Freshman Olivia Horn of Wawasee drives to the basket against Macy Petersen of Tippecanoe Valley during Tuesday night's game at Valley.
Freshman Olivia Horn of Wawasee drives to the basket against Macy Petersen of Tippecanoe Valley during Tuesday night's game at Valley.
AKRON – Leading by double digits earlier in the contest, the visiting Wawasee Warriors saw their lead turn into a one-point deficit to the Tippecanoe Valley Lady Vikings Tuesday night. The response was a 17-0 run to end the quarter and put an exclamation point on a 53-45 nonconference victory, Wawasee’s first regular season victory over the Lady Vikings since 2013. The Warriors move back up to .500 at 11-11, while Tippy Valley has its four game winning streak snapped and falls to 14-7.

When asked about that big third quarter, Wawasee head coach Matt Carpenter had a feeling his team’s experience had something to do with it.

“The way we answered that run is the way I expect a team with five seniors to do so. I’m extremely proud of how that third quarter finished up.”

The Lady Vikings, who have struggled with starting slowly out of the gate in games this season, had the same struggles in this one. Wawasee would start the game on a 7-0 run, showing off tremendous ball movement and a press the home team couldn’t seem to figure out.

“When we play good defense, have good on ball pressure and close off driving lanes, our defense fuels our offense,” Carpenter said. “The players know how good our defense is, and we know when were playing it well and forcing turnovers and getting stops, we’re a tough team to beat.”

The Lady Vikings were able to put some pressure on the Warriors in the second quarter, figuring out ways to get open looks and sinking them. Five different Valley players accounted for the first five made shots in the game. The Lady Vikings leading scorer Kaydence Mellott started to get in on the action, heading into halftime with seven points. She would finish with 18. Despite Wawasee going up by 10 early in the period, the Warriors would only be up three at the half.

A couple of steals and baskets by Valley’s Molly Moriarty for four of her seven points would give the Lady Vikings their first, and only, lead of the game at 25-24 with about six minutes left in the third. Wawasee would not allow another point in the period. The Warriors wreaked havoc defensively for the remainder of the game. Kennedy White would grab six steals to go with her eight points. Becca Smith owned the glass, finishing with 10 rebounds and seven points. Freshman Olivia Horn was scoreless in the first half, and scored eight in the quarter before finishing with 10.

“Fantastic third quarter for Olivia, she really helped fuel our run there. Becca pushed through a tough start shooting wise, but she’s continued to play well inside and she can shoot the three as well, making it incredibly difficult to guard her,” Carpenter said.

Tippy Valley ends its regular season Thursday against Manchester, and may not have to wait long for its revenge. If the Lady Vikings are able to defeat NorthWood in the first round of their sectional Tuesday, these two teams would play again in the semifinal.

“I think we’re smart enough to know its not going to be this easy again. At this point, we’re 4-0 against sectional opponents and they’ve put a target on us,” Carpenter said. “But that doesn’t mean anybody’s going to hand this to us. This is going to be a close, well-contested sectional.”