktorowski said his team got outmuscled a little bit by Tippecanoe Valley when the two teams played Friday, Feb. 28.

The Warriors used that experience against the Vikings on Wednesday, March 7, in the Class 3A Wawasee Sectional.

Wawasee led Tippy Valley 39-28 in the first minute of the fourth quarter before the Vikings prevailed 46-44 and earned the right to play NorthWood (a 71-45 winner against Lakeland in Wednesday's second game) in the second semifinal on Friday, March 7.

Friday's first semifinal pits Fairfield (12-8) against West Noble (17-5). The championship is slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8.

"We sometimes get a little physically intimidated," said Wiktorowski Wednesday. "We extended our defensive pressure and made it harder to feed the post. We were more aggressive offensively."

That was especially true of junior Gage Reinhard, who netted 20 points (12 in the first half).

"We've been limited offensively," said Wiktorowski. "Gage stepped up with balance outside and inside.

"Sometimes he defers a little bit," Wiktorowski said. "I think he has just scratched the surface of what he can be as a basketball player."

Reinhard netted four of his team's eight 3-pointers.

Wawasee (4-17) also got eight points from junior Alex Clark with two 3-pointers.

Junior Stori Bright, who grabbed 10 rebounds, did his best to guard Tippecanoe Valley senior Tanner Andrews.

Andrews paced the Vikings with 21 points, including five free throws in the final 38 seconds of play.

Tippecanoe Valley (17-3) forged the first tie of the game at 41-all on a rebound basket by junior Jarred Littlejohn with 1:52 to play.

Andrews sank four free throws — two each after a Wawasee turnover and missed 3-point shots — to put Tippy Valley up 45-41.

A 3-pointer by Alex Clark with :4.0 on the clock cut the gap to 45-44. After that Andrews was fouled and also made a steal while dropping in one of four foul shots.

TIPPECANOE VALLEY 46,

WAWASEE 44

Wawasee — Stori Bright 1-3 2-5 4, Alex Clark 3-14 0-0 8, Sam Clark 1-2 0-0 2, Gage Reinhard 8-11 0-1 20, Jeffrey Moore 2-9 0-0 6, Jake Hutchinson 0-0 0-0 0, Kody Carpenter 0-0 0-0 0, Chase Myers 2-2 0-0 4, David Rocha 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 1-41 (.414) 2-6 (.333) 44.

Tippecanoe Valley — Logan Britton 1-2 2-2 4, Chainey Zolman 2-6 1-2 7, Jarred Littlejohn 1-4 0-0 2, Tanner Andrews 7-13 7-10 21, Robby Groom 4-12 2-2 11, Ben Shriver 0-0 1-2 1, Gavin Bussard 0-0 0-0 0, Alec Craig 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-37 (.405) 13-18 (.722) 46.

Scoring By Quarters

Wawasee — 13 13 10 8 — 44

Tippecanoe Valley — 10 7 11 8 — 46

3-point goals: Wawasee (8-19) — Reinhard 4-6, A. Clark 2-6, Moore 2-8; Tippecanoe Valley (3-13) — Zolman 2-5, Groom 1-6.

Rebounds: Wawasee (26) — Bright 10, Reinhard 5; Tippecanoe Valley (25) — Britton 11, Zolman 4, Littlejohn 4, Groom 4.

Turnovers: Wawasee 10, Tippecanoe Valley 8.

Total fouls: Wawasee 13, Tippecanoe Valley 13. Fouled out — Bright (:1.2, fourth quarter)..

Officials: Al Christoules, Brett Ratcliffe, David Wolford.

Records: Tippecanoe Valley 17-3, Wawasee 4-17.

Next: Fairfield vs. West Noble, 6 p.m., Tippecanoe Valley vs. NorthWood, following, Friday, March 7, in semifinals of Class 3A Wawasee Sectional.


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