Tippecanoe Valley Senior Lily Ault rises up for a three-point shot during the Vikings’ Wednesday night game against Triton. Ault set a new school record by hitting eight threes in the game.
Tippecanoe Valley Senior Lily Ault rises up for a three-point shot during the Vikings’ Wednesday night game against Triton. Ault set a new school record by hitting eight threes in the game.
Those in attendance at Rita Price Simpson Court Wednesday night were witness to a historic performance during the battle between the Tippecanoe Valley Lady Vikings and Triton Trojans in a game Tippy Valley won 66-41.

While most of the attention was on Valley star Kaydence Mellott (14 points, nine rebounds) and Triton top performer Addyson Viers (14 points, seven rebounds), it was Lady Viking senior Lily Ault who had the night to remember Ault finished her night with 26 points and set a new school record with eight three-pointers made.

“It’s funny, we thought she was going to have a ton of opportunities tonight based on the style of game Triton plays,” Tippecanoe Valley head coach Chris Kindig said after the game. “I told her before the game that she’d have a chance to score 30 tonight if she shot really well, and obviously she did that. She hit some huge shots when we needed them.”

It was a slow start for both teams. Triton would strike first off of a basket from Viers, but would not do much more scoring for the remainder of the quarter. The Lady Vikings would have a similar problem. Lily Ault would knock down her first three-pointer of the night, but a drought would follow. With Triton not allowing anything in the paint, Tippecanoe Valley would be forced to settle for perimeter jump shots. Not many would fall in the opening minutes.

While Valley was struggling to make its shots, the Trojans struggled to attempt any. Triton was plagued by five turnovers in the opening four minutes, most of them unforced. With both teams feeling each other out for the first eight minutes, time seemed to drain off of the clock without much action taking place. Both teams played very disciplined ball as neither side would get into the bonus in the first half. After a quarter, the home team held onto an 11-4 lead.

Triton began the second period by scoring four points in the first minute, evening the previous quarter’s total. With their lead now just three, the Lady Vikings would lock in defensively. Viers was met with two and sometimes three defenders each time she touched the ball, resulting in some low-percentage, highly contested shots. On the other side of the ball, Ault would make a few more jumpers while junior Macy Petersen provided the team with some productive minutes off of the bench, scoring six in the quarter.

Tippecanoe Valley would use a 13-2 run to extend their lead to double digits, where it would stay for the remainder of the half. With just seconds left in the quarter, Ault would nail her third three of the half to finish the first 16 minutes with eleven points. Mellott would be held to just four points in the first half, but made up for it on the glass, securing seven rebounds. Rebounding was a theme for the home team all night long, as four players finished the game with at least five rebounds. Mellott’s team-high nine boards was followed closely by Kelsey Cox’s eight.

“We did a really nice job of battling down low. Macy and Kelsey were huge down there,” Kindig said. “Some guards really stepped it up grabbing boards too so it was just a complete team effort on the glass.”

Ault would get two more threes early on in the third quarter as Tippy Valley began the period with an 8-0 run. Triton would not roll over though, as the visitors would answer the run with six straight of their own. With Viers being double and triple teamed all night long, Triton junior Jenna Bules would pick up the scoring load. But despite the best efforts by the Trojans, Valley would not let the visitors shrink its lead. After three quarters, it had been extended to 13.

The fourth quarter is where the game broke open. Ault would hit two more threes at the beginning of the period, forcing Triton to switch Jocelynn Faulkner, the team’s top perimeter defender, over to help. The switch would create opportunities for the sharpshooting Mellott, who would add two more threes of her own in the fourth. With the long range shots continuing to fall, the lead continued to skyrocket, getting as big as 28. Viers would make a couple of shots in the final quarter to get to 14 points, but her seven rebounds marked a new season low.

“It was a big area of emphasis to keep her and Kinsey Atkins in check,” Kindig said. “A big goal of ours was to keep her out of the paint and I think her rebound total shows we did that fairly well. For the most part I feel like we did a good job of making her uncomfortable.”

Tippecanoe Valley has now won six games in a row and is 9-2 this season. On the other side, Triton has dropped three straight and now sits at 7-4. It’s a quick turnaround for the Trojans, as the team plays again Thursday night at Elkhart Christian. Tippecanoe Valley has a big Three Rivers Conference match with 6-1 North Miami Friday night.

“You don’t want to be playing your best basketball right now, but you do want to be playing four solid quarters every night,” Kindig remarked. “We’re playing three, two and a half and sometimes two right now, so that’s a big thing we’re talking about in practice. Once we start putting together complete games, we’re tough to beat.”