Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Senior Tanner Trippiedi of Tippecanoe Valley makes a strong move to the basket as Whitko's Drake Lewis moves in from behind to defend.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Senior Tanner Trippiedi of Tippecanoe Valley makes a strong move to the basket as Whitko's Drake Lewis moves in from behind to defend.
SOUTH WHITLEY — With both the Tippecanoe Valley and Whitko boys basketball teams enduring a losing streak, Friday night’s game at was going to be pivotal for both going into the new year.

Being down by as much as 20, Tippecanoe Valley got to within four points with one minute left in the game, but it would not be enough as Whitko emerged victorious 53-48 in Three Rivers Conference action.

“The main thing is, we won, but honestly I think we were gassed in the fourth quarter,” said Whitko head boys basketball coach Eli Henson. “Through three quarters, we played as well defensively as we could. I just think we got conservative a little bit. We played not to lose.”

Whitko’s Brett Sickafoose led all scorers with 22 points, and Drake Lewis posted 15 points in the win.

For Valley (2-5, 0-2 TRC), Dawson Perkins led the team with 10 points, while Nolan Cumberland contributed with nine points and Tanner Trippiedi posting eight points.

“We are young, we are not good offensively yet, but we will get there,” said Tippecanoe Valley boys head basketball coach Chad Patrick. “The defense is a catalyst to scoring. If we can play defense and if we rebound, we will win a lot of games.”

Among the glaring statistics, turnovers were a rarity. Valley turned the ball over nine times to Whitko’s three.

“I don’t think we have had a game this season where we turned the ball over 10 times,” said Henson. “Which is good, that’s our goal. Usually, your good teams don’t turn the ball over 10 times. It honestly does not feel like three, because it felt like we were getting sloppy, but it’s because we went into conservative mode.”

Free throws doomed the Vikings as they were 4-13 from the charity stripe.

Tonight also marked the first TRC game for the Wildcats (2-3 overall), and they will climb up the standings with a 1-0 start.

“The main thing we wanted to do was go 1-0 in the conference tonight, and we were able to do that, so that’s the main thing,” said Henson.

Tippecanoe Valley will face LaVille Friday evening at home, while Whitko will have a little break and resume action on Jan. 3 when they face Jimtown in the opening matchup of the First Source Bank Plymouth Holiday Tournament.



WHITKO 53, TIPPECANOE VALLEY 48

TV         11   10    8    19  – 48

WH       18   15   14    6   – 53

Valley – Dawson Perkins 10, Nolan Cumberland 9, Tanner Trippiedi 8, Rex Kirchenstein 5, Braden Shepherd 5, DJ Estep 5, Paul Leasure 3, Tayde Kiser 3

Whitko – Brett Sickafoose 22, Drake Lewis 15, William Rickerd 8, Clayton Ebbinghouse 6, Cameron Sapp 2