The one-two punch of Allison Mader and Maddie Frederick proved too much for Fort Loramie’s young Redskins, as Tippecanoe rolled to its fifth straight win.
That should put a scare into the rest of the teams on their schedule.
Returning senior Allison Mader scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the first half, and newcomer Maddie Frederick scored 18 in the second half after sitting out the second quarter in foul trouble, and the highly-touted Red Devils rolled to a 59-41 win over Fort Loramie in non-league action Monday night.
Tippecanoe coach Andy Holderman was happy with the win.
“We were able to extend the lead in the second quarter when we got into a little foul trouble. We are working on keeping everyone involved and keeping the ball moving. When we do that, good things happen. We want to share the ball because we have some weapons we can use. Share the ball, catch the ball and shoot in rhythm. That’s where we are.”
“The fight is there,” said Redskins coach Carla Siegel after her very young team fell to 4-2 on the season. “The girls don’t give up, they’re working hard, but we have to get better at certain things. We had a ton of shots tonight in the second quarter that didn’t go in, and I felt like we weren’t shooting with confidence. We have the shooters, but we have to learn to relax in big games.”
Tipp led 15-8 after a quarter, but Frederick was on the bench after picking up her second foul late in the quarter. Mader stepped up and scored 11 points in the quarter, including a pair of threes, as the Red Devils stretched their lead to 30-18 at the half.
The second half belonged to Frederick. The 6-foot senior move in, who was All-State as a sophomore and junior in Arizona, showed a variety of smooth moves around the basket in scoring 11 points herself in the third quarter. The Red Devils stretched the lead to 20 early in the fourth, and while the Redskins never gave up, Fort Loramie could get no closer than 14 down the stretch.
“We have played two huge games now (the Redskins lost to Minster 35-26 last week) and both times we appeared rattled,” Siegel explained. “We need to work the rest of this week on our composure. We have three big games next week with unbeaten New Bremen, Houston on Thursday, and then Versailles on Saturday. It’s not going to get any easier, so we have to get better.
“Tipp is a great passing team, great shooters, and two very good players. It’s tough to contain a team like that, especially when they are taller at every position. Abby Holthaus played really well off the bench for us. She is a senior coming off the bench and is really working hard. We are seeing some good things from her.”
Mader finished with a game-high 23 points, including three treys on the night, while Frederick was right behind with 22. Senior Abby Holthaus came off the bench to lead Fort Loramie with 12, while sophomore Kennedi Gephart added 11.
“It’s been great so far,” Frederick said of her new team and teammates. “The girls have been great, they’ve introduced me to everybody, we are starting to really trust each other and jell together game by game.
Was she frustrated by the two early fouls?
“Well, you can never control what the refs do,” she said with a slight grin. “My teammates stepped up. Allison Mader had a great first half, Kendall (Clodfelter) came in and killed it, Cali (Stewart) is always in there getting shots and boards. I trusted my team and coach and I knew that everything would work out.”
Holderman was not concerned by the lack of scoring balance.
“You have to do what you have to do. You take what the defense gives you. We would have liked to have gotten Cali Stewart a few more looks (the senior finished with 6 points, all in the first half). It’s a chance to go back and look at film and let the kids see where they had some chances. Sometimes you don’t see things in the heat of the moment.”
Tipp was 23 of 43 from the floor for 54%, while the Redskins struggled with 18 for 53 shooting for 34%. The Red Devils were 4 of 7 from the arc, compared to Loramie’s 2 of 8. Tipp was 9 of 13 from the line for 69%, while the Redskins shot just 6 freebies on the night, making three.
Fort Loramie out-rebounded the taller Red Devils 24-23, including 10-5 on the offensive glass. The Redskins had 15 turnovers to 13 for the Red Devils.
The Red Devils have advanced to the Regional each of the last three seasons, but with the addition of Frederick to a veteran returning cast, expectations are extremely high.
“The pressure is out there,” acknowledged Holderman. “Our goal each day is to get better, to be better when we leave the floor than when we stepped on it. This is just our fifth game with Maddie; we didn’t have her with us during the summer. So we are bonding with her, and it will take most of the season before everything is comfortable. Our goal really is to win the next game we play. We tell the girls to just focus on what we do, because that is the only thing that we can control.
“Outside influences can absolutely destroy a team. We want to focus on doing things together, sharing the ball and playing as a team. Saturday against Piqua we had 32 baskets and 26 assists. We need to find the consistency to do that every game.”
The Redskins started three sophomores and a freshman against the Red Devils, but Siegel was not using that youth as an excuse.
“We are in the 8th week of our season, and we used our youth during the pre-season. After that, we told the girls we are a varsity basketball team, we have to move on. We have to play like a varsity team because that is what we are.”
While Monday’s result was frustrating, Siegel believes better days are ahead for her team.
“Trust me, I don’t like to lose, ever. But sometimes you can learn a ton more from a loss than you can a win. Our girls know we have to get back on transition better, we have to do better job of bumping down cutters and not letting them get open looks and layups. We are going to be ok. There is no doubt in my mind. We still have a lot to learn, and there are a lot of things we want to get done.”
We give Frederick the last word.
“It’s a new place and a new team. I’m really excited to be here. I love all the girls and we are getting better and better with each game. We are just going to take it one game at a time, and hopefully have a great season.”