WINDSOR — Tipton held off a third-quarter Windsor rally to beat the Greyhounds 64-45 in Kaysinger Conference play on Friday at Windsor.
“We were just falling apart there in the third quarter,” said Tipton senior forward Travis Edwards. “We had to strengthen down on our defense. I think it got in our head we already had it won. We just needed to buckle down and actually play.”
Tipton led 34-18 at halftime and extended the lead to 18 points early in the third when Wade Wood got a steal and fed Edwards for a layup.
Windsor followed that with a 16-2 run. Trevor Warlen started the rally with a 3-pointer. Tyler Brockman hit two 3-pointers. After the second of those shots, he got a steal and hit a layup on the other end, drawing a foul and converting the 3-point play to make it 38-32 with 45 seconds left in the third. Aaron Garoutte then followed that with a putback to cut the lead to four.
“We were just playing defense,” said Windsor coach Brent Behler. “Our guys were getting after it, we were rotating well. We were forcing them to shoot. We slowed them down in the third. We were playing help defense, talking.”
During the run the Cardinals shot 1 for 8 from the field and turned the ball over five times.
“We still got shots, we just didn’t finish,” said Tipton coach Billy Jeffries.
The lead was still five points after Windsor’s Lane Soendker hit a pair of free throws with four minutes to play to make it 46-41. But Ethan Koechner hit a layup on the other end and the Cardinals closed the game with an 18-4 run.
“We found a set that we like to run,” Jeffries said. “We had good possessions out of that set, so we went back to that same set and I think we scored six or seven times off of that and that put the pressure on them to score.”
In the final four minutes of the game, the Cardinals had 11 possessions. They shot 8 of 11 from the field with no turnovers. Over the same stretch, Windsor turned the ball over five times and shot 2 for 5 from the field. After a putback by Wood got the Tipton lead back over 10, Windsor freshman point guard Trent Johnson hit a jumper with 2:34 left in the game. But Koechner hit a 3-pointer on the other end to make it 55-43 and the Cardinals’ lead was in double digits the rest of the way.
“I think we just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter,” Behler said.
Tipton jumped out to an 18-3 lead in the first quarter with Edwards scoring 10 points in just over six minutes.
“(It was) just good ball movement,” he said. “Everybody was working good that first quarter.”
Edwards finished with a career high 26 points and 11 rebounds — six of those on the offensive end.
“He runs the floor so well,” Jeffries said. “He’s had a great season. This is the first time he’s really got a lot of varsity minutes and he’s carried us at times this year. With him, it’s just his confidence. If he makes a couple shots early, he’s going to play with a lot of energy.”
Wood finished with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists, several of them feeding Edwards.
“It was just a lot of good passes for easy buckets,” Edwards said.
Koechner scored nine points after sitting out much of the second quarter and part of the third in foul trouble. Even with Koechner on the bench, the Cardinals defense held Windsor off with Austin Voss getting a pair of steals and Wood and Edwards each getting steals.
“We played well defensively,” Jeffries said. “I can’t knock our effort defensively. Our energy was there. We just missed so many shots in the paint. We’ve got to play more consistent.”
Garoutte finished with 13 points to lead Windsor.
“We were just making sure that he couldn’t get the ball,” Edwards said. “We knew he was their main player.”
Brockman added 11 points for the Greyhounds.
The win is Tipton’s fourth in a row in Kaysinger play after dropping the first two of the season to Cole Camp and Sacred Heart. The Cardinals are 11-5 overall.
“We just haven’t had (consistency) from all of our guys,” Jeffries said. “We just haven’t all been on the same page for a whole game yet. We’ve come close in a few games, but we haven’t played a complete game. The season’s running out. It’s right around the corner. Conference tournament’s coming up, district’s in a few weeks. Now’s the time we need to make a move.”
Tipton will play at Stover at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Windsor (6-7, 3-3) will play at Northwest at 8 p.m. Friday.
Tipton at Stover
7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Windsor at Northwest
8 p.m. Friday