Tippecanoe Valley junior Kaydence Mellott looks for help from a teammate during Tuesday night's home game against Maconaquah.
Tippecanoe Valley junior Kaydence Mellott looks for help from a teammate during Tuesday night's home game against Maconaquah.
AKRON – For almost three quarters, the Tippecanoe Valley Lady Vikings and the Maconaquah Lady Braves were locked in to a close, hard fought battle in their Three Rivers conference opener. But a strong third quarter push from junior Kaydence Mellott gave Valley the separation it needed to finish the game with a 61-46 victory. The Lady Vikings are now 2-4 this winter, 1-0 in the TRC.

It looked as if the Lady Vikings would be in trouble early. Maconaquah fired out of the gate to a 5-0 advantage, using its size advantage to control the paint. The Lady Braves made four three pointers in the first quarter to Tippy Valley’s two, and took a 17-14 lead into the second quarter.

In that second period, the Lady Vikings, and specifically junior Corinna Stiles, started to toughen up. Stiles grabbed every rebound in sight, and started to carry the scoring load for Valley, who would take its first lead at 26-25 with just a little over a minute to go in the half. Stiles would finish with 20 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. The two teams would go into the halftime locker room knotted up at 27-27.

The third quarter was more of the same, with both teams trading baskets and neither side able to jump ahead. But with about two minutes left in the quarter, Mellott put her stamp on the game. Mellott went nuclear, sinking three three-pointers in less than two minutes, part of a 13-0 run in which she scored every Valley point. Mellott would finish the game with 25 points, and four made threes. Valley would go into the fourth quarter with a 46-39 lead, the largest for either team to that point.

The lead would be extended up to eleven in the fourth quarter, as Mellott added another two quick buckets. Maconaquah struggled on their end of the floor to keep possession and make open shots, and was unable to shrink the lead down to less than six. The Lady Vikings were able to hold on, and win their second game of the season.

Next up for Tippy Valley is a matchup with Oregon-Davis Saturday night at 6 p.m.