Tipton and Stover go way back.

Connected by a 25-mile elbow of Missouri Route 5 and 52, Tipton girls basketball entered Friday with 11 straight wins against the Lady Bulldogs.

Tipton won in 2017, when a last-second layup spoiled a career-best night from Stover’s Shelby Black.

They won on the road in 2016, outlasting Mallory Uptegrove’s crew that went on to win the Kaysinger Conference Tournament.

And the Lady Cards won again in 2013, during head coach Jason Culpepper’s first season, to eliminate Stover from the district tournament on a buzzer-beating, half-court heave.

Returning to the girls final of the Kaysinger Conference Basketball Tournament for the second time in four years, Tipton extended its streak against Stover with a 62-25 victory Friday at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center in Sedalia.

Lady Cardinals senior Abby Backes scored a game-high 26 points, followed by 18 from freshman Myra Claas.

Capturing the first Kaysinger tourney since the Class of 2020 were freshmen, Culpepper said he hopes reclaiming the conference trophy starts the Lady Cardinals process anew.

Claas represents that turning wheel, alongside underclassmen teammates who helped turn Friday’s title game into a track meet.

“We just put a lot in at practice,” Claas said. “So when the seniors graduate, we can keep our winning streaks and things like that.”

After picking up two quick fouls in the first period, Backes ended the first half with a 3-pointer at the top of the key, sending Tipton to halftime with a 38-18 lead.

The Lady Cardinals (16-3) limited the orange and black to a single field goal in the third period as the defense generated fast-break points in abundance.

“Just get after it on the defensive side,” Claas said of the game plan. “Focus on getting good looks on offense and not rushing anything. … We just tried to take our defense and create some more opportunities on the offensive end.”

Both teams were armed with shooters. Backes, the program’s all-time scoring leader, surpassed 2,000 points Dec. 20 against Lincoln.

Stover (13-5) took the court with a pair of 1,000-point scorers in seniors Jenna Bellis and Emily Bauer. Friday, Lady Bulldogs junior Julia Marriott matched Bellis with a team-high eight points. They move forward Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Windsor.

Tipton continues 5:30 p.m. Saturday hosting the No. 1-ranked Class 1 team in the latest coaches poll, Walnut Grove.

Alex Agueros can be reached at sports@sedaliademocat.com or on Twitter @abagueros2.


Sports Editor

Alex Agueros is the sports editor for the Sedalia Democrat, covering games and sports features in Sedalia and Pettis County and surrounding areas. He can be reached at 660-530-0142 or on Twitter @abagueros2.

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