VANDALIA — The Tippecanoe girls overcame a sluggish first quarter Friday to post a 62-39 season-opening victory over Butler.
Early shooting woes plagued the Lady Red Devils, who connected on only three of 18 first-quarter shots from the field. Tied at 7-7 over one period, the visitors led 23-22 at halftime.
But a 13-2 run midway in the third quarter sparked the squad to a 41-26 bulge. Butler Coach Molly Bardonaro said the primary reason for the Red Devils surge was due to Abby Grooms picking up her third foul in the third quarter.
With a working lead, the Lady Red Devils outscored Butler 21-13 in the remainder of the contest to knotch the 23-point non-league win.
According to first-year Tipp coach Andy Holderman, the girls’ struggles in the opening quarter were due mostly to opening game “jitters.”
“The girls were amped up at the start, played too fast, too quick,” Holderman said. “They got into the flow the second half and played much better.”
Butler scored first Friday when guard Brittney Petrosky snared the opening tip and sprinted to the hoop for a 2-0 lead. The Lady Red Devils could not a get a shot to drop in the first five minutes, missing 10 straight shots from close range.
Senior Aubrey Cox, who tallied 12 points in the game, hit a bank shot to break the shooting drought. After a Butler score, senior Carly Coldfelter, who scored a game-high 14 points, followed with a basket to tie the game at 4-4.
Senior Kelsy Wertz, who scored eight points, swished a three-pointer, for a 7-4 advantage that the squad never relinquished.
Eight Red Devils scored. Sophomore guard Allison Mader scored 11 points and junior Taylor Prall added seven points. Holderman credited Mader and Trall for coming off the bench and adding an “offensive lift” in the second period.
Brittney Petrosky led Butler with 10 points, hitting all four free throw attempts. Riley Clark added six points while Grooms, Rakewstraw and Moses had five. Fltcher and Briana Fourman added three points while Schoenherr had two points. Grooms led Butler in rebounds with 15.
With size advantage, the Lady Red Devils dominated in the paint, scoring 40 points inside with bank shots and second-chance scores. The squad won the battle on the boards with a 35-16 rebounding advantage.
The Lady Red Devils connected on 12 of 22 shots from the charity stripe. The Aviators, meanwhile, hit eight of 12 from the line.
Score by quarters:
Tippecanoe 7 23 45 62
Butler 7 22 33 39
Tippecanoe: Lexi Blair 0-0, Taylor Prall 3-1-7, Mikenna Varvel 0-1-1, Cassidy Wasson 0-0-0, Sammie Rowlnd 2-0-5, Rachel Rusk 1-2-4, Aubrey Cox 6-0-12, Carly Clodfelter 5-4-14, Kelsey Wertz 3-1-8, Allison Mader 4-2-11, Totals: 24-12-62
Three-point goals: Wertz, rowldn, Mader
Butler: Abby Grooms 1-2-5, Shelby Moses 2-0-5, Riley Clark 3-0-6, Olivia Schoenherr 1-0-2, Brittney Petrosky 3-4-10, Keonni Rakdstraw 2-1-5, Brianna Fourman 1-0-3, Tryree Fletcher 1-0-3. Totals: 14-8-39
Three-point goals: Moses, Fourman, Fletcher
Records: Tippecanoe 1-0, Butler 0-1
Reach Gary Gregory by contacting Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.