Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

In a battle for possession, three pairs of hands grab the ball: Tippecanoe Valley's Corinna Stiles (L) and Mercedes Snapp, and Northwestern's McKenna Layden battle it out in a non-conference girls basketball game at Tippecanoe Valley Saturday night.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union In a battle for possession, three pairs of hands grab the ball: Tippecanoe Valley's Corinna Stiles (L) and Mercedes Snapp, and Northwestern's McKenna Layden battle it out in a non-conference girls basketball game at Tippecanoe Valley Saturday night.
AKRON - Tippecanoe Valley High School’s varsity girls basketball team had a rough weekend against the Lady Tigers.

Friday night, county rival Warsaw used a 16-0 run in the second quarter and pulled away for a 53-30 win.

On Saturday night, Northwestern used a 27-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters, beating the host Lady Vikings 67-36.

Valley fell to 0-4 on the season, while Northwest-ern, the state champion in 2018 and 2019 and the state runner-up in 2020, improved to 4-1.

“Usually it’s been the second quarter, but tonight it was the third quarter,” Valley coach Chris Kindig said of his team’s scoring struggles during lengthy portions of a game.

“I think we might have gotten worn down a little bit … two big teams, two physical teams (in Warsaw and Northwestern). We’re maybe not in the best of condition right now, but we’ll get there. We could get in a situation in the sectional where we have to play Friday and Saturday, and we’ve got to be prepared for that.”

A Valley three-pointer early in the third quarter trimmed Northwestern’s advantage to 38-27, but then the Lady Tigers went on the aforementioned 27-2 run, giving their veteran coach Kathie Layden the 353rd win of her 22-year head coaching career.

Layden is now 171-56 in her 10th season at Northwestern.

Valley trailed 19-14 after one quarter of play, 35-23 at halftime and 52-29 at the end of the third quarter.

“Coming out of the half, it very well could have been a four- or six-point game had we hit a couple layups or something,” said Kindig.

“We wanted to kind of duplicate that in the second half. Northwestern scored 35 in the second half, and they ended up with 67, so they were just about on par with what they did in the first half. Offensively, we just don’t get enough balance right now to withstand that. Until we figure out who those No. 3, 4 and 5 scorers are, and we can get them in the scoring book, it’s going to put pressure on our defense.”

Junior Kaydence Mellott led Valley with 20 points, 18 of which came from the three-point arc.

Juniors Corinna Stiles and Molly Moriarty finished with seven and six points, respectively.

For Northwestern, four players scored in double figures - junior McKenna Layden (19), freshman Anna Bishir (12), junior Ashley Newell (11) and sophomore Lexi Hale (10).

Senior Leah Carter chipped in with nine points in the win.

Saturday’s win was the second straight over a Three Rivers Conference team for the Lady Tigers, who beat Rochester 55-38 Wednesday.

Valley will be in action again Tuesday when it hosts Logansport.

“For our confidence, we need to get a win soon,” said Kindig. “We’re still a fairly young group, we only have one senior (Mercedes Snapp). We’re a really quiet group, and if we can get a win soon it would really help our confidence going forward.”